Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Revelation 21:1-8

The Dwelling Place of God Is Finally with Men

Here is indeed one of the most beautiful chapters in all of Scripture.  We have finally come to the end of our journey.  This is why we said early on that Revelation completes the Bible, that it answers Genesis.  For here we find what our hearts were longing for all along – and that was God.  As Saint Augustine said, “He has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Him.”  In this chapter do we see that final rest attained, our hearts’ desire realized.

We first spy a new heaven and a new earth.  I was once asked, “I understand a new earth, but what was wrong with the old heaven?”  I’m not sure I know the answer to that, except to point to verse five where God says, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  It seems that the emphasis here is on the new creation God is making.  As for the lack of a sea, the sea was the place of demonic forces throughout Revelation.  I don’t think we need to take this verse literally, only to say that no demonic forces will occupy the new heaven and earth.  Then we see the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  This reminds us that man cannot bring the kingdom of heaven.  Only God can do that.  It is His gift.  All the attempts that man has tried to bring a heaven to earth (and here I think of Marxism and all the human misery it has caused) have collapsed in utter ruin.  The best we can ever do is to faithfully and humbly administer the three institutions He has given us – home, church, and state – according to His word and in that order.

Furthermore, the New Jerusalem is a place where there is no more pain, no more tears, “for the former things [will] have passed away.”  And the most important blessing is the grand fulfillment of the promise He has made to all the saints: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man … and God Himself will be with them as their God.”  This was the original promise He made to Moses, “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12), and to Abraham before him.  In heaven, this promise will be experienced in person.  And then God Himself told John to write these things down, “for these words are trustworthy and true.”  Of course they are, for they are God’s.  But He wants us to know that this is our sure and certain heritage; He wants us to know what we have to look forward to, that the hope of the New Jerusalem inspire us to greater holiness and perseverance.  Thus, we hear the word of warning along with the word of assurance.  We must remain faithful to the end.  And if we remain with Him, we know that He too shall remain with us.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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