End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 22Revelation Chapters 21 and 22
The New Heaven and Earth, and the New City of Jerusalem
With this lesson, we conclude our study of Revelation, as God reveals to us a beautiful description of our final home with Him: the new Heaven, the new Earth, and the new city of Jerusalem. I hope that you have been blessed by this study as much as I have. Our eternal hope is in the return of Christ, and we look forward to spending an eternity with Him. In the text for this lesson, we will see just how beautiful that eternity will be!
Read Revelation Chapter 21 and 22. As you read these passages, keep in mind that "new" in these chapters does not mean something shiny and clean, without blemish, etc. Certainly these descriptions would apply. However, "new" in these chapters means something unknown before this. For example, getting rid of an old rusty cook stove and buying a brand new shiny enameled one is one definition of new. But the definition of new that we are examining would equate to getting rid of an old rusty cook stove and replacing it with a microwave oven — something completely new in the world of cooking.
The new Heaven, new Earth, and new City are going to be completely unlike anything that we have seen, experienced, or could even describe. Keep these things in mind as you work through this lesson. God is going to do something completely new, and He is only going to do it for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Read Revelation Chapters 21 and 22, then answer the following:
- What is described as being created in Revelation 21:1?
- What happened to the old Heaven and the old Earth? (see 2 Peter 3:10)
- What does God tell us about the former things that are destroyed in this heat? (see Isaiah 65:17)
- What else "new" is described as being created In Revelation 21:2?
- How is it adorned?
- As described in Revelation 21:3, what is one of the "new" things that we observe about this city?
- As iterated in Revelation 21:7, what does Christ say will happen?
- Revelation 21:9-13 describes the outer perimeter of the new city of Jerusalem as having a great high wall and twelve gates; and it tells us that these gates have the names of the 12 tribes written on them. Can you list each tribe on each gate, beginning with the East Gate? What name will be on each gate for the East, South, West, and North Gates? (see Numbers Chapter 2)
- In the last lesson, we discovered that the Apostles would be Judges and would sit on thrones in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. Where do we find the Apostles’ names in the New Jerusalem? (see Rev. 21:14)
- What is the size of the city in terms of today’s measurements? (see Rev 21:15-17)
- Now that we know the dimensions of the city, when visualizing the height of the city, consider that the space shuttle flies between 400 and 800 miles from the earth when it is in orbit, which is barely half the height of the new city. Can you think of something as a physical reference to represent the length and width of the city, in order to help comprehend these distances?
- What is the significance of the stones described in Revelation 21:19-20? (see Exodus 28:15-21)
- Now re-read Revelation 21:21 through Revelation 22:5, and list all of the things which are "new" or which make this experience "new".
- We are commanded to keep the teachings of this book "for the time is at hand". Now that Christ has revealed himself and his plan for us and all mankind, what are we to do with this information? What are we to do until He comes again? Read 2 Peter 3:10-14 and list the things that we are commanded to do.
- Why does it seem that the Lord is slow in returning? Why doesn’t he come back today? Why can’t we have the Rapture right now, and move on to the new city, new heaven, and new earth immediately, skipping all the rest of it? If we are spiritually ready for Christ to return today, why doesn’t he? Read 2 Peter 3:8-9. What does Peter tell us about Christ and salvation?
What an exciting, terrible, horrible, and awesome book Revelation is, and what an eye-opening study, as we have "observed" via a first-hand account, God’s final plan for mankind and His plans for our eternal existence.
Have an awesome week, and praise God for His infinite love and patience — and for His great sacrifice that enabled us to be a part of His inheritance.