Revelation 21:1-8: ‘There’s a new world coming’.
Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 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. 4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death”[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’5 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.’6 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 water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.’ NIV
A few decades ago, the American author, Hal Lindsay, wrote a book about ‘Revelation’. It was entitled: ‘There’s a new world coming.’ One day, there will be a brand new universe. What a prospect. The apostle Peter puts it like this:
‘’But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells’’ (2 Peter 3:13). It’s worth reading the whole of that third chapter if you can make the time. See also Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, for some Old Testament background.
As indescribably beautiful as this new universe will be, the essence of the new order will be an unclouded relationship with God. This present world, as wonderful as it can be, is a ‘vale of tears’. That is going to change. There is coming a day when there will be no more parting. See the Divine personal touch: ‘’He will wipe every tear from their eyes’’ (4; see 7:17b). It’s like a loving parent tenderly comforting an infant.
The Lord who is ‘’the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End’’, begins things and ends things, and He will bring to an end this current order. But not everyone will share in the blessing of the new. That is clear from our reading.