Revelation of John 21* A new heaven, and new earth: the new Jerusalem where Goddwells, and banishes all sorrow from his people. (1-8) Itsheavenly origin, glory, and secure defence. (9-21) Its perfecthappiness, as enlightened with the presence of God and the Lamb,and in the free access of multitudes, made holy. (22-27)1-8 The new heaven and the new earth will not be separate fromeach other; the earth of the saints, their glorified, bodies,will be heavenly. The old world, with all its troubles andtumults, will have passed away. There will be no sea; this aptlyrepresents freedom from conflicting passions, temptations,troubles, changes, and alarms; from whatever can divide orinterrupt the communion of saints. This new Jerusalem is thechurch of God in its new and perfect state, the churchtriumphant. Its blessedness came wholly from God, and depends onhim. The presence of God with his people in heaven, will not beinterrupt as it is on earth, he will dwell with themcontinually. All effects of former trouble shall be done away.They have often been in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction,of the calamities of the church; but no signs, no remembrance offormer sorrows shall remain. Christ makes all things new. If weare willing and desirous that the gracious Redeemer should makeall things new in order hearts and nature, he will make allthings new in respect of our situation, till he has brought usto enjoy complete happiness. See the certainty of the promise.God gives his titles, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and theEnd, as a pledge for the full performance. Sensual and sinfulpleasures are muddy and poisoned waters; and the best earthlycomforts are like the scanty supplies of a cistern; whenidolized, they become broken cisterns, and yield only vexation.But the joys which Christ imparts are like waters springing froma fountain, pure, refreshing, abundant, and eternal. Thesanctifying consolations of the Holy Spirit prepare for heavenlyhappiness; they are streams which flow for us in the wilderness.The fearful durst not meet the difficulties of religion, theirslavish fear came from their unbelief; but those who were sodastardly as not to dare to take up the cross of Christ, wereyet so desperate as to run into abominable wickedness. Theagonies and terrors of the first death will lead to the fargreater terrors and agonies of eternal death. 9-21 God has various employments for his holy angels. Sometimesthey sound the trumpet of Divine Providence, and warn a carelessworld; sometimes they discover things of a heavenly nature ofthe heirs of salvation. Those who would have clear views ofheaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount ofmeditation and faith. The subject of the vision is the church ofGod in a perfect, triumphant state, shining in its lustre;glorious in relation to Christ; which shows that the happinessof heaven consists in intercourse with God, and in conformity tohim. The change of emblems from a bride to a city, shows that weare only to take general ideas from this description. The wallis for security. Heaven is a safe state; those who are there,are separated and secured from all evils and enemies. This cityis vast; here is room for all the people of God. The foundationof the wall; the promise and power of God, and the purchase ofChrist, are the strong foundations of the safety and happinessof the church. These foundations are set forth by twelve sortsof precious stones, denoting the variety and excellence of thedoctrines of the gospel, or of the graces of the Holy Spirit, orthe personal excellences of the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven hasgates; there is a free admission to all that are sanctified;they shall not find themselves shut out. These gates were all ofpearls. Christ is the Pearl of great price, and he is our Way toGod. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparentglass. The saints in heaven tread gold under foot. The saintsare there at rest, yet it is not a state of sleep and idleness;they have communion, not only with God, but with one another.All these glories but faintly represent heaven. 22-27 Perfect and direct communion with God, will more thansupply the place of gospel institutions. And what words can morefull express the union and co-equality of the Son with theFather, in the Godhead? What a dismal world would this be, if itwere not for the light of the sun! What is there in heaven thatsupplies its place? The glory of God lightens that city, and theLamb is the Light thereof. God in Christ will be an everlastingFountain of knowledge and joy to the saints in heaven. There isno night, therefore no need of shutting the gates; all is atpeace and secure. The whole shows us that we should be more andmore led to think of heaven as filled with the glory of God, andenlightened by the presence of the Lord Jesus. Nothing sinful orunclean, idolatrous, or false and deceitful, can enter. All theinhabitants are made perfect in holiness. Now the saints feel asad mixture of corruption, which hinders them in the service ofGod, and interrupts their communion with him; but, at theirentrance into the holy of holies, they are washed in the laverof Christ's blood, and presented to the Father without spot.None are admitted into heaven who work abominations. It is freefrom hypocrites, such as make lies. As nothing unclean can enterheaven, let us be stirred up by these glimpses of heavenlythings, to use all diligence, and to perfect holiness in thefear of God.
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