14 - Eternity

My favorite chapter in the whole Bible Revelation 21. Every time I read it my spirit becomes tender at the awesome beauty that John tries his best to describe. It makes me regret every sin that I have committed because they might have kept me from going to such a place.

If you have never read this chapter in Revelation in its entirety you may want to take a moment and do so. I believe it will inspire you to want to draw closer to God in this life.

A New Heaven, A New Earth, and a New Jerusalem

After John saw the final judgment of the unsaved God showed him what eternity would be like for the saved:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first

heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there

was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new

Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared

as a bride adorned for her husband."

- Revelation 21:1-2

John sees the newly made eternal Heaven and Earth and Jerusalem. There is no more existence in any dimension except the eternal one. This new earth will not contain any seas or oceans. There will be at least one river as we shall see but it seems there will not be any other bodies of water on this new earth. Later we will also read that there may not be any other celestial bodies in eternity either.

Everyone will have a glorified body with which they will move about. This will be the beginning of eternity, which is a concept that our finite minds are not able to grasp. Then however, we will understand eternity as the apostle Paul states:

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then

[i.e. eternity] face to face: now I know in part; but then

shall I know even as also I am known."1


"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the

tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with

them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall

be with them, and be their God."

- Revelation 21:3

I find it interesting when Christians say that when they get to Heaven they want to talk to the apostle Paul or the other disciples or Moses and the other great men and women of God spoken of in the Bible. I too would like to speak to every one of them and I am sure that we will throughout eternity. However, I believe that we are going to be so overwhelmed by being in the presence of God and His heavenly creations that what we currently desire to do will become secondary to what we will want to do when we get there.


The next thing John says should make humans, who have suffered and toiled in this life, very joyful:

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and

there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,

neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things

are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said,

Behold, I make all things new."

- Revelation 21:4-5a

There will be no more death or sorrow or weeping or pain. Some people wonder if they will remember their loved ones who did not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and therefore will be separated from them for eternity. I believe the answer is that since the former things have passed away we will not have a memory of them. However, I hope that our loved ones will be in Heaven with us to experience the unimaginable joy that we will have in the presence of God.


The beauty of eternity is unfathomable in our current state yet John is still able to give us a sense of its awesomeness:

"And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had

the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and talked

with me, saying, Come here, I will show thee the bride, the

Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a

great and high mountain, and showed me that great city,

the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a

stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as

crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve

gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written

thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the

children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north

three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three

gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and

in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And

he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the

city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the

city lies foursquare, and the length is as large as the

breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve

thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the

height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an

hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the

measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of

the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like

unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city

were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The

first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third,

a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx;

the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth,

beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the

eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve

gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one

pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were

transparent glass."

- Revelation 21:9-21

The angel takes John to where he can witness the New Jerusalem descending to the New Earth from Heaven. What he sees astonishes him as he describes the city as having the glory of God and likens it to a precious stone.

The city is fifteen hundred miles wide, long, and high. He sees a wall surrounding it that is two-hundred and sixteen feet high. The city consists of pure gold and the wall is jasper, which would suggest a swirl of colors. The wall had twelve gates made of pearl that lead into the city. The streets are made of pure gold and are transparent. I think the most beautiful description John gives is that of the foundation stones of the city. There are twelve rows of the most precious stones and gems known to us that are built one upon another. Although he does not say how big each stone is there are foundation stones in the modern city of Jerusalem that weigh more than forty tons.  Here John is describing the foundation stones for a city that is fifteen hundred miles high. These stones must be incredibly large. It is hard to imagine a sapphire, emerald, or topaz weighing hundreds of tons yet this is what John sees. I believe that God created the New Jerusalem with transparent walls, foundation stones, and streets so that we will be able to see the light of His glory shining everywhere. I cannot imagine what the experience of dwelling in such a place will be like. Well said by the apostle Paul when he wrote, "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him."2


"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty

and the Lamb are the Temple of it. And the city had no

need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the

glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light

thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall

walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring

their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not

be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And

they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that

defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a

lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

- Revelation 21:22-27

The only light we will need in eternity will be the light of God's glory and that of His Son Jesus Christ. Just as we cannot currently understand the significance of sin's impact in the eternal realm, so too we cannot grasp the glorious effulgence of the holy presence of God that exists there. There will be no darkness either in the corporeal nature of the New Jerusalem or in the hearts of those who will dwell there.


"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as

crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the

Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of

the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve

manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the

leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God

and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve

Him: And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in

their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they

need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God

gives them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."

- Revelation 22:1-5

The river of life could very well be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke of the Spirit in these terms, "He that believes on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"3 We will be able to see God face to face and we will serve Him. However, this service will not consist of toil and labor. God cursed the earth when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, "And unto Adam He said, Because you have hearkened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil shall you eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return."4 John declared that the curse will be removed in eternity. It will be a pleasurable experience to serve God forever.


"And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true:

and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to

show unto His servants the things which must shortly be

done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the

sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these

things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I

fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which

showed me these things. Then said he unto me, See you do

it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of your brethren the

prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book:

worship God. And he said unto me, Seal not the sayings of

the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is

unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him

be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous

still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

- Revelation 22:6-11

The Book of Revelation was ordained by God to be written to show "His servants the things which must shortly be done." God sees time from a different perspective than humans do. Though it has been nearly two thousand years since John wrote these words, God declared that these events would occur "shortly". A prayer of Moses recorded in a Psalm declared, "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."5  The apostle Peter also affirmed that God sees time differently than we do, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."6 Therefore, it has only been "two days" since God revealed His plans for the future. I believe that the end-times are going to happen shortly by our standards too as we will see in Part Three of this book.

John was so overwhelmed by the vision of eternity that he fell down at the angel's feet to worship him. The angel immediately told him not to do that because he was a servant of God just like the human servants of God. In Chapter 6 of this book, I quoted this verse as one of the examples that illustrate that Jesus is God. The Bible records several instances where humans tried to worship angels or other humans because they sensed God's presence around them. In each case they were told by the objects of their veneration not to worship them. They were to worship God alone. The only exception to this was when people fell before Jesus' feet to worship Him. Not once did He tell them not to worship Him. There can only be one reason Jesus did not stop them in their adoration of Him: He is God in the personage of His Son.

Jesus states in this passage that He will bless the one who observes the prophecies of the Book of Revelation. This is a reaffirmation of the words that John wrote at the beginning of Revelation, "Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."7 This is the only book in the Bible that declares a person will be blessed for reading, hearing, and observing it. I find it ironic that throughout Church history many teachers have avoided teaching on the Book of Revelation because it seems to be hard to understand. Yet God declares a blessing on those who do read it.

The angel commanded John not to keep these prophecies to himself. He wanted the followers of Jesus Christ to know what waited for them after a lifetime of serving God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Some people have wondered that if after they die, could they still sin and be removed from Heaven. John makes it clear here that the answer to that question is "no". Whatever condition a person dies in will be their state forever. Those made holy and righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ will remain holy and righteous for eternity. Those who die apart from Jesus Christ will be unjust and filthy forever. As I stated earlier, there is no second chance for a person after they die.


"And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to

give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha

and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the

last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they

may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through

the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers,

and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and

whosoever loves and makes a lie."

- Revelation 22:12-15

Jesus Christ is the consummate being and the reason that eternity exists. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek language. The entire New Testament was originally written in Greek. The purpose of the New Testament is to testify of Jesus Christ and His redeeming grace. From the first Greek letter written in Matthew 1:1 to the last Greek letter written in Revelation 22:21, God's entire plan of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ is laid out for all to see. Those who receive God's plan of salvation will enter in the gates of the New Jerusalem and abide with God forever. Those who reject it will be separated from the glorious splendor of eternity with God and be cast into Hell where they will not sense God's presence ever again.


"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things

in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David,

and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the

bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let

him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take

the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that

hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man

shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the

plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall

take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out

of the holy city, and from the things which are written in

this book. He which testifies these things says, Surely I

come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace

of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

- Revelation 22:16-21

Jesus Himself ordained that the future be shown to His followers in the Book of Revelation. The Holy Spirit declares that the offer to live in eternity with God is open to anyone who thirsts after the righteousness of God. It is so important that the truths of God are represented accurately to people that a curse is pronounced upon those who would change the truths that are in the Book of Revelation.

The last verses in the Bible offer hope to those who have been burdened by life. Jesus is coming again and sooner rather than later. If you accept His free gift of salvation, then His grace will be with you in this life and for eternity.


This concludes Part Two of my book and the prophecies that Jesus will fulfill with His second coming. As we just read, Jesus said that He was coming quickly. It has been nearly two thousand years since He spoke these words. That means that we are two thousand years closer to His second coming and the fulfillment of all these prophecies. As I stated at the beginning of this book, I believe that God has given us the timing of these events in His word, the Holy Bible. I will now address that subject in Part Three.


1     I Corinthians 13:12

2     I Corinthians 2:9

3     John 7:38-39

4     Genesis 3:17-19

5     Psalm 90:4

6     II Peter 3:8

7     Revelation 1:3

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