Revelation 21:1-7

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship.




John now begins a new section of the book of Revelation as he begins to describe the future that lies in store for all who believe in Jesus and worship Him as Lord. One commentator writes about ‘the clear, clean atmosphere of the eternal morning where the breath of heaven is sweet and the vast city of God sparkles like a diamond in the radiance of His presence’ (Guzik quoting Moffat). The concept of a new heaven and new earth was not new to the writers and readers of Scripture (eg Isaiah 65:17-18; Psalm 102:25-27; 2 Peter 3:12-13). The word heaven is used in three ways to describe the blue sky, outer space and the place where God lives in all His glory. Jesus said that both heaven and earth will pass away, but His Word would live forever (Luke 21:33) and John now speaks about a fresh, better heaven and earth.

In this new creation (Isaiah 65:17) there will be no sea, indicating that this is a place that will last for eternity. In Jewish thinking the sea was a place of evil and separation, and it was linked to anyone who opposed the Lord. Now the sea, and all its implications no longer exist.

The new Jerusalem is the place where all who follow Christ can claim citizenship. It is not the current city of Jerusalem which is the place of salvation, but, for the sake of continuity with the earth it is given the same name. This city is described as ‘holy’ and ‘new’. It is here, from now on, where God and His people will live together in harmony. At last people will live in a sinless community, something only Adam and Eve knew briefly in a limited way before the Fall. Such a place, and a community, is something only God can give – no attempt of humanity can bring it about.

In an attempt to describe the beauty of this new home, John describes the city as a bride as she walks down the aisle towards her new husband. God is present in all His glory and He and His people will live in close fellowship with one another here. John describes the difference between the current Jerusalem and this new glorious city – this new home has no sorrow, death, pain, temple, sacrifice, sun, moon, darkness, sin or any form or horror. It will be a place of joy and delight. There will be no tears, for there will be no reason for them.

Now John tells his readers what God, sitting on His throne, said to him as He reminds him to write down His words. At this time, God completes His work of renewal which has already been started day by day which Paul too wrote about in 2 Corinthians 4:16; 5:17. At last, all things are new and will remain new for eternity.

And at last God’s work in Jesus is complete! God will supply every need as His people drink. ‘To drink is to receive – to take in the refreshing draught and that is all … Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating’ (Guzik quoting Spurgeon). Now all believers can enjoy a unique relationship with God and He with them for eternity.


What is your picture of heaven? Why is this picture the one you imagine?


  • John describes what he sees, but God only speaks in verse 5. How do you deal with the times when God is silent? How do they make you feel? How do such times affect your relationship with Him and with others? Is He silent for you now? In what area of your life do you long to hear His voice?
  • How does the idea of a new heaven where people will be living in the glorious presence of God for all eternity affect the way you are connecting with people now?
  • When you think of the beauty of this earth, in spite of the harm generations of mankind have done to it, can you imagine the fresh, new earth God will create? What do you think will be different? How do you see it? Brainstorm some ideas. What does this new earth mean to you?
  • If God is going to create a new earth, is it worth our while to continue to fight for this present earth – to protect the trees, the rhinos, the beaches? Why/why not?
  • How does it make you feel to know that the things that disturb us in this world today will only be solved when the new city of Jerusalem (and the new earth and new heaven) come into existence? Does it fill you with despair – or hope? What does it say about God? About humanity?
  • What is hope?
  • How does the hope described in this passage help you in your life situation now? What does it mean to you? What difference does it make? Are you able to trust God to fulfil His promise of the new heaven and new earth and the new Jerusalem? Why/why not?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Lord, sometimes it is hard to hope when our lives are tough. It is even more difficult at such times to spread hope to others. Show us how we can share Your hope – Your promise – with those who have no hope – practically, emotionally, spiritually. Whatever the need, Lord, show us the way. Then pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Look for opportunities to spread hope and light to the world around you this week. Ask God to show you how to do this – then do it. Be prepared to share your experiences with the group next time you meet.


Revelation Chapter 21


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