Sunday School Lesson – Sunday, November 6. 2016 Making All Things New
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Golden Text – “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).
Revelation 21:1 – 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. The Apostle John had been exiled on the isle of Patmos for his faith, while there he saw a vision of the end times. In this new world, the Apostle saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven. This new Jerusalem is the church of God in its new and perfect state, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. New here suggests freshness, not just a second beginning, this is the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah 65:17 (For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered nor come into the mind). Significantly this eternal renewal has already begun in the life of the believer because using the same term, Apostle Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new – 2nd Corinthians 5:17).
The present heaven and earth, including the sea, were burned up in the great white throne judgment and have passed away prior to the arrival of the new heaven and earth. The blessed presence of God with His people is here proclaimed, the presence of God with His people in heaven will not be interrupted as it is on earth, but He will dwell with them continually. They shall be His people, God Himself will be their God. This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow. All tears shall be wiped away, God Himself, as their tender Father, with His own kind hands, shall wipe away the tears of His children. All the causes of future sorrow shall be for ever removed, there will be no more sickness, diseases, or anything that will defile. The new Jerusalem will be as it was in the beginning when God created the Garden of Eden, holy and without sin.
Revelation 21:2 – And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. A woman never looks finer than on her wedding day. The city is as beautiful as a bride who adorns herself with a special hairstyle, dress and accessories for her husband-to-be, so God will adorn this city with beauty for the joy of His saints. Its perfect appearance will match the holiness of its residents. This is why we must prepare ourselves now, prior to death to live in the city of God. We can’t live according to the world’s ways and actions and expect to have entrance into heaven. This is the reason why God gave us an instructional manual, called the Bible to follow the instructions He has given us as believers.
Revelation 21:3 – 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. God’s presence in the heavenly city, however, will be no temporary sojourn, for its residents will be His people, and God Himself will abide with them and be their God. “His people” emphasizing that God’s redeemed will come from all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues. God will abolish all the sufferings of the past. God will have a relationship with us as He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they communed with God daily until they sinned against Him. In the new Jerusalem, there will be no sinful nature or disobedience. Sin can’t come before God, so prior to our departure from earth to heaven, we will become a sinless state, known as the re-birth while being continually created in the image of God and His Son for entrance to heaven.
Revelation 21:4 – 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. God will fulfill His promise from Isaiah 25:8 (He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it).
There will be no more death, no more pain, sufferings, and sorrow. The believer’s rebirth through faith in Christ brings newness to that person’s life, but it is only in the eternal state that God will make all things new. This is why we must have godly sorrow that will bring repentance to salvation with sanctification prior to death. Many receive salvation,but they don’t allow God to sanctify them, which brings about a spiritual change in the heart, mind, and will. Salvation is like paying an insurance premium, rather than paying monthly, we’re paying daily by presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, not being conformed to the world, but our minds being transformed and conformed to the written word of God. As we submit ourselves to God, we’re living in obedience, so whenever death comes, through our faith in Christ and our obedience to the word of God will give us entrance to live in the new Jerusalem. The past hurts and disappointments will be wiped from our minds, we will no longer remember them. God Himself will wipe away our tears and we will rejoice in the new Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:5 – And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. John saw God sitting on the throne, he heard Him announce He was making all things new and instructed John to write what he heard. John’s writing of what he heard, gives us information on what to look for with our transformation from earth to heaven, it makes us have expectation and determination to live according to the instructions of God’s written word for the believer.
Revelation 21:6 – And He said unto me, it is done. I am Alpha and O’me-ga, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. It is done echoes the voice from the throne that proclaims the completion of God’s wrath being poured out on Babylon. Here the completion of the new creation by Him who is Alpha and Omega of all things is the focus. “Water of life” may be recalling Jesus’ references to the living water in John 4:14 (But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life). With the connection with eternal life and life in the Holy Spirit. Those who overcome by faith in Jesus will inherit all these things. God will be their God and call them His sons forever. Those who reject Jesus will experience the second death in the lake of fire. Many believe because of God’s love they will not go to hell, but God doesn’t choose hell for us, He has given us a choice where we will spend eternity,
Revelation 21:7 – He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. He who overcomes will inherit not only the specific promises to the churches but all things. The most wonderful part of this inheritance is that the believer will be a son. Sonship is a special honor associated with the Davidic covenant and includes privileged intimacy with God and the authority to rule.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. The characteristics of those who are not in Christ through faith, the unbelieving are described as destined for the lake of fire. The “fearful” are not those who are faint-hearted in their faith or who sometimes doubt or question, but those who turn back from following God. They are not brave enough to stand up for Christ, they are not humble enough to accept His authority over their lives. They are put in the category of the unrepentant, abominable, murders, those practicing demonic arts. The second death is spiritual death, meaning either eternal torment or destruction, in either case, it is permanent separation from God.