Faithlife Sermons

189; Bookends; Restoration; Rev 21-22

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Intro

Despair
Revelation 5:1–6 NIV
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 5:1–5 NIV
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Revelation 5:1–5 NIV
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
The New Garden will be much greater than the first
End-time scenarios are important but are not part of this discussion

Intro

Bookends
How we use Genesis and Revelation in wrong ways.
Last week we examined the Fall as learned that four relationships we fractured:
Mankind’s relationship with others
Families, then branched out.
Mankind’s relationship with Nature
Droughts and floods
Mankind’s relationship with God
Separation and death. We feel that separation from God
Mankind’s relationship with himself
Did I really say that?
Dear Sirs, I am. Your, G.K. Chesterton
We see the incredible scope of the Fall and we are left shaking our heads in despair. But even there in , God tips his hand at a plan to make everything sad come untrue. The rest of the OT is written in the anticipation of Messiah and what it looks like to pursue holiness.
Revelation 5:1–5 NIV
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
You and I live this side of the cross and the empty tomb. We live in the already and the not yet.
. We feel the brokenness of the world and we long for the reconciliation and joy of heaven. But there’s a bit of a problem: we have a lack of clarity about heaven.
We know we’ll be with Jesus and our loved one’s who are in him, but it gets pretty shaky from there. Will we be floating on cloud with little harps? I hear people at funerals speak about people being angels. Do we just stand and sing for all eternity? Forgive me, I’m not trying to sound crass, that just doesn’t seem all that compelling.
A word of warning: eschatology is important and I have plenty of opinions! But, that’s a discussion for another time. We’re going to look at what we know about eternity forward.
Revelation 21:1 NIV
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Revelation 21:1–5 NIV
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” 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’ 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.”
Rev 21:
A couple of important ideas from v.1
New. There are two Greek words for “new.”
νέος
This indicates a newness in time. There was a first one, now there is a new second one.
No more sea
καινός
This use of new has to do with quality. I had a 69 Mustang. I would have loved to make it just like new.
I would have loved to have taken what was broken down and rusted and beat up, and made it new again.
John records Jesus saying, “I saw a καινος heaven and a καινος earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” (same word used in the Greek version of )
We believe in the resurrection that our bodies are transformed into something similar but better. After the resurrection, Jesus was recognizable but he was different. The new Heaven and new Earth will be that same way.
We’ll recognize what is here, but it will be restored and even improved.
Why is it important to God to reclaim what is here?
Satan never has the final say.
No more sea.
The Sea was a place of fear.
God separated the chaos at creation
The rebellious, and unbelieving nations that cause tribulation for God’s people, came from the sea.
It was a place for the dead
God flooded the world in judgment
The Egyptians pinned the Israelites at the Red Sea before God separated the seas
Jonah was thrown into the sea
The leviathan dwelt in the sea.
Jesus said, “If anyone causes...”
The Beast came from the sea
But Jesus changed all that
Jesus walked across the sea
He told it to be still
The sea is under his throne
There is no more sea
THERE IS NO MORE REASON TO EVER BE AFRAID! Consider the incredible implications of V. 1! Everything we know is being changed and renewed at the coming of Christ. There’s no longer any reason to fear.
We don’t have to fear; not enough money, cancer, crime, dementia, military attack, terrible bosses or anything else. There’s is no more sea. God is making everything new.
21:2-22:5 are all about the new dwelling of God with his people.
Revelation 21:2–8 NIV
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’ 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 practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Revelation 21:2–7 NIV
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’ 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.
Prepared or made ready (v.2) always refers to God’s work in Revelation. This is God’s work, not mine or yours. God, the Alpha and the Omega, is the one making this happen.
Death, mourning, crying or pain. The Fall has been undone. Consider the incredible implications.
Death is gone! Can you imagine? Saying goodbye to loved ones is a thing of the past.
Family struggles are gone.
The struggles in my own heart
We will be with Him!
Have you ever noticed in Scripture, God’s great desire to be with the ones he loves?
/Intro vice list
Revelation 21:8 NIV
8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
The Cowardly lion?
Liars?
Cowardly lion? Liars? I tend to think this is aimed at the church, not outsiders. I say that because he starts and ends with specific things he said to the church in the letters to the churches.
Cowards
Those who have turned back. They like the idea of Jesus, but only on their terms. That’s not a saving faith.
Parable of the Sower. The seed that fell on the rocky path. No roots, when troubles come they bail.
Libyan man
Liars
2:2 some were calling themselves apostles but they weren’t. They were liars. Their faith wasn’t real. Then also, there were some in the synagogue…even though they rejected Christ.
These folks have no part with Jesus.
The second death
Revelation 21:9–11 NIV
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
Goes on to describe this beautiful place with beautiful gems and specific dimensions. Several OT pictures
Holy of Holies - God’s presence—beware!
High Priest was the only one who could go in and he could only go in once a year. He wore this fancy breastplate...
The Holy of Holies was a cube 20 x 20 x 20 cubits. But this is 1400 x 1400 x 1400 miles!
The gems are about reflecting and shining the glory of God.
WE GET TO LIVE IN IT!
Revelation 21:22–24 NIV
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
The sheer presence of God is so overwhelming, that light isn’t even necessary.
Does that mean the sun will be destroyed. I don’t have a clue. The point is this, God’s glory will be all we’ll need and we’ll have it in incredible abundance!
But what about creation? Didn’t it get a messed up in the fall?
Revelation 22:1–3 NIV
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
Eden is restored. The great and glorious King has re-sanctified his Temple. The curse is gone.
No longer will there be any curse.
Nature has returned to it’s original function.
We could spend all kinds of time here trying to decipher the picture and possibly step over the obvious - nature has returned to its beautiful intention.
This is exactly what the prophet Isaiah wrote about in when he said the wold would lay down with the lamb...
We get to be there!
No more death, mourning, crying or pain
The presence of God himself will be overwhelming.
Nature will be restored.
He is making all things new!
Revelation 22:20–21 NIV
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Rev 22:
Last week
We looked at the brokenness caused by the fall.
We often ask why...
This week
We see the way the story ends…We see the beauty of the restored garden; the eternal Temple.
Can I give you three thoughts to consider for your life?
Jesus said, “Don’t store up treasures here where moths and rust can destroy it, or thieves can steal it. Store up treasure in heaven.”
First - the text starts in the garden and ends in the greater garden. The people in the first garden muddled it all up because they didn’t take God’s word seriously. What role does God’s word play in your life today? Would you know it if Satan tried to twist God’s word and lead you astray?
Second - Babylon and the Eternal City. Jesus exhorted the churches to not be caught up in Babylon but to keep their eye on the Eternal City. Your life demonstrates a commitment to one or the other. Which one is it?
Third - At the fall, God the Father promised a Savior. All of the Scriptures testify to the Savior. Salvation is possible because of the Savior. The new Garden is because of the Savior. What role does he play in your life?
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