New Creation

Jesus is Victor  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:45
0 ratings

Christ's past deeds guarantee the believer's future and merits current obedience and fellowship.

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Many of you know that when football season starts, I will DVR the Chiefs games so that I can be fully present here without worrying about football. This is usually a good strategy because it enables me to keep first things first, but still enjoy watching a team that I was rarely able to watch while we served the Lord in Wisconsin.
A couple of weeks ago I watched the classic Harrison Ford movie, Air Force One. In that movie the President gives a speech in a foreign country at the same time that his favorite college team is playing. As soon as he boards Air Force One he asks the crew to play the game to his private quarters. Just as the game begins, one of the stewards congratulates the President on his favorite team getting the win. As his shoulders droop, viewers see the disappointment with the good news that comes from a well-intentioned fan.
There is something of a letdown when the outcome is known in advance. So I have to turn off my social media when I DVR the game or well-intentioned friends will erase my suspense.
On the other hand, I have a close friend (best man at our wedding) who is a fan of the Basketball team at a University to remain nameless in Lawrence, KS. A week ago he was at home alone and wanted something to feel good about, so he watched the 2nd half of the last championship game.
Knowing the outcome may remove suspense, but it can also bring great joy and comfort in our current struggle. Likewise, God has chosen to give us a glimpse at the final score so that we will be encouraged to stay in the game.
Transition: Today’s text does just that! We are reminded that what Jesus did in the past makes Him worthy to slay the Dragon in the Future so that we will increase our obedience and fellowship now!

God Provides a New Paradise (21:1-2)

Beautiful (v.11)

Adorned as a Bride (v.2c)
Radiant glory (v.11)

Huge (v.15)

At the risk of someone misunderstanding and thinking that I am saying the new Jerusalem is based in the United States, let me clearly state this is a SIZE comparison, not a suggested location!
Imagine one city that reaches from South Padre Island (where the Hatchers winter) traveling up the east range of the Rockies to North of Mount Rushmore, to the East to Niagara Falls to the Southern tip of Florida.
Transition: New is not always better. Some of the recent sports stadiums have been describes as spaceships and toilet bowls. In the case of the new Paradise, it is an improvement on current earth because…

Paradise is a Place of Presence and Purity (21:3-8, 22-27)

Dwelling Place (v.3,7)

I like the word dwell. It speaks of pitching a tent. A dwelling is not always permanent, but it is a place that we “make into a home”
Paths are made for journey, but dwelling is meant to abide.
Houses speak of shelter, but homescommunicate hospitality.
Dwellings can be either a tent, a cabin, a resort or a palace, but dwellings always involve occupants.
God will dwell with his people. (v.3)

Restoration (v.4)

Wiping of tears and removal of pain speaks to me of respite & Comfort.

Remedy for thirst (v.6)

Without cost

Removal of Cowards (v.8)

Cowardice is an unusual way to describe evildoers. I believe it hints of the two ways explained by Christ. Cowards are those who choose the wide road that leads to destruction that is full of many who find it. Conquerors are those who chose the narrow path found by few, but leads to life.

Wholesome Activity (vv.24-27)

I see lots of activity, travel and industry
All activity and all residents are “clean”
Transition: Imagine with me a place bustling with activity, but no conflict.

Paradise is a place of Peace (21:9-14)

No more Sea (v.1c)

Sea in ancient literature referred to the torrent of calamity.
We are familiar with Wind and Floods, but run through your mind all the times Jesus taught his disciples surrounding the sea. It was a place of sudden storms, it was a place of frustrating fishing, it was a lifestyle He called them to leave.

Jews and Gentiles together as 1 people of God

V.12d – each gate was inscribed with a tribe of Israel
V.14b – each foundation was inscribed by New Testament Apostles.
Now if you are astute, you may be saying to yourself, “but Pastor, the Apostles were Jews themselves.” You would be correct, but the message of the apostles (those sent out) was to go to all peoples, as we will see in our next Sermon series through the book of Acts.
Transition: Peace is only possible where we exist under protection of a godly ruler…

Paradise is a Place of Protection (21:12-13, 17--21)

Tall (no gaps) Walls (vv.17-20)

144 cubits – a cubit was the length from the elbow to the fingertips (about 18 inches). So 144 Cubits would be around 210 feet or 20 stories. Each stadion was 607 feet, so the four walls in v.16 would be about 5500 miles in circumference.
Length - The entire Mexico/US Border is less than 2000 miles, so any fence in America is minute compared to what John sees. Height - In comparison, the Berlin Wall was 13 feet tall; The fence around our White House is 13 feet; Prison Fences of chain-link and Razor wire are about 15 feet tall; the Great Wall of China averages 26 feet, The Southern Boarder Wall is less than 30 feet.
2. It would be futile to attempt to describe each stone used in the foundations of the walls.
a. There is variety and brilliance
b. Jewels were taken as plunder in war so these jewels speak to the victory that the Lamb will achieve over His enemies.
c. Jewels were an indication of wealth. During the Tribulation, the Beast will hoard for himself the riches of the Earth, but in the new Earth God will have possession of all wealth.

Abundant, Open, Big Gates (12-13)

These gates are no mere water gap. The word John uses is pylon indicating something impressive like the tall gate in front of many of our ranches.
V.13 – 3 gates on each side
V.21 – each gate made of a single pearl
V.25 – gates are never closed
· How much security does a wall provide if the gates are never closed?
5. V.12 - each gate is guarded by a heavenly messenger who is more reliable than a CBP Agent!
Transition: While walled estates and gated communities are built to exclude predators, they all require supplies to be brought in, not so with God’s walled city because His self-contained community…

Paradise is a place of Provision (22:1-5)

Soothing, refreshing River (1-2a)

1. If the sea was an analogy for tempest, rivers were a source of blessing.
In July Ann and I drove through western Colorado to Colorado Springs. The flatlands were brown and dry. But I noticed there were many train trestles across what appeared to be dry river beds. I imagine the spring melt of the Mountain snow is carried by rivers to the flat Eastern farmland. Just as the season of river allows wells to be filled and parched earth to receive relief from the snowmelt, The river that flows from the throne of God distributes His blessing throughout His people.

Fruitful, restorative Tree (2b-3)

I was intrigued to read briefly of the Koch’s trip to Belize. Susan wrote about some of the plants and their medicinal uses. My Grandmother’s second husband had some unique hobbies in retirement. One was that he would graft branches from one fruit tree into the limbs of another, which meant he had trees that produced 2 types of fruit.
Both the trees in Belize and Grandpa Chuck’s orchard pale in comparison to the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem.
It produces 12 different kinds of fruit, year-round. While my tomato plants have both mature fruit and yellow blossoms, I can’t imagine a tree that produces 12 different fruits and would be in constant variety of blossoms to harvest.
Transition: The purity, peace, protection and provision of God’s new city are only possible because…

God Permeates the New Paradise (22:4-5)

Abundant Light (vv.4-5)

I haven’t quite figured out why dim lighting is considered “romantic”. Dim lights always make me wonder what is being hidden?
Isaiah 60:19 is the basis for the prophecy noted by John. Dating Isaiah is difficult (in order to understand the context to which Isaiah was speaking). Some believe Isaiah is so specific, it had to have been written AFTER the Babylonian captivity, during the time of Nehemiah and Ezra. I believe the 74 references to Hezekiah, Sennacherib and Assyria indicate that Isaiah’s ministry was at least 100 years before the Babylonian captivity (740-700 BC) and that the precision can be attributed to the divine author knowing exactly what would happen!
Isaiah witnessed the fall of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria. He prophesied the coming fall of the Southern Kingdom to Babylon for their disobedience. But AFTER both of these, Isaiah believed Israel would be reestablished and he says in 60:19
Isaiah 60:19 ESV:2016
19 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
3. What I don’t believe Isaiah fully understood was that Israel would only be partially restored after Babylonian rule and would not achieve this fulfillment of the Lord replacing the sun and moon until after Jesus first coming, after coming tribulation and the millennial reign when eventually this corrupted earth is remade in Rev. 22.

The Reality of a Coming Paradise inspires Hope

I believe that just as Isaiah wrote to Jews who would suffer domination, should NEVER GIVE UP on God because He would restore Israel to a greater glory; John writes to believers suffering apparent dominion by the forces of Evil, that the story is not over!
Jesus gave John a glimpse into the future and told him to write it down so that we would NOT GIVE UP. We would remain faithful because a brighter day is coming.
Transition: There is coming a day when the God of Eternity will be present in every corner, nook and cranny of a new Heaven and a new Earth. But God is not going to force you into His presence.


You have the opportunity right now to express your intent. Have you ever been forced into the company of a person or persons that you didn’t want? It may be that aunt who pinches your cheeks or that uncle who tells corny jokes that nobody thinks is funny, except him (the first 30 times he told them).
The glory of the Gospel is that you can be with or away from God, however you choose. If you want to be with Him, He offers His grace and forgiveness to all who will repent of sin and call upon His name. If you want to be away from Him, you simply have to refuse to call upon Him and just keep doing life your way.
There are some people who wish to distance themselves from God. They don’t want to submit to His authority. They believe they can do better for themselves. The Lake that burns forever is where they will get exactly what they want. They won’t have to acknowledge God at all. They won’t have to put up with His mercy, they won’t have to endure His goodness. They simply get to live out the results of a life opposed to God.
On the other hand, there are people who desire to know God better. They desire that life would be lived in accordance with His will. They dream of closer fellowship with Him. They never tire of deepening their faith in His goodness, grace, and forgiveness. These people will get exactly what they long for as well. When I am near to the dear Lord I adore, it will through the ages be glory for me!
Song of Response #539... “O That Will Be Glory
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more