God’s Plan For The Ages 45 – Revelation 21 – New Heaven And New Earth

Click onto any highlighted word to see the five videos and text on the blog.

Are the “rapture” and the “second coming of Christ” the same event, or are they two separate events?

1 Timothy 1:10 NET Bible

“sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, any who live contrary to sound teaching”

Revelation 21 – NASB 1977

Text

The New Heaven and Earth

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And the one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. 18 And the material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it. 25 And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be closed; 26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Who Removes People from the Earth at the Rapture and at the Second Coming?

Comments: Revelation 21 – MacArthur Study Bible (Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible).

21:1 As the chapter opens, all the sinners of all the ages, both demons and men, including Satan, the beast, and false prophet, are in the lake of fire forever. The whole universe has been destroyed, and God creates a new universe to be the eternal dwelling place of the redeemed. a new heaven and a new earth. The entire universe as we now know it will be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:10–13) and be replaced by a new creation that will last forever. This is an OT reality (Ps. 102:25, 26; Is. 65:17; 66:22), as well as a NT one (Luke 21:33; Heb. 1:10–12). See note on 20:11–15. no more sea. Currently three-fourths of the earth’s surface is water, but the new environment will no longer be water-based and will have completely different climatic conditions. See notes on 22:1, 2.
21:2—22:5 By this point in the chronology of Revelation, OT saints, tribulation saints, and all those converted during the millennial kingdom will be incorporated into the ultimate redeemed bride and will dwell in the New Jerusalem. John described the consummation of all things in Christ and the New Jerusalem descending into the eternal state (cf. 19:7; 20:6; 1 Cor. 15:28; Heb. 12:22–24).
21:2 New Jerusalem. Cf. 3:12; Heb. 11:10; 12:22–24; 13:14. This is the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness. It is seen “coming down out of heaven” indicating it already existed; but it descends into the new heavens and new earth from its place on high. This is the city where the saints will live (cf. John 14:1–3). bride. An important NT metaphor for the church (cf. Matt. 25:1–13; Eph. 5:25–27). John’s imagery here extends from the third part of the Jewish wedding, the ceremony. Believers (the bride) in the New Jerusalem come to meet Christ (the bridegroom) in the final ceremony of redemptive history (see note on 19:7). The whole city, occupied by all the saints, is called the bride, so that all saints must be finally included in the bride imagery and bridal blessing. God has brought home a bride for His beloved Son. All the saints live with Christ in the Father’s house (a promise made before the church began; John 14:2).
21:3 the tabernacle of God. The word translated “tabernacle” means place of abode. This is God’s house, the place where He lives (cf. Lev. 26:11, 12; Deut. 12:5).
21:4 wipe away every tear. Since there will never be a tear in heaven, nothing will be sad, disappointing, deficient, or wrong (cf. Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Cor. 15:54–57).
21:5 true and faithful. Cf. 3:14; 19:11. God always speaks truth (John 17:17).
21:6 the Alpha and the Omega. See note on 1:8. water of life. Cf. 7:17; 22:1, 17. The lasting spiritual water of which Jesus spoke (John 4:13, 14; 7:37, 38; cf. Is. 55:1, 2). him who thirsts. Heaven belongs to those who, knowing their souls are parched by sin, have earnestly sought the satisfaction of salvation and eternal life (cf. Ps. 42:1, 2; Is. 55:1, 2; John 7:37, 38).
21:7 He who overcomes. Cf. 1 John 5:4, 5. Anyone who exercises saving faith in Jesus Christ (see note on 2:7). inherit. The spiritual inheritance all believers will receive (1 Pet. 1:4; cf. Matt. 25:23) is the fullness of the new creation. Cf. Rom. 8:16, 17.
21:8 A solemn, serious warning about the kinds of people who will be outcasts from the new heaven and the new earth in the lake of fire. The NT often goes beyond just citing unbelief in listing character and lifestyle traits of the outcast, so that believers can identify such people (1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19; cf. John 8:31). sorcerers. See note on 9:21. lake which burns with fire. See note on 19:20. brimstone. See note on 9:17. second death. See note on 20:6.
21:9 seven bowls. See note on 15:7. seven last plagues. See note on 15:1–8.
21:10 in the Spirit. See note on 1:10.
21:11 jasper. A transliteration, not a translation, of the Gr. word. Rather than the modern opaque jasper, the term actually refers to a completely clear diamond, a perfect gem with the brilliant light of God’s glory shining out of it and streaming over the new heaven and the new earth (cf. 4:3).
21:12–14 wall. See v. 16 for the dimensions of the city and, thus, the length of the wall.
21:15 gold reed. See note on Ezek. 40:3. The reed was about 10 ft. long, which was a standard for measure. measure the city. This action indicates that the capital of heaven belongs to God and He is measuring what is His (cf. 11:1; Ezek. 40:3).
21:16 twelve thousand furlongs. This would be nearly 1,400 mi. cubed or about two million square miles of ground space, offering plenty of room for all the glorified saints to live. length, breadth, and height. The city has the symmetrical dimensions of a perfect cube, which parallels its closest earthly counterpart, the inner sanctuary in the tabernacle and temple (cf. 1 Kin. 6:20).
21:17 one hundred and forty-four cubits. 72 yards or 216 feet. This is likely the width of the wall.
21:18 jasper. See note on v. 11. This is the material of the thick wall—diamond! pure gold, like clear glass. Unlike earth’s gold, this gold will be transparent so the overpowering radiance of God’s glory can refract and glisten through the entire city.
21:19, 20 Because some of the names of these gems have changed through the centuries, it is difficult to identify each one with certainty. Eight of the 12 stones are found in the breastplate of the High-Priest (Ex. 28, 39), and the other 4 may also be related to the breastplate. The gems picture a brilliant, indescribable panoply of beautiful colors that send forth the light of God’s glory. The following are possible identifications for these gems
21:19 chalcedony. This name derives from Chalcedon, an ancient name for a city in modern Turkey. The gem is a sky-blue agate stone with translucent, colored stripes.
21:20 sardonyx. A variety of chalcedony with parallel layers of red and white (see note on v. 19). sardius. A common stone from the quartz family, which ranged in color from orange-red to brownish-red to blood-red (4:3). chrysolite. A gem with a transparent gold or yellowish tone. beryl. A mineral with several varieties of gems, ranging from the green emerald to the golden yellow beryl to the light blue aquamarine. topaz. Ancient topaz was a softer stone with a yellow or yellow-green color. chrysoprase. The modern form of this jewel is an apple-green variety of quartz. The Gr. name suggests a gold-tinted, green gemstone. jacinth. Today this stone is a transparent zircon, usually red or reddish-brown. The one John saw was blue or shining violet in color. amethyst. A clear quartz crystal that ranges in color from a faint purple tint to an intense purple.
21:21 one pearl. Each of the gates of the city is a single, almost 1,400-mile-high pearl. Even as earthly pearls are formed in response to the wounding of oyster flesh, so these gigantic, supernatural pearls will remind saints throughout eternity of the magnitude of Christ’s suffering and its eternal benefit.
21:22 no temple. Several passages affirm that there is a temple in heaven (3:12; 7:15; 11:19; 15:5). Here, it is clear there is none in eternity. How can this be? The temple is not a building; it is the Lord God Himself. Revelation 7:15 implies this when it says, “He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” Verse 23 continues the thought of no temple, except God and the Lamb. The glory of God which illuminates all heaven defines it as His temple. There is no need for a temple in the eternal state since God Himself will be the temple in which everything exists. The presence of God lit. fills the entire new heaven and new earth (cf. v. 3). Going to heaven will be entering the limitless presence of the Lord (cf. John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:17).
21:24 the nations. Lit. “the peoples.” Redeemed people from every nation and ethnic group will dwell in heaven’s light. In the eternal city, there will be no more divisions, barriers, or exclusions because of race or politics. All kinds of peoples in eternity dissolve into the people of God, and they will move freely in and about the city.
21:27 Lamb’s Book of Life. See note on 3:5.

Where will Jesus meet Believers at the Rapture and at the Second Coming?

Consider the following verse very carefully. Words are very important.

Matthew 24:14 NASB 1977 – Notice: “the gospel of the Kingdom; not the gospel of Christ.”

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”

What does the parable of the dragnet teach us about the rapture and the second coming?

Consider the blessed hope of the appearing of Christ for the rapture of the church. (Titus 2:13).

NASB 1977

13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

The blessed hope of the appearing of Christ for the rapture of the church is that believers in Christ will not be subject to the judgments of God on those “who dwell on the earth” during the tribulation (Revelation 6-19; “seal judgments, trumpet judgments, bowl judgments.”), and will not be subject to the persecutions of the anti-Christ, as they also occur during those Revelation chapters. There is no blessed hope in the appearing of Christ, with His judgments being readied, for the earth dwellers who will be left behind after the rapture occurs.

Consider the Earth Dwellers

It is important to know the identity of the people who will undergo the judgments of God, which will be poured out on “all of those” that are living throughout the whole world. These people, which were “left behind” from the rapture of the church, will not have been born again at the time of the catching up of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). They will be present during the time of the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel” (the time when the tribulation occurs) and will endure the judgments of God and will suffer from the oppressiveness of the anti-Christ” (Seventieth Week of Daniel – Daniel 9:27).

The events of this passage take place when the Great Tribulation is taking place, with the Judgments of God being poured out on the earth, during which time the anti-Christ is persecuting those left-behind people who have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior; their identity is “earth dwellers,” and “those who dwell on the earth,” (identifying scriptures are listed below in the comments section).

Notice in Rev 14:6 that the angel is proclaiming the gospel of Christ to “those who dwell on the earth.” Let’s consider the belief of many people who the church will not be raptured from the earth, but will remain on earth during the tribulation. But, here is the problem with such a teaching. If those people who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have been born again, and find themselves on earth during the tribulation, but still must have the Gospel preached to them during the tribulation, they are having to accept Christ a second time. None of this scenario makes any sense. Those who will have already accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, prior to the rapture of the church, will have no reason to have the gospel preached to them again. Here is the truth of the matter. Believers in Christ, who have believed the gospel, prior to the rapture, will be taken from the earth, and will not be present during the tribulation. Those people, who have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, will stay behind on earth when the rapture of the church takes place. Those unbelievers will undergo the judgments of God and the oppression of the anti-Christ. God’s mercy will cause the angel to “proclaim the Gospel to those who dwell on the earth,” those of “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6), which are those who are left behind.

The words, “dead in Christ,” (1 Thes 4:16) are key. “Dead in Christ” represents those believers in Christ who died, prior to the catching up/rapture of the saints (believers in Christ). The “dead in Christ,” will be caught up immediately before “we who are alive and remain,” (living believers in Christ) (1 Thes 4:17) who will also be caught up to be with Christ, “and shall always be with the Lord,” (1 Thes 4:17). In Rev 14:13, we see the words, “blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on.” Such a statement refers to the ones who were “left behind,” those who had not accepted Christ as Savior, and had not been born again, prior to the rapture of the church, but who had come to accept His gospel while undergoing the Judgments of God and the torture and oppression of the anti-christ, during the Seventieth Week Of Daniel.

What does 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 tell us about “the dead in Christ:” they are those who are dead, and knew Christ as their Lord and Savior before their death. They are the “righteous dead;” they had been born again prior to their death. Rev 20:12, “the dead:” they are those who are dead, are the unrighteous dead, and had not been born again. The “dead in Christ” will not stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. The “dead” will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment.

What does the Bible say about when Jesus will Come for the Saints?

It is important for everyone to understand that anyone who has not been born again, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirit, anyone who does not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be among those people who are known as “earth dwellers,” and will be subject to the effects of the bowl judgments. There is no purpose for those of us who have been born again to endure the Judgments of God. Christ is the “bridegroom of all bridegrooms.” No bridegroom, such as Christ, will put His bride (the church/the born again believers in Christ) in the midst of such judgments of God. If there is no rapture of the church, consider the fact that every child will also be the subjects of the judgments.

Comments related to this post.

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Biographies

Signs of the Last Days – Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml

Dr. Renald Showers

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Dr. Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc.

MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Bio – Dr. John MacArthur – https://www.gracechurch.org/Leader/MacArthur/John?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Dr. John F. Walvoord, (1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.
Bio – https://bible.org/users/john-f-walvoord

Dr. Ed Hindson, http://thekingiscoming.com/about-dr-ed-hindson/
Dr. Ed Hindson is the Bible Teacher on The King Is Coming telecast. He is also the Assistant Chancellor, Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies and the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia.

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