Revelation 21: 1-5 – The World of the Text

rootedchristThis week we are going to be taking a deeper look at Revelation 21: 1-5.  Today we’ll be looking specifically at the world of the text of this passage.  If you missed my explanation of the three worlds of the text (behind, of, and in front of), you may want to take a moment and read yesterday’s guide.

Today we will be looking at the world of the text of this passage, in other words, what’s on the page.  Today’s passage is about completion.  It is about the complete restoration of what the fall and sin and taken and corrupted.  Look at the levels of restoration that we see in this passage:

1. God makes his home among people  –  Remember how the Bible started.  In the Garden, where God walks in the cool of the evening with His people. So, what is going to happen in the completion?  God will make His home among us.  This is how it was in creation.  This is what started on Christmas, through the incarnation (the Word became flesh and dwelt among us), what continued at Pentecost and the through Holy Spirit with the church, and what will be brought to completion.  How is it completed then in a way that it is not now?  See number two

2. Death is no more – We see that death is no more.  Death is THE consequence of the fall. Through the fall, our nature became corrupt, sin entered the world, and through it, so did death. At the completion, sin is no more, so death is no more.  That is one of the differences between now and the completion. No more sin.  No more sin means no more fallen nature.  No more temptation.  No more sin, and then means no more death.  All of these things will be a thing of the past, no more sin, sickness, pain, or death.  All these things are done away with. That is what the completion looks like. Why is this?  How is this?.  This is because of number three.

3.  A new heaven and new earth – all things new.  All things are new, so the old is done away with.  With the completion comes the restoration, and the old things (sin and death) are now no more.  Something better is coming.  Something pure.  Something new.  It is like the beginning, but it is even better.  Can you imagine?

God is restoring all things, setting all things right.  Sin, death, the grave, sickness, tragedy, these things do not have the final word.  We do not despair, and we do not hope, no matter how things make look or feel right now. Remember this whole talk of a new earth; this was being given to Christians that were under tremendous persecution.  They would not have known this to be true; they would have been afraid, alone, scared.

So, hear that – a new heaven and a new earth are here.  Rome is ruling; it is an all-powerful force, nothing happens with them. But they will be washed away.  No earthly power can stand next to the might and power of Jesus.  The holy city is not Rome, but it is Jerusalem, the place where the presence of God resided in the Holy of Holies.

But know now that the spirit of God resides in all of us. So, while one day the New Heaven and Earth will come, right now, at this moment, the same presence that resided in Jerusalem reside in us now. The kingdom of God is aways a now (we have that strength and power through the Spirit) and a not yet (it has completely come yet).  So, today, live strong.  Live in hope, live in expectation.  Hope is here now through the spirit. But it will come completely soon.

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