Tuesday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 21:1-4

New Heaven and New Earth

We now come to the most beautiful chapters in Revelation, perhaps in the whole Bible.  A man knows that this world is not what he was created for—he knows this instinctively, we might say.  We come to know sometime in our childhood that this world is broken, and it shouldn’t be.  A man with an ounce of reflection knows that this can’t be all there is.  And if it is, why bother?  Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

But God has created man for something far greater—a new world, a regenerated, re-created world where all is right, where there is no more sorrow and brokenness, injustice and wrongdoing.  What’s more, a man knows that this place must be filled with the divine, that he may finally find his place with the One who created him with this longing in the first place.  The man fears Him, but still wants to be with Him, for deep inside he knows that this One—this God—must be good and true.

And God is, for He has answered this longing.  John first sees a new heaven and new earth.  We should not think them to be divorced from the old heaven and earth but a renovation of which Apostle Paul spoke in Romans 8:19-22.  Moreover, John sees “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  The way the passage is written, it could be that this blessed city encompasses the whole of heaven and earth or is at least equated with it (NICTC, 1109-1111).  A sea is missing as it often represented chaos in the ancient world.

But as wonderful as this new world shall be, it’s wonder and beauty is predicated on the One whose dwelling place it is: God’s.  “He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.  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.”  Are there any more gracious words than these?  Is this not the hope of every Christian, indeed, of even unbelievers in their truest moments?  God created us with this hope—and He has made a way for this hope through His Son Jesus Christ.  Saint Augustine said it best, “Our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (Confessions I.1).  Alas!  It is for this that we “purify ourselves as He is pure” (1 John 3:3), that we “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call” (Philippians 3:14), that we constantly “set our minds on things that are above” (Colossians 3:2).  For this is worth it all; for this we were created.

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

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: