Read: Revelation 21:1-8
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Reflect: What is the picture of heaven in this passage?
Consider: That the tabernacle of God is now with men and that he dwells among them has in one sense been true for the history of the human family. For Adam and Eve, prior to their sin, the voice of the Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). The Spirit of God came upon men in the Old Testament and permanently indwelled believers in the New Testament. And the doctrine of the omnipresence of God is well known throughout holy Scripture. But there is clearly some sense in which the book of Revelation now declares that God dwells uniquely among men, the text adding several observations. First, God himself will be with them (v. 3). Second, he will wipe away every tear from their eyes (v. 4). Third, death will be abolished (v. 4). Fourth, as a result, there shall be no more mourning or crying (v. 4). Further, there will be no pain, and generally speaking the former things will have passed away (v. 4).4
Respond: How does the realization of God’s dwelling with you now assure you of the new heaven promised in this passage? How does that impact how you live?
4 Paige Patterson, Revelation, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol. 39, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2012), 364.