a new heaven and the new earth (v. 1a)
b first earth, heaven, and sea passed away (v. 1b)
c the sea no longer exists (v. 1b)
d the new Jerusalem descends from heaven (v. 2)
d´ God dwells with his people (vv. 3–4a)
c´ death no longer exists (v. 4b)
b´ first things passed away (v. 4b)
a´ God makes everything new (v. 5a)
a) What did John see? How does the absence of the sea signify the end of pain, mourning, and death? What will God do?
b) Rev 21:6–8: Alpha and Omega represent the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Most likely, this phrase consists of a merism, in which God is all in all: the first, the last, and everything in between (Cf. Gen 1:1–2; John 1:1–3).
How does knowing that God is the Alpha and the Omega impact you? What does he promise to those who hold firm in faith? What awaits those who persist in sin and unbelief?
[Related posts include In the Beginning of God’s Creating (Gen 1:1–2); In the Beginning Was the Word (John 1:1–2); Equality with God (Phil 2:5–6); The Name Above Every Name (Phil 2:9–11); and The Summing up of All Things (Eph 1:9–11)]
c) Rev 21:22–26: Why won’t there be a temple in the new Jerusalem, nor a sun, nor a moon? What will those who enter bring into the city?
d) Rev 21:27: Who will be refused entry to the new Jerusalem?
f) Rev 22:3–7: In ancient Israel, the high priest wore a gold flower across his forehead engraved with the words “Holy to the Lord.” This symbolized that God set him apart and graciously forgave him (Exod 28:36–8).
What is the significance of all of God’s people having his name written upon our foreheads?
26) 1 John 3:1–2: When at last our hope of seeing Jesus face-to-face has been fulfilled, the “now and not yet” state in which we now exist shall have ended, and our exaltation with Christ shall begin (Rom 8:16–23).
Anthony A. Hoekema describes it well:
In the life to come we shall see the image of God not only in its perfection but also in its completion. All of God’s people, from every age and every place, resurrected and glorified, will then be present on the new earth, with all the God-reflecting gifts that have been given them.
And all of these gifts, now completely purged of sin and imperfection, will be used by [humanity] for the first time in a perfect way. Then, throughout eternity, God will be glorified by the worship, service, and praise of his image-bearers in a…totally flawless reflection of his own marvelous virtues. And the purpose for which he created mankind will have been accomplished.
a) Read 1 John 3:1–2. What is our hope?
b) Conclude by reading 1 John 3:3. How do we who long to see Jesus conduct ourselves?
Image via Wikimedia Commons
David E. Aune, Revelation 17–22 (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1998), 1113–4.
G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 1041–2.
Aune, Revelation 17–22, 1126.
Plato, “Laws,” in Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 10. Translated by R. G. Bury. (LCL; Cambridge; London: Harvard University Press; William Heinemann, 1967), 4.715e, 293, https://archive.org/stream/b2900049x_0010#page/292/mode/2up.
Mounce, The Book of Revelation, 385.
 Craig S. Keener, Revelation, NIVAC (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), 499–500.
 John I. Durham, Exodus (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1998), 388–9.
 I. Howard Marshall, The Epistles of John (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 172.
 Hoekema, Created in God’s Image, 101.