In this last section of the Revelation to John we have moved past the realities of our present existence, past the sin which causes such a devastation on earth, past Satan and his unholy trinity who are the root cause of all the unhappiness in the world . We are now into the realm of God’s new creation. Last week we considered the first four verses of Chapter 21, in which we saw:
(i) The vision of the new heavens and the new earth (v.1)
(ii) The New Jerusalem – the bride of Christ – the church ( v.2)
(iii) An assurance of God ‘s eternal and comforting presence with his people (vv. 3&4)
Much of this section (i.e. vv. 3-4) and the section which we shall now consider is characterized by direct speech from the living God Himself. In vv. 5-8 we find Him making the following statements:(i) He will make all things new (v.5a)
(ii) He commands John to write these trustworthy and true words down (v.5b)
(iii) He explains who shall and who shall not inherit these new things (vv. 6b-8)
1. ALL THINGS NEW ! “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (V.5a)
Our passage begins with an announcement from the throne : "Behold, I am making all things new." (v.5), and then in v. 6 this is presented as an accomplished fact : "It is done"! This obviously refers to what John saw in the first two verses of Chapter 21 when he saw the revelation of the new heaven and the new earth, and when he saw the new Jerusalem , the bride of Christ , the church meeting her bridegroom.
God assures John here that there shall be a new earth and a new heaven. God’s people (symbolically known as the new Jerusalem- the bride of Christ) shall have new bodies and the life of God's people in that new dispensation will be a new life altogether. It is very difficult to comprehend this or to express all this in earthly language. We see this even in the way in which John struggles to express himself. His visions of the things to come are couched in symbolic language. This new creation is indescribable and uncontainable in human language. But this one thing we do know! We are made for greater things . We are made for God. We are made for worship. We are made for righteousness and not for evil , and so we long for that world where all this will be true!
2. WRITE THIS DOWN ! “Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
A new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem… really ? John and ourselves need to be reminded that this vision from Jesus is no fairy tale… “John , remind these people that these words are trustworthy and true”! God knows that these things may sound outlandish to us . He knows that the realities of heaven are so far removed from our present reality as we live in a fallen world , which many of us, unfortunately, have come to love more than the promises of God concerning this new heaven , this new earth. “John , write this down!” We have to be reminded that there is an ultimate reality so vastly grander and infinitely better than that which we currently experience.
Who says so, and on what authority? Credentials and credibility are important, because the secret question in many a heart is this: How do I know that this is true and not simply a fairy tale? As if God anticipates this question, He says to John: “Write this down! These words are trustworthy and true!
Consider Him who says these things:
(i) He who is seated on the throne (v.5) . Nothing is higher or more trustworthy than this throne.
(ii) He is the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."  (v.6) He is it! The Alpha is connected with the Omega - the one must inevitably lead to the other, and whatever lies between the Alpha and the Omega exists because of Him. He is the One who controls all things in such a way that His design is fulfilled and that His goal is reached. And the end goal is reached by the "revelation of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 1:1). He is the true and faithful Word of God (John Ch. 1). It is He that came of supernatural birth in the flesh. It is He that confirmed over and over again , in word and deed that He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world . ( Jn 1:29) . When He died on the cross of Calvary, He cried, “It is finished “ ! That is the work of salvation by which every true believer is made secure, and heaven is waiting for them. Notice then now that God also says here to John : “It is done !” (v.6a) What is done? Well, the end for which Jesus came was to usher in the kingdom of God. He died , and that work was finished. But the end had not yet come , because God in His mercy still had many sheep to be born, and when the last of His sheep is gathered in to the fold , the end has come ! That time is now announced here. “It is done!”. This is the end of the world as we know it . This is the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. This is the beginning of the new people of God in a new world free from evil and full of love!
And now as we speak, the whole world is divided into two kinds of people : those who accept this truthful testimony of this God and those who reject His words.
To these the Sovereign Lord now has these following words to say :
3. THE GREAT DIVISION ! (vv. 6b-8)
a. “To the thirsty I will give from the spring (fountain) of the water of life without payment. This is a promise to all that are ‘thirsty’ after this God (the fountain of the water of life) now! Jesus said in His beatitudes : “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness , for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6) Those who thirst for righteousness now in this world, shall be completely fulfilled when all things are made new. Just as water is an essential substance to sustain physical life, so the soul needs this living water to be sustained. As we have said, this spring of living water comes from the Tri-une God Himself. God the Father comes to us through our Lord Jesus Christ, who in Himself is also that fountain, as He said in Jn. 7:37, “If anyone thirsts , let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ “ This Lord Jesus, the Son of God Who took on the form of a man and Who dwelt among us as a man , Who showed us who God the Father is , and Who spoke the gospel by which countless people have been set free from their sin and guilt; this Jesus who died for our sins on the cross, this Jesus who was raised the third day for our justification; this Jesus who ascended to heaven and Who was exalted there, also gave us the promise of the Holy Spirit. And so, the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. He is the Spirit of life, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge and revelation, the Spirit of holiness and of sanctification. He not only constituted the true church of God on the day of Pentecost, but to this day He is with, and in every true believer. He too then is the source, the fountain, the spring from which this living water flows constantly out of God, through Christ, into the church. 
In short : The Triune God is our fountain of life and blessing now, in the midst of this difficult pilgrimage from the city of destruction to the heavenly city, where the love of God will flow to us as an unhindered stream into our lives. Here in our heavenly city we shall be deeply satisfied in the presence of our Tri-une God.
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.(v.7) Not only will we be deeply satisfied from the spring of living water, but we also learn that God's people shall inherit all things. The fact that they inherit points to the fact that they are considered to be family members of the eternal God. The phrase, “I will be his God and he will be my son...” further strengthens this conviction.
"All things"! Again, this is hard to image. Here on earth God's children are anything but heirs of the world. In the history of Christianity, more often than not , Christians have been deprived of things in this world. Yet, in the new world they shall inherit all things!
b. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.” (v.8) Here is the great division . There is a category of people described here who shall not inherit all these things, in the new heavens and the new earth. But they do inherit something too terrible to mention: the lake of fire.
Please note how these people are described :
· cowardly( Gr. deilia - timid or fearful) very likely refers to nominal Christians in the church, who loved this world too much and who never clearly stood with Christ. When pressure and trials come they become cowardly and unfaithful to Christ and His church.
· faithless (Gr. apistoi) are unbelievers who openly reject God and the gospel.
· detestable (Gr. bdeluktos- abominable, associated with idolatry )
· murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, liars…
These will not inherit the kingdom of God ( cf. Paul to the Galatians 5:21) , but that does not mean that they are therefore neutral or ignored by God . NO! The wrath of God will come upon them and they will end up in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death. The first death is the physical death that everyone must die in this life. The second death is associated with that terrible lake of fire , and it is not annihilation that is spoken of here, but the everlasting experience of the wrath of God without end. These words are faithful and true! God says : “There is no peace for the wicked” (Isa. 48:22)
The Bible is very clear on this division among mankind. For this reason the gospel has been given. Day and night through every generation before and since Christ had come to offer God’s terms of peace, gospel messengers have pleaded with people to leave this Sodom and Gomorrah, this Babylon , and to flee into the ark of God’s refuge which is in Christ the Lord. These words are trustworthy and true. Which side you are on ?
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” ( Hebr 3:7,15; 4:7). Listen to the voice of your Great Shepherd who has come to lead you away from this city, destined for destruction to the heavenly city . Amen!