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Revelation 21

All Things New

  • Andrew May
  • Sunday Night Messages
  • March 12, 2023

How is heaven going to be different from here and now? We like to use here and now as a measurement of heaven. We say things like “this is like heaven on earth” or this is “a piece of heaven”. What we mean is that these things are enjoyable. Or we get a feeling of comfort or relaxation from experiencing them.

However, the thing about heaven is that nothing here can even begin to compare with it. It will be a completely NEW experience for those who are in Christ. As we read the vision Christ revealed to John in Revelation 21, we are given a snapshot of what heaven is like.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Revelation 21- All Things New
March 12, 2023

Question: Have you ever wondered what heaven is going to be like?

  • How is heaven going to be different from here and now?
  • We like to use here and now as a measurement of heaven.
  • We say things like “this is like heaven on earth” or that cheesecake cookie that Tawny made on Wednesday night is “a piece of heaven.”
  • What we mean is that these things are enjoyable. Or we get a feeling of comfort or relaxation from experiencing them.

However, the thing about heaven is that nothing here can even begin to compare with it. It will be a completely NEW experience for those who are in Christ.

  • As we read the vision Christ revealed to John in Revelation 21, we are given a snapshot of what heaven is like.
  • John, when writing about heaven, will map out many specifics, but, as we will notice, he will explain more and more what heaven is not than truly what it is.
  • Why? Because heaven is challenging to explain as it is a brand-new experience.
  • In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talked about how he was given a vision of heaven at one point and said he heard things that no man is permitted to tell.
  • There is a great mystery surrounding heaven in scripture.
  • But tonight, we will examine one key passage that speaks to our eternal destiny as believers.

Revelation Introduction

  • The book of Revelation (not to be mistaken as Revelations) is a prophetic work detailing for us the end times.
  • Jesus “reveals” to believers what is to come.
  • For the last two months, the student ministry has been going through this book in detail, which is such a blessing.
  • The book of Revelation promises that those who read it and take its words to heart will be blessed.

Revelation 1:3— Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it because the time is near.

  • The time of Christ’s return is near. As a student ministry, we traced through this. Looking at the rapture of the church, the seven-year tribulation, the return of Christ, the millennial kingdom, and the defeat of death, hades, and evil for good.
  • Revelation 21, what we will study together tonight, comes to us after all things.
  • Our ultimate destination is this “eternal state.”

Let’s read the first portion of this chapter together.

Revelation 21:1-5—Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

  1. A new heaven and a new earth
  • We see from the first pages of the Bible how the curse of sin sent shockwaves through creation.
  • There was a rebellion in heaven and a rebellion upon the earth.
  • Therefore, as God wraps up his judgments of the earth and casts evil into the fiery lake, he now RECREATES everything and makes it NEW!
  • The Greek word for “new” here is “kainos” (KY NOS)
  • This word means “fresh, unheard of, unprecedented.”
  • This new heaven isn’t “like new”. It is “completely new.”
  • A full restoration means a full revamp. The old order of things has passed away. The new is here.
  1. No longer any seas
  • This description sets heaven in contrast with our experience here on earth. We are a “water world.” Over 2/3 of our planet is covered in water. Our bodies are 70% water.
  • In Revelation 22, there will be a river flowing with living water, so we know there will be some bodies of water.
  • In the Bible, the seas are often referred to in scripture as something unpredictable and chaotic.
  • In Genesis, we saw the spirit of God moving over the “seas” or “waters” and brought control into the chaos of creation.
  • In the eternal state, there will no longer be unpredictable, or chaos, for God will restore all things unto himself.
  1. No more crying, no more pain, and no more death.
  • STORY OF MY GRAMMY’S FUNERAL: Death is heartbreaking. But the promise we see here is a glorious one. Death has an expiration date!
  • No more funerals. No more trips to the doctor. No more vaccines.
  • No more aging. No more brokenness. No more!

This brand-new experience is what we call “the eternal state.”

  1. There will no longer be age and time like we know it.
    • Eternal truly means “without measure.”
    • We should not imagine that the timeline goes on forever. The timeline ceases to measure.
  2. There will never be a moment of boredom or emptiness
    • In God’s presence, we will experience joy and fulfillment unlike anything here. This is why Jesus tells us to place our treasures in heaven.

Matthew 6:19–“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

  • Everything here will fade, fall apart, and pass away, but we will never experience such deterioration in heaven.
  • There will not be lack or longing.
  • We will be known as we are fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12—For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.       

  1. This space with God is physical and real.

1 Corinthians 15:53-5753 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • We will be given new bodies. We will be clothed in immortality.
  • We will no longer experience the sting of death.
  • We will be victorious with Christ forever!

Sound good! Let’s go back now and read from Revelation 21 again. Because while everyone wants to go to heaven, Christ is going to reveal to us who is there and who isn’t.

Revelation 21:6-8He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty, I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

  1. Everyone has an eternal destiny.
  • Some will die once. Some will be rapture with Christ.
  • Some will spend eternity with God.
  • Some will die twice and experience the second death.
  • This will be an eternity separated from the love of God.

To those who are victorious.

  • The promises of 1 Corinthians 15 are true.
  • It is only by believing in the death and resurrection of Christ that we can be given that victory.
  • Death has no more mastery of us. Sin has lost its power.
  • And as we know from what we read… Jesus gives us freedom.

But many, because of their unfaithfulness and sin, will be sentenced to eternal punishment and will be tormented forever!

Christ does not hold back about who these people are:

  • The fear-filled
  • The unbelieving and doubtful
  • The vile
  • The murderers
  • The sexually immoral (greek word pornea- adultery, lust, homosexuality)
  • Those who practice magic (the greek word “pharmakeus”)
  • Those who worship themselves or other gods
  • Those who lie

1 John 1:6-7If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

  • If you are in Christ, you are free from the power of sin.
  • But don’t be fooled; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
  • This is a reality check moment for us.
  • When we look at these things, we not only see our world today.
  • But often, we see ourselves, for we have all fallen short.

There will be many; I believe who

  • Attended church their whole lives
  • Tithed their money
  • Volunteered their time.
  • Maybe even had a great emotional moment of spiritual insight.

Who will die and be sentenced to hell.

  • Why? Because, like the Pharisees… they worship me with their mouths but deny me in their hearts.
  • They walk as hypocrites and act as if being a Christian is a badge they earned.
  • As I said… everyone wants to go to heaven, but many want to go their own way… not Christ’s way.

Matthew 7:13-14—“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:21-2321 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  • If what I am saying right now is poking at you a bit.
  • It is because I love you. Repent of sin.
  • If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we can have fellowship with God and one another. And he will purify us from all unrighteousness.

So John tells us who is in heaven and who is not.

Then John gives us a thorough description of what heaven will look like. And it is a glorious one!

Let’s read this passage together in Revelation 21:9-21

Revelation 21:9-21One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia  in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

  1. The new creation is going to be massive!
  • A furlong is equal to 660 feet.
  • This means heaven will be 1500 miles wide, deep, and tall.
  • This is roughly the distance from Florida to Maine.
  • 2,250,000 cubic miles! That is 150,000 times the size of New York City!

A scientist in California named Henry Morris found that well over 20 billion people could be housed in this space if only 25% of it was utilized. That would give each person 75 acres of their own to live on. Notably, this is only taken into account horizontal movement and not taken into account vertical moment as the space is as wide and long as it is tall.

  1. Heaven has wonderful walls and gates!
  • These walls are 216 feet thick. These walls are made of many different types of stones and precious materials.
  • There are twelve gates.
  • They are “pearl” gates and not “pearly” gates. Verse 21 tells us that each gate was a single pearl. That is a massive pearl.

After this description, John is looking for something in the city. The temple. Every ancient city would have places of worship. John notes its absence and explains it to us in the next section.

Revelation 21:22-2722 I did not see a temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

  1. The Lord will be our light and comforter forevermore!
  • There will be no need for the gates to be closed, for there will be no enemy to fight.
  • The new creation will be free of the former things!
  • The Lord and the Lamb will be our light.
  • There will be no more nights. We will forever be renewed and refreshed in his presence.


  • In our hearts, we desire this restoration.
  • In our broken state, we now long for renewal.
  • Because we desire it so, we constantly try to manufacture it in our lives with things that do not satisfy us.
  • Because we have pain and troubles, we do not seek God as often as we should and instead bare the weight of our burdens on our own.

But Jesus said to his followers this.

John 7:37-38—“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

  • As we hear of heaven, we should long for it.
  • But we can experience refreshing and newness while we wait.
  • Jesus wants to spring up a well in you that never runs dry.

Revelation 21:6—“It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty, I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

  • May we thirst for the things of God.
  • The promise is that we will be filled.
  • May we grow a disdain for the fleeting pleasures of this earth.
  • As we await the renewal of our bodies and the restoration of all things at the end of the age.


Revelation 21     NASB

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them[b], and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “[c]It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and [d]unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and [e]brimstone, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls [f]full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

10 And he carried me away [g]in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her [h]brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 [i]It had a great and high wall, [j]with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The one who spoke with me had a [k]gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the [l]rod, [m]fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, [n]seventy-two yards, according to human [o]measurements, which are also angelic measurements. 18 The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like [p]clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 I saw no [q]temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its [r]temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth [s]will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those [t]whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


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