The New Heaven and New Earth

Revelation

The New Heaven and New Earth

July 14th, 1963 @ 10:50 AM

Revelation 21:1-8

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
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THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 21:1-8

7-14-63    10:50 a.m.

 

 

 

 On radio and on television you are sharing with us these services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  This is the pastor bringing the eleven o’clock morning message entitled The New Heaven and the New Earth.  In our preaching through the Bible for these many years, we have come to the last and the climactic book: the Revelation.  In our preaching through the Revelation, we have come to the last and the ultimate vision in chapters 21 and 22.  In chapter 21, the first eight verses describe the new heaven and the new earth.  Chapter 21, verse 9 through 22, verse [10] describes the holy city of God, the New Jerusalem.  Chapter 22 beginning at verse 6 and reading to the end is the epilogue to the Apocalypse.

 This morning at the 8:15 o’clock hour I announced the rest of the sermons that I was going to preach, which would complete seventeen and half, almost eighteen years, of preaching through the Bible.  I said today I shall preach on the new heaven and the new earth.  Next Sunday, I said, I shall preach on the new city of God.  The following Sunday, I shall preach on the epilogue, the closing of the Revelation.  Then I said I had two other sermons I wanted to prepare.  I want to prepare a sermon on God’s last invitation, Revelation 22:17: "Let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."  And then the last sermon of all that shall close the series of so many years: in Revelation 22:20, the last promise, "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly," and the last prayer, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."  That’s what I announced this morning at the 8:15 o’clock hour.

 Well, the first thing I did when I got through preaching this morning was to announce that the last, the second half of the sermon that I preached this morning, the second half of it – the first half, I delivered – the second half, I didn’t have time, so next Sunday morning I shall preach the last half of the sermon I prepared for this morning.  And if I continue to do that, we’ll have about nineteen and half years yet of preaching through this Bible.  With all good intentions, I prepare these messages hoping to deliver them within a thirty-minute period of time.  The Word is illimitable.  The wisdom and truth and revelation of God is unfathomable.  I’m like a diver that would go down into the depths of a southern sea to find pearls and gems on the floor of the ocean.  And when I get down there, I am overwhelmed by the profuse, vast, illimitable treasures scattered all around me.  Which jewel shall I take?  And what jewel shall I leave behind?  What shall I place in this sermon, and what of those thousand other things that I wish I had time even to mention?  Ah, the riches of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus; how past finding out, how past exploring, how past understanding, much less exegeting and homileticizing and presenting and preaching, this rich, incomparably glorious Word of God!

 Now the sermon this morning, the first half of it; next Sunday morning, I shall preach the second half, When God Shall Wipe Away Our Tears: when there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, when there is no more pain, when these former things are all passed away [Revelation 21:4]; that will be the sermon next Sunday morning.  Now, today, the re-creation:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, look, the skene

– the dwelling place, the tabernacle –

of God is with men, and He will skenoo

He will tabernacle, He will dwell, cast His tent with us –

and we shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with us, and be our God.

[Revelation 21:1-4]

 

The new, redeemed creation.

Now if you’ll hold your Bible in your hand, these passages that I shall speak of and read today, you can turn to them, and we can see together what I think is God’s revealed truth in His redemptive purpose for this whole creation. 

 There are three new things he says that He makes here: "I saw a new heaven, and I saw a new earth,. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem," a new heaven [Revelation 21:1-27].  The Bible speaks of three heavens: the first heaven is the atmospheric world around us, the heaven through which the birds fly, the heavens of the clouds, the atmospheric heaven that surrounds our earth.  That’s the first heaven.  The second heaven described in the Bible is the heavens of the starry spheres; the Milky Way, the sidereal universes, all that you see when you stand under the blue firmament and chalice of the sky at night.  That is the second heaven mentioned in the Bible.  The third heaven is the heaven of heaven; it is the throne and the dwelling place of God.  And when the Bible says there is to be a new heaven, it refers certainly to the heaven immediately above us, the heaven of the atmosphere, the heaven that breeds storms and fury, the heaven of lightning and thunder, the heaven of the frown and the scowl and the lowering, working clouds.  There is to be a new heaven above us. 

 I think – though this is just my persuasion – I think the new heaven also include the heaven of the starry yonders, for in that universe above us and beyond us there are stars that have turned to cinders and solar systems that have become ashen.  In the re-creation of God, the whole universe above us shall be re-made in supernal, and primeval, and primordial, and pristine glory.  I have not mind that could imagine what God shall do in the firmament in the re-making under His hands.  To me now, as with the psalmist, when I stand and look at the created workmanship of God, every piece and part of that glorious chalice declares, spreads abroad, publishes the glory of our great Creator [Psalm 19:1].  What shall it be when God redeems it and renovates it and makes it new?  Its supernal glory and splendor shall be [beyond] "what mind could imagine or tongue could describe," but that is the promise of God.  And John begins by saying, "I saw a new heaven." 

 Then he says, "and I saw a new earth."  The miseries of this present earth in the deep and dark apostasy from God because of sin is seen, is felt everywhere.  This earth is blighted and cursed; the desert burned and seared, the floods that wash our villages and cities away, the earthquakes that tear down the handiwork of men.  This earth is filled with disease, and sorrow, and senility, and death, and waste, and want.  This earth is to experience a redemption and a rejuvenation.  No longer will it be torn by hooks and irons in order that it yield its increase and its fruits.  No longer will it be infested with thistles and thorns and briers.  No longer will it be cut into graves and plotted into cemeteries.  No longer will its soil be moistened by the showers of human tears.  And no longer shall it be stained with the crimson of human blood.  No longer will its highways be cluttered with the processions of those who are brokenhearted and bereaved.  There is to be a new and a redeemed world.  It is to be a paradise regained, an Eden restored, a whole beautiful creation of God, re-made and redeemed.  "And I saw a new earth." 

 "And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem" [Revelation 21:2], there is to be a capital city, made by the glorious workmanship of our incomparable, infinite God.  And in the new creation, God is to build for Himself a new capital city, a new holy rendezvous and center for God’s government, and God’s people, and God’s dwelling place.  In the eighteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation, there was described for us Babylon, the glorious city of man in defiance and in blasphemy against God.  This is the city that shall reflect the glory of the Lamb – a new heavenly capital city for God. 

 Ah, when we think of these things, what God purposes for His people!  In the nature of the fall, man was dispossessed of all God intended for him.  It was the purpose of God that he should have dominion over the heights above and the depths below and the vast world around him [Genesis 1:28].  But sin cursed it and damned the life and the soul of the man.  And by the sweat of his brow and in the world of death and misery, he lives his life until he returns back into the dust of the ground out of which he was made [Genesis 3:17-19].  This is the curse of sin in this earth.  But as far as sin destroyed and cursed and damned, just that far does redemption go!  However man has been dispossessed and lost his rightful dominion, God shall restore it in his redeemed life and creation [Revelation 21:5].  And however sin has touched and wasted and destroyed, God shall redeem, and cleanse, and re-make!  I would know that if for no other reason for the logic of the thing.  For if redemption does not go as far as the curse and the sin, then God has failed!  Whatever the consequences of our fall, just so shall be the glory of the extensiveness of our redemption.  However sin has wasted, God’s grace shall abound in glorious rejuvenation, and regeneration, and renovation, and redemption; a new heaven, a new earth, and a new city [Revelation 21:1-2]. 

 Now, take your Bible in your hand.  This is an interpretation; this is an exposition of a – of a persuasion that I have.  When John said: "I saw a new heaven and I saw a new earth: for the old first heaven and the old first earth were passed away," does John mean by that, that the old first heaven and the old first earth were annihilated, that they entered into extinction and nothingness, that they were swept into non-existence?  Is that what he means?  Does John say the old first heaven above us is destroyed and annihilated, and this earth, this planet on which we live is swept away and becomes extinct, and God creates another and a new heaven, and another and a new earth?  Is that what John means?  Or does he mean that it is the same heaven cleansed and renovated and redeemed, and it is the same earth, except purified, and rejuvenated and regenerated?  Now, what does he mean?  I have a very definite persuasion of that from the Word of God.  And it is this – that’s why I want you to take your Bible in your hand and see why I think these things.

 I think this earth is our home forever and forever and forever into the ages of the ages.  I think these heavens are eternal.  I think they were here before sin entered it.  The heavens above us, and the earth beneath us – I think those heavens above us and this earth beneath us shall be here after they are swept clean of all of the sin that has wasted and destroyed them. 

I think this new heaven and this new earth is a redeemed and regenerated heaven and a redeemed and regenerated earth – the one I see above me, and the one that I see below and around me.  It is a redemption.  It is a cleansing.  It is a regeneration.  It is a renewal.  This is what God purposeth for us and is revealed in His Book. 

 Now that is the persuasion of my heart.  Now, why I think that – would you turn, for example, to the last verse of the Book of Matthew?  Whenever you find in the Bible the expression, "the end of the world," the end of the world, you’ll find it several times in the Bible, the end of the world; now, I’ve taken this as just typical of one of the many.  "And, lo," He says, the last verse in Matthew, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" [Matthew 28:20].  Now, what does that mean, "the end of the world"?  There are three Greek words for "world," three Greek words that are translated here in our English Bible "world."  One word is ge, ge.  Ge is the Greek word for "earth," for "ground," for this terrestrial globe, ge.  You will find that word appearing in geography, geophysics.  The earth, the ground: ge.

 A second Greek word for world is kosmos.  The primary meaning of kosmos is "adornment, embellishment."  The woman’s cosmetics comes from that word kosmos; the beautification of the woman.  Do you ever see her when she doesn’t have all this on and her hair is rolled up in curls?  You just wonder what was the matter with you when you proposed to her, when you see her like that.  Kosmos, the adorning, the adorning, the embellishment, kosmos.  Now, how come it to finally refer to the world was those old Greeks, as he looked at the well-ordered universe, began to apply the word "adornment, embellishment" to God’s well-ordered creation, and they began to call it the kosmos, and then finally they used that word to refer to the well-ordered cultural civilization of man, kosmos.  So the word kosmos referred to the well-ordered habitual world, the civilized word of a man: kosmos. 

 Now, the third Greek word that is translated world is aion.  When you take that word in English it comes out in our language, our pronunciation, "aeon," an aeon, aion.   Aion, in the Greek language first was an indefinite period of time, then it began to be used to refer to an era, to a dispensation, to an order of things. 

 Now when you find in the Bible the expression "the end of the world," you will never find it ge, the end of the ground, of the earth, of the terrestrial planet orb on which we live.  But you will find it as you find it here aion, the end of the world, the end of the age, the end of the dispensation, the end of the order of things.  And the Lord says, for example, in that passage: "And, lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world, even to the consummation of the age."  When history shall finally reach its ultimate denouement and end, I will be with you, says the Lord Jesus, to the end of time and history.  So, the expression "end of the world" used in the Bible does not connotate the end of this terrestrial globe. 

 Now we have another Greek word we must look at.  It says here in Revelation 21:1: "For the first heaven and the first earth were parerchomai, parerchomai, translated here "passed away."  You’ll see that word often in the Bible.  In Mark 13:31, for example, the Lord says, "Heaven and earth erchomai, but My words shall not pass away."  Heaven and earth, erchomai, shall "pass away."

 Now, what does that refer to when John says: "Heaven and earth shall erchomai; the first heaven and the first earth erchomai"?  The first, and the original, and the primary meaning of erchomai is this: like a man would erchomai through that door, parerchomai; he would pass through the door.  Or like a ship would parerchomai  through the sea, pass through the sea, go over the horizon.  But it does not refer to the extinction and the annihilation of the ship.  It just passed over the horizon – couldn’t see it anymore.  Or like a man, he parerchomai, he passed through the door; he went outside, and I can’t see him anymore, but it does not refer to his extinction, to his annihilation. 

 Now, so with this word in its primary meaning, when he says the first heaven and the first earth parerchomai, passed away, not that they became extinct, but they changed from one condition to another.  The word parerchomai means to change in time from this place to that place, in location from here to there, or a condition from this to that.  So when he says, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth parerchomai," it means it underwent a tremendous change, a vast renovation!  That heaven is still there and this earth is still here, but it is changed and redeemed and regenerated under the hand of Almighty God. 

 Now, I want us to look at that persuasion from what God’s Word says about what shall happen at the end.  Turn now to 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 6; 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 6: "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished."  He’s talking about, possibly, he’s talking about Noah’s Flood.  In the days of the terrible Flood of Noah, the kosmos, the civilized order of man, overflowing with water, perished.  The cities were destroyed, the villages were wiped away, everything that had breath in nostrils died, and the whole fashion of that civilized order and culture in the days of Noah died; it perished.  "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowing with – overflowed with water, perished."  But the earth didn’t perish.  The planet didn’t cease to exist.  This world didn’t go into annihilation, yet he says, "The world, overflowing with water, perished."  No, the kosmos, the order, the civilization, mankind perished, but this earth still stayed. 

 All right, now look at the next thing he says.  Now he’s going to speak of that ultimate judgment of God:

 

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by that same word (of Almighty God) are kept in store, reserved unto fire (the cleansing fire, the rejuvenating fire, the purging fire, preserved unto fire) against the day of judgment and of perdition and damnation of ungodly men.

 [2 Peter 3:7]

 

 Well, when is that?  Well, when I turn to the Book of the Revelation, John describes that.  Peter here says that that great final, renovation and purging and judgment by fire will be in the day of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  That’s what I have just read in the twentieth chapter of the Book of the Revelation, the eleventh verse:

And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away, there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and they were judged, and whosoever name was not found in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

[Revelation 20:11-15]

 

 That’s the day of the judgment of ungodly men.  "And in that day," John says in that vision, "I saw the heavens and the earth flee away" [Revelation 20:11]; the day of fire, the day of purging, the day of renovation, the day of the destruction of sin and of the curse forever and ever!  Now, when I look at Simon Peter speaking there, the first world perished, but not this earth [2 Peter 3:7].  So the second judgment of God will be like that.  It will be a cleansing, it will be a rejuvenation, but not the annihilation of this earth.  The two are side by side. 

 All right, let’s look again.  In the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Matthew and verse 28:  "Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That you who have followed Me, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of His glory in the regeneration," in the regeneration, paliggenesia, "the regeneration."  And we have taken that Greek word paliggenesia, the re-making, the re-birth, the regeneration, and we have bodily, syllable-by-syllable, letter-by-letter, we have taken it into the English language; a "palggenesis" is a re-birth, a recreation, a renovation, a re-making.  And Jesus said, "In the regeneration, in the paliggenesia, in the palingenesis of this earth, this is My people." 

 All right, in the eighth chapter of the Book of Romans, Paul describes that paliggenesia, that "palingenesis," that revelation and re-making of the earth; and this is one of the grandest passages in all literature and one of the most superb of all of the promises to be found in the Word of God.  Turn to Romans 8, we begin at verse 19.   Paul is describing here this palingenesis, verse 19:

 

For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creation was made subject – to futility and to emptiness and – to vanity.

 

It was cursed, wasted, destroyed, all of God’s creation.  This earth – look at it!  And humanity – look at it!  Childhood, youth, manhood, age, even the stars burn out.  The vegetable world is cursed.  The animal world is cursed. The whole creation was made subject to that emptiness, and futility, and despair, and vanity, "not willingly."  It did not choose to do it, "but because of Him," the Lord God:

 

who did that in preparation for a greater redemption yet to come in hope.  Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

 [Romans 8:19-22

]

City life sometimes hides that, hides that; but when the animal world gives birth, it gives birth in labor, and in travail, and in pain, and in suffering, and, so many times, in death.  Cursed, it groans and travaileth in pain even until now.  That animal world is carnivorous so much and lives off of blood and the tearing of fang and claw; it’s a cursed world and groans and travails.  And not only that animal world, but "we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, namely, the redemption of our bodies" [Romans 8:23].  This world is filled with sorrow, and disappointment, and bereavement, and death, and loss, and pain, and tears; the whole creation.  But in the regeneration, in the paliggenesia, there’s going to be a re-making of the whole creation of God.  The animal world, the vegetable world, the planetary world, the astronomical world, everything that God has done, that sin has cursed and destroyed, God’s going to re-make it again.  Why, it’s hard for us to realize that; when the lamb will lie down with the wolf, and when the leopard and the kid shall play together, when the child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den and play by the hole of the asp, and they do not hurt and destroy in all of God’s holy mountain [Isaiah 11:6-9].  The whole creation – think of it!  Think of it!  It’s beyond imagination, what God shall do in the paliggenesia. 

 Now, we’re not done yet.  I want you to look at another thing.  Now this is an argument by comparison.  This thing that God’s going to rejuvenate and remake this present creation; not going to destroy it, not going to annihilate it, not going to slip it into nothingness and into extinction, but God is going to re-create this present world in which we live.  And we are going to have our home here. 

 All right, look again: turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 1, and this is a passage that we all shared together just now; 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 1: "For we know," we know, we who are saved and believe in Jesus, "we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved," if this house in which I live turns back to the dust of the ground and it is dissolved, "we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in that we groan," in illness, and senility, and age, and finally death, "earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.

Now, what is that?  What is that?  Paul is speaking of the resurrection of the body: "this house."  Now, you listen.  If there is no identity and if there is no continuity between this body and that house God shall make for me, then the resurrection has no meaning whatsoever!  It’s no resurrection if this house in which I now live turns back to the dust and God does something else and something different and gives me another kind of a house in which to live.  It has no meaning whatsoever, for a resurrection refers to the raising up of this body!  That’s what resurrection is!

 And it’s the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, and He was the same Lord Jesus.  "Come," said Jesus to Thomas, "and look at the scars in My hands.  Look at them.  Put your finger in them.  Put forth your hand like you say, and thrust it in the great gapping scar in My side, and be not faithless, but believing it is I Myself" [John 20:27].   That is resurrection!  It is the raising out of the dust of the ground, out of the depths of the sea of this body that is planted in the heart of the earth.  That’s the very heart of the Christian message and the Christian faith and the Christian hope:

 

This I say, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,  But I show you a mystery; We may not all sleep – we may not die –

but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed!

 [1 Corinthians 15: 50-52]

 

 Now, that’s what I’m preaching about: changed, resurrected, rejuvenated, paliggenesia!  Not I – somebody else somebody different – but I, re-made like unto the image of my glorious Lord.  Now, I’m arguing by comparison.  If God does that for this house, this body in which I live, the same body, the same house, re-made and regenerated; if God does that for this body, that’s exactly what God means when He refers to a paliggenesia for His creation.  It will be the same earth and the same heaven, only re-made, washed, cleansed, purified, redeemed.  However deep the curse is gone, just so mighty will God’s able power regenerate, re-make. 

 You know, I kind of like that.  I don’t, I don’t look forward to God sticking me out on some planet a hundred million miles away that I don’t know anything about – it may be too cold, or it may be too hot out there, and it may be too lonesome, and it may be too lots-of-things – but I like it here.  You’re here, and I like you; you’re here, and I like you.  I like this town.  I like the house in which I live.  I love this church, and I love to preach, and I’d love to have more time in which to preach!  I just like everything around here.  The only thing I don’t like: I don’t like the tears, and the separation, and the bereavement, and the funerals, and the graves that are open and empty, and the heartache, and the disappointment and despair.  I don’t like that.  Just think what it will be when there are no more funerals, there are no more telephones ringing and saying, "Our little boy has just died," or "Our little girl has been run over by a car," or "I’ve just been told that my husband has leukemia.  Come and ask God to give us strength for the trial that lies ahead."  No more of that.  No more of that!  But this: "Come, come, we’ve got a ten-gallon freezer of homemade ice cream! Come!"  Oh, how marvelous!  Or, "I got a brand-new-spanking watermelon that God just growed on the prettiest vine that you ever saw. Come and let’s eat it." 

 "Oh," you say:  "That’s so material!"

 Man, who invented eating?  Who invented that?  He must like it – God invented it.  He says we’re going to eat over there.  Jesus said, "You do not believe I am I?  Have you got anything here to eat?  And they gave Him a broiled fish and of a honeycomb, and He did eat before them" [Luke 24:41-42], the same blessed Lord Jesus.  He is the One that says we are going to eat over there in the kingdom of God.  We’re going to banquet at the marriage supper of the Lamb [Revelation 19:6-9].  Man, I like everything about it, everything about it.  That’s what God’s going to do for us. 

 Now, I’ve gotten so far off my sermon, I don’t know where I am.  Let’s go back over here to my text and look at it.  Well, we’re off of everything now.  I want to say one thing, and then we’re going to sing our song of appeal: ah, the goodness of God to us!  I want to make this one little observation quickly, and that is this: you will find in the promises of the Book, you will find that God says we are going to inherit this earth.

 Now, out of a group of Scriptures, I just take out one in the thirty-seventh Psalm, three verses.  Look, in the ninth verse: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth."  Verse 11: "But the meek shall inherit the earth."  Jesus was repeating that in [Matthew 5:5]:  "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."  And then again, "The righteousness; the righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever" [verse 29].  And these are just typical of the passages in the Word of God.  All through the kingdom of our Lord is an everlasting kingdom.  It’s an everlasting kingdom, and the righteous, God’s people, are going to inherit the earth. 

 I don’t know what God will do about those starry spheres beyond, but His people are going to inherit this earth.  And sometime if I ever get to it, we’re going to preach about that Holy City.  The capital city in this earth is going to be a thousand, five hundred miles long, and a thousand, five hundred miles wide; and those streets, on streets, on streets, and streets.  We look at these skyscrapers here in Dallas and just gawk at them, sixty stories high; God’s city is a thousand, five hundred miles straight up that way!  And diamonds, and jewels, and pearls, and precious stones, and gold all the way up.  Oh, what the Lord hath prepared for those who love Him! [1 Corinthians 2:9].  Hold my hand while I shout!  Bless His name!  Bless His name!

Well, brother singer, let’s hoist the tune, let’s hoist the tune.  And bless our people as we tarry this moment before the Lord. Somebody you, give your heart to the blessed Lord Jesus: "Preacher, when we walk the golden streets, I’ll be there too. When God opens the Book of Life, He will find my name in there too, for today I give my heart in trust to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus, and here I am." Or a family to come, or one somebody you, while we sing this song, make it now, while we stand and while we sing.

THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 21:1-8

7-14-63

 

I.          The final, climactic, ultimate vision of Revelation 21:1 – 22:5

A.  A new heaven

1.  Bible speaks of three heavens

a. The atmosphere and clouds through which the birds fly

b. The heavens of the starry spheres

c. The throne and dwelling place of God

2.  This new heaven refers to the one immediately above us, and possibly the starry heavens also

3.  As it is now it beautifully declares glory of God – but much more so when it is re-created (Psalm 19:1)

B.  A new earth

1.  The present miseries of a dark universal apostasy curses the earth

2.  It will experience a redemption and rejuvenation; a paradise restored

C.  A new city

1.  The crown and glory of the regenerated world is God’s capital city, called the New Jerusalem

2.  As Babylon was of man’s glory, lifting itself in defiance of God, this city shall reflect the glory of the Lamb

D.  The nature of the fall – man was dispossessed of all God intended for him(Genesis 1:28, 3:17-19)

1.  As far as sin destroyed and cursed, just that far does redemption go(Revelation 21:1-2, 5)

 

II.         Not annihilation, but restoration and redemption

A.  The use of Greek words

1.  The meaning of the expression "the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20)

a. Three different words translated "world"

i.  Ge – "earth, ground, this terrestrial globe"

ii. Kosmos – "adornment, embellishment", came to refer to the well-ordered cultural civilization of man

iii. Aion – "an indefinite period of time", came to refer to an era, dispensation, an order of things

b. "End of the world" – end of the aion

2.  Parerchomai, translated "passed away"(Revelation 21:1, Mark 13:31)

a. To pass by, to pass from, to pass through

b. Does not refer to extinction or annihilation

B.  Seen in passages of Scripture

1.  Noah’s flood – what perished was not the planet, but the kosmos of man(2 Peter 3:6)

a. Heavens and earth flee away in day of judgment(2 Peter 3: 7, Revelation 20:11-15)

2.  Paliggenesia – the re-making, re-birth, regeneration of the whole creation(Matthew 19:28, Romans 8:19-23, Isaiah 11:6-9)

3.  Immortality with identity gone is meaningless(2 Corinthians 5:1, John 10:27, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52)

a. Same earth, same heaven, only re-made, redeemed

b. Even eating (Luke 24:41-42, Revelation 19:6-9)

C.  Specifically promised(Psalm 37:9, 11, 29, Matthew 5:5, 1 Corinthians 2:9)