God’s Plan For The Ages 46 – Revelation 22 – Delights Of The New Jerusalem

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What does the Bible say about what will happen when Jesus returns to earth?

Romans 1:26-27 New Living Translation

26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 New Living Translation

9 “…Those who indulge in sexual sin … or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality … 10 none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 … Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Revelation 22 – NASB 1977

Comment follows (Liberty Commentary Bible, Liberty University)

The Paradise Of God (Revelation 22:1-21)

Apparently, the scene is shifted from the New Jerusalem above the earth to heaven itself. This chapter reveals beautifully that what was lost in Genesis is regained in the Revelation, a true “Paradise Regained.”

Text

The River and the Tree of Life

1 And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; 4 and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever.

6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

8 And I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 And he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book; worship God.”

The Final Message

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

What Kind of Bodies Will Believers Have at the Rapture and at the Second Coming of Christ?

Comments: Revelation 22 – MacArthur Study Bible (Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible).

22:1 river…of life. This river is unlike any on earth because no hydrological cycle exists. Water of life symbolizes the continual flow of eternal life from God’s throne to heaven’s inhabitants (see note on 21:6).
22:2 tree of life. A symbol of both eternal life and continual blessing (see note on Gen. 2:9). The tree bears 12 fruits, one for each month, and is symbolic of the abundant variety in heaven. The Eng. word “therapeutic” comes from the Gr. word translated “healing.” The leaves somehow enrich heavenly life, making it full and satisfying.
22:3 no more curse. The curse on humanity and the earth as a result of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience (Gen. 3:16–19) will be totally finished. God will never have to judge sin again, since it will never exist in the new heaven and new earth. His servants shall serve Him. See note on 7:15.
22:4 see His face. No unglorified human could see God’s face and live (Ex. 33:20–23). But the residents of heaven can look on God’s face without harm because they are now holy (cf. John 1:18; 1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 3:20). His name. They are God’s personal possession (see note on 3:12).
22:5 they shall reign. Heaven’s citizens are more than servants (see note on 3:21).
22:6 His servants. The members of the 7 churches of Asia Minor who received this letter (1:11), and then all believers who have read, or will read it since. things which must shortly take place. This involves the entire revelation which John has just related (see note on 1:1).
22:7 I am coming quickly! Jesus’ return is imminent (see note on 3:11). Blessed. See note on 1:3.
22:8 heard and saw. John resumes speaking for the first time since chap. 1 and confirms the veracity of the revelation with his own eyewitness testimony—the basis of any reliable witness. fell down to worship. See note on 19:10.
22:10 Do not seal the words. Cf. 10:11. Previous prophecies were sealed up (Dan. 8:26; 12:4–10). These prophecies are to be proclaimed so they can produce obedience and worship. the time is at hand. This refers to imminency, which means that the end is next.
22:11 Those who reject God’s warnings will fix their eternal destiny in hell, where they will retain their evil and filthy natures for all eternity. Those who respond to the warnings will fix their eternal destiny in glory and realize perfect righteousness and holiness in heaven.
22:12 I am coming quickly. See note on 3:11. Again, imminence is the issue (cf. Mark 13:33–37). according to his work. Only those works which survive God’s testing fire have eternal value and are worthy of reward (1 Cor. 3:10–15; 4:1–5; 2 Cor. 5:10).
22:13 the Alpha and the Omega. See note on 1:8.
22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments. See note on 1:3. The preferred reading is “Blessed are those who wash their robes,” symbolizing those who have been forgiven of their sins—who have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God (Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; see note on 7:14). tree of life. See notes on v. 2; Gen. 2:9.
22:15 dogs. Considered despicable creatures in NT times, the term when applied to people referred to anyone of low moral character. Unfaithful leaders (Is. 56:10) and homosexual prostitutes (Deut. 23:18) are among those who received such a designation. sorcerers. See note on 9:21.
22:16 My angel. See 1:1. the churches. The 7 churches of Asia Minor who were the book’s original recipients (1:11). the Root and the Offspring of David. Christ is the source (root) of David’s life and line of descendants, which establishes His deity. He is also a descendant of David (offspring), which establishes His humanity. This phrase gives powerful testimony to Christ as the God-Man (cf. 2 Tim. 2:8). Bright and Morning Star. This is the brightest star announcing the arrival of the day. When Jesus comes, He will be the brightest star who will shatter the darkness of man’s night and herald the dawn of God’s glorious day (see note on 2:28).
22:17 “Come!” This is the Spirit’s and church’s answer to the promise of His coming. let him. This is an unlimited offer of grace and salvation to all who desire to have their thirsty souls quenched. Cf. Is. 55:1, 2. water of life. See note on v. 1.
22:18, 19 Jesus offers extended testimony on the authority and finality of the prophecy. He commissioned John to write it, but He was its author. These are not the first such warnings (cf. Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Jer. 26:2). These warnings against altering the biblical text represent the close of the NT canon. Anyone who tampers with the truth by attempting to falsify, mitigate, alter, or misinterpret it will incur the judgments described in these verses.
22:20 “Surely I am coming quickly.” See note on 3:11. In light of this future expectation, what is now required of believers is outlined by Peter (see 2 Pet. 3:11–18).

What will happen during the end-times mentioned in the Bible?

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.”

Why is Israel going to be the focus of end time events?

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.

Who will be resurrected at the rapture? Who will be resurrected at the second coming of Christ?

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.

This post is one of others that you can find in the blog under the category of “Journey.” There, you will be able to locate the Journey posts, in the order of their being published. Please follow this blog. Select Category, “Journey” to see all of the posts that relate to the end times study. With the study of Revelation having been completed, the next subject in the Journey series will be that of Ezekiel. The purpose of the study of Ezekiel will be to relate it to the end times.

Biographies

Dr. John Ankerberg, founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America
https://www.jashow.org/about-dr-john-ankerberg/

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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