End Game: Part 15, Eden Reopened – Revelation 21-22

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. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1-2, NIV).

The beginning of Chapter 21 reveals the conclusion of the book of Revelation. God has accomplished His purpose in saving his people and this is the fitting consummation to the story of redemption: God has brought His people home and He will dwell with them. 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” (Revelation 21:3, NIV).

We have now arrived at the cosmic event that divides time and eternity–the point in time where heaven and earth conjoin to bind the future to the present.

If there is a chronology to the book of Revelation then the progression of events has brought scenes into view that actually lie beyond the resurrection and final judgment. Having consigned the wicked to the lake of fire at the end of Chapter 20, John’s vision now proceeds to reveal the glorious abode and destiny of those whose names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (vs. 21:27).

In these two chapters we catch a rare glimpse of eternity as it will be beyond the confines of this age in the description of life in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9 – 22:5).

In the new heaven and earth, a shining city, the New Jerusalem, comes down from heaven. It’s a massive city built completely from precious stones and metals. Even the streets that you walk on are paved with the purest gold.

Oddly, the City of God has no temple, no church, no sacred places of worship “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (vs. 21:22). It’s all sacred ground!

The curse on humanity invoked in Genesis 3 will be lifted, “No longer will there be any curse” (vs. 22:3) and God’s people will live eternally, “And they will reign for ever and ever” (vs. 22:5).

We who were banished from eternal life in the Garden of Eden and doomed to traverse the world that lies east of Eden are now allowed back into the presence of God to partake of the Tree of (Eternal) Life: “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 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” (Revelation 22:1-2, NIV).

So, with the end of the book of Revelation we find that the future has returned us to our past as God officially reopens Eden!

Look, I am coming soon!

Revelation 22:12 (NIV)

End Game: Part 14, Pan-Millenialism – Revelation 20

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4, NIV).

The litmus test by which we classify our interpretation of Revelation is how we interpret Revelation 20:1-10., which highlights the thousand-year (millennial) reign of Christ. Our interpretation of the whole book seems to depend on when the millennium occurs in our end-time chronology.

Premillennial, amillennial or postmillennial are the eschatological labels some evangelical institutions and individuals use to define themselves or their eschatological belief system. The three terms come from the word millennium, meaning a period of a thousand years. Pre- and postmillennialism divide over the question of whether the second coming of Christ will take place before or after the thousand years mentioned repeatedly in these verses.

Continue reading

Everything Is Awesome – Jeremiah 6:13-14

LegoMoviePicture“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain. And from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:13-14, NASB).

The LEGO Movie is an animated adventure comedy film based on the Lego line of construction toys. The story line is comical yet unnerving because it presents a seemingly plausible explanation for the state of the world in which we live. The Lego characters live in a world that is both utopian and dystopian. They live lives that are cheerily clueless.

Continue reading

Judgmental Judgment – John 8:12-19

judgmental“You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone” (John 8:15, NASB).

Jesus spoke these words to the Jewish religious leaders who disputed His claims that He was the Son of God.

What’s so startling about this statement is not so much that Jesus made a concise but powerful legal defense for His deity, but that this poignant pronouncement provided such amazing insight into human nature, God’s nature, and the big difference between the two.

Continue reading

Barely Saved – 1 Peter 4:14-19

BareHanginOn“If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a ‘Christian,’ he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:14-19, HCSB).

Let me begin this post with a disclaimer: You might find something I say in this post offensive to you as a Christian. Please don’t get mad at me because I want you to like me and keep reading my daily devotionals.

Instead, get mad at the Apostle Peter, because he’s the one that originally said it! I’m only explaining what Peter said in the context of our post-modern lives.

Continue reading