=FAVORITE BIBLE CHAPTERS=
INTRODUCTION: We are starting a series of lessons on favorite Bible chapters. The lesson for this Sunday is on Revelation 21, the chapter which deals with the New Jerusalem, the city where we will live forever after the millennium and after the Great White Throne Judgment. This is the time when we will be in our glorified bodies. It is not the Heaven where people live now. It is another city being built for us coming down from God out of Heaven. Let us notice this chapter as we learn more about our eternal home.
I. IT WILL BE A NEW HEAVEN SUSPENDED ABOVE A NEW EARTH. Notice in Revelation 21:1 the words, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." There is a scriptural need for this. The first Heaven was the place where the first sin was committed. Satan was an archangel named Lucifer. He rebelled against God, and he, along with his angels, were cast from Heaven. This, however, does not discard the fact that sin was once committed in Heaven. Because of this, there must be a new Heaven after sin has been completely put away.
For the same reason, the first earth must pass away. Satan brought sin to Heaven, and Satan brought sin to earth.
II. THE NEW JERUSALEM WILL COME OUT OF HEAVEN. Notice in Revelation 21:2 the words, "...coming down from God out of heaven." In John 14: 1-3 Jesus tells us that in His Father's house there are many mansions. He goes on to say that He goes to prepare a place for us. In other words, where these mansions are, He is preparing a place for us. When people die now, they go to Heaven. In that Heaven the New Jerusalem is being built. After the millennium, the New Jerusalem will come down out of Heaven, and we will live there forever.
III. THE OUTSTANDING THING ABOUT THE NEW JERUSALEM IS THE ETERNAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST. In Revelation 21:3 notice the statement, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men." Jesus is the Tabernacle of God. It is said in John 1:1 4a, "And the Word was made [became] flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us." His body was a tabernacle, which means that he will dwell with us in the New Jerusalem. This is explained later on in Revelation 21:3 when it says, "...and he will dwell with them," and again when it says, "God himself shall be with them." Someone has said, "The heaven of Heaven is that Jesus will be there!"
IV. THE NEW JERUSALEM IS WONDERFUL BECAUSE OF WHAT WILL NOT BE THERE. Notice in Revelation 21:4, "...no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." Notice also in verse I, "no more sea"; in verse 22, "no temple"; in verse 23, "no need of the sun, neither of the moon"; and in verse 25, "no night." It is easy to understand why some of these are absent from the New Jerusalem, but why not the sun and moon? Jesus will be the light of the city; there is no need for any other light. Why will there be no sea? Seas divide people. The sea is a symbol of division. We will always be together in the New Jerusalem. Why will there be no temple? The temple was the place where God's people met God. We will have Jesus present with us, and that makes the temple needless.
V. NOTICE THE SIZE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM. In Revelation 21:16 notice, "And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth." Perhaps it is in a cube shape or maybe even a pyramid shape. It seems, however, that the cube idea is best. It is as long as it is wide, and as high as it is long. Notice, it is 12,000 furlongs. There are about 8 furlongs in a mile, which means that the city will be approximately 1 500 miles long, 1500 miles high, and 1500 miles wide. This means that it will be about the length, width, and height of the distance between Boston, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida.
VI. THERE IS A WALL AROUND THE CITY. Notice Revelation 21:17. The wall is 144 cubits high. A cubit is the distance between the bend of the elbow and the fingertip. It averages about 18 inches. This means that the wall will be 216 feet high. We find in verse 12 that this wall has twelve gates; at these gates are twelve angels; and the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel arc written on these gates. There are three gates on each side.
VII. SOME WILL NOT BE IN THE NEW JERUSALEM. Notice Revelation 21:27, "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." The Lamb's Book of Life is a book in which are listed all born-again people. (Teacher: Here is a splendid place to stress the plan of salvation. In other words, teach how one can have his name entered into the Lamb's Book of Life. Take the class down the Romans Road and try to lead the unsaved to Christ.)
WORD STUDY: Revelation 21:19,20
1. Jasper - wisdom.
The people who accept God's gift are wise. How foolish it would be to turn down
such a wonderful city!