Topic: The Lords Supper
5 Now, for the second time in the book, God himself is the speaker (cf. 1:8). From his throne comes the assurance that the one who created the first heaven and earth will indeed make all things new (panta kaina). This is a strong confirmation that God’s power will be revealed and his redemptive purposes fulfilled. Since these words are in truth God’s words (cf. 19:9; 22:6), it is of utmost importance that this vision of the new heaven and the New Jerusalem be proclaimed to the churches
6-8 With the same word that declared the judgment of the world finished, God proclaims that he has completed his new creation: “It is done” (gegonan; cf. 16:17). The names of God, “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” emphasize his absolute control over the world as well as his creatorship of everything (cf. comments at 1:8 and see 22:13).
To those who thirst for him, God offers the water of life without cost (cf. 7:17; 22:1, 17; John 7:37-39; Rom 3:24). Here salvation is beautifully depicted by the image of drinking at the spring of life. Twice in these last two chapters of Revelation, God offers an invitation to those who sense their need and are drawn toward him. John knows that the visions of God’s glory among his people, which he is proclaiming as the Word of God, will create a thirst to participate in the reality of this glory. Nothing is required except to come and drink.
Those who come and drink and remain loyal to Christ as overcomers (nikao, see comments at 2:7, 11, et al.) will inherit all the new things of the city of God. They will be God’s children, and he will be their Father. This is the essence of salvation–intimate, personal relationship with God himself, age upon age unending (cf. John 17:3). For John this is really what the heavenly city is all about.
Before John shows us the city, however, he must first confront us with a choice. This choice must be made because there are two cities: the city of God and the city of Babylon. Each has its inhabitants and its destiny. Those who drink from salvation’s springs supplied by God himself are true followers of Christ. The “cowardly” (deilos, “fearful”) are those who fear persecution arising from faith in Christ. Not having steadfast endurance, they are devoid of faith (Matt 8:26; Mark 4:40; cf. Matt 13:20-21). Thus they are linked by John to the “unbelieving” and “vile” (a participial form of the verb bdelyssomai, “detest,” “abhor,” which is used of idolatry [Rom 2:22]). They are called “murderers” because they are guilty of the death of the saints (17:6; 18:24). The “sexually immoral” (fornicators), practitioners of “magic arts, the idolaters and all liars” are those associated with idolatrous practices (cf. 9:21; 18:23; 21:27; 22:15; contrast 14:5). By their own choice, Babylon, not the New Jerusalem, is their eternal home (Caird). Thus, this passage is not a picture of universal salvation in spite of man’s recalcitrance, though it contains a universal invitation for all who thirst to drink the water of life.
In this section (21:9-22:5), the vision of the New Jerusalem introduced in vv. 1-8 is fully described. (For reasons why this section does not describe the millennial kingdom of ch. 20, see comments at introduction to ch. 20.) Verses 9-14 focus on the description of the gates and the walls of the city. This is followed by the action of the angel who measures the city and John’s precise mention of the precious stones in the twelve foundations (vv. 15-21). Finally, he describes various aspects of the life of the city (21:22-22:5).
Illustration: There were three churches that had problems with Squirrels. The Squirrels were running around and disrupting the services. You could hear them in the attic. The Presbyterians got together and prayed and came to the conclusion that they were predestined to have these squirrels so theft him. The Methodists prayed and determined that the squirrels must be removed, but humanely so that they are not harmed. They gently trapped these Squirrels and moved them to the park. Three days later the squirrels were back in the church. The Baptists had a different solution. They grabbed the Squirrels, baptized them and made them members of the church and now they only see them twice a year on Christmas and Easter. I have a New Year’s resolution that we don’t baptize any squirrels this year. In other words, let us baptize men and women, boys and girls who will be committed to Christ and His church.
I. I am making all things New (v5)
How can this happen? How can all things be made new? Only by the power of God.
God, Himself is making all things new. I make and am making all things new.
a) The new is something totally different. God is in the process of making you new. You can be new because of this wonderful salvation that is offered to you. Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected from the grave. This resurrection power changes you forever. When Christ touches a life, He changes that person. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper because God changed us and he can change others as well.. Some of your hearts are so cold! You are not moved by tears when people want to know Christ.Acts 2:47 “It is God who adds to our number daily.”
b) This new is more than newness on this earth. It is eternity with God. This leads to a fantastic new that is beyond our comprehension. Read verses 3-4. 1 Cor. 15:50-57. It is not our flesh that can inherit the Kingdom of God, but our spiritual lives. Christ is making you completely new. One day soon, you will be transformed. Every time we eat of this bread and drink of this cup, we remember that there is something much better awaiting us. Your pastor does not fear death. Some of my friends have said I am crazy. Perhaps that is true. However, we must all come to the point where we do not fear death. Once we stop fearing death, then we can really start to live. John Piper takes children of his church to the zoo and there he shows them the lions and tells them that they might be eaten by them one day. You say that is lunacy! Perhaps, but your pastor has told his little girl to be ready at all time for death. Why, because this life is only a shadow of what is to come. Heaven is a reality.
Illustration: I dreamed of my grandmother Kate in heaven. She was so real! She was in her flower bed and caring for her flowers. It was as real as if I am talking to you. Heaven is a reality. One day those who are called by His name will experience this wonderful place where everything is new. We will have new bodies and every human limitation and weakness will pass away.
II. Let us thirst for God.
It be new in thirsting for Him as never before (v6) Ps 42:1-2 You who drink of this cup will never thirst again. The key is that we become thirsty for the right thing. Those who thirst for God will never thirst again. Tonya hates me to tell this story, but it is so apropos. We ran through the fields together. God wants you to run through the fields with Him. As you drink this cup and eat this bread, you are stating to God that you wish to thirst for Him more. You want to be radically in love with Him. God is searching for men and women who are passionately in love with Him. Will you be such a one?
III. New through your perseverance (v7)
There is a tension in the Scriptures. On the one hand, we are kept by God. On the other hand, we must persevere until the end. Do not be deceived, if you have started and have turned from the narrow gate and the narrow way then you must fear that you are not from God. Use Abe Watson hers. Taking this cup and eating of this bread is an opportunity for you to make things right with God.
Illustration: Bobby Shipp was in college with Dad. Went to New Orleans. He married a woman named Barbara. Very successful pastor in a town. Barbara was very outgoing and vivacious. She did everything in the church and was loved by everyone. One day she was awakened and said, “I don’t feel good.” Bobby said, “You need to take a day off and rest.” A few weeks later, she awakened and said, “Bobby I’m sick.” Went to the doctor and he said you are overworked. Here are some vitamins. One morning she awakened and said, “I can’t move.” Her doctor rushed her to UAB. There, the doctor said, “it is too late, if you had gotten here a few weeks earlier she could have been saved. But it is too late.” She left a young husband and small children. Some things in life unless someone fixes it will go from bad to worse. Some of us are one step away from being unfixable. Attitudes and sins. We have an opportunity because God is making all things new He can make it new if you will only allow Him.
Rob has been pastor of Central Baptist since December 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Samford University, a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and a Ph.D. also from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also attended Beeson Divinity School and Wheaton College.
He has served as Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Double Springs, AL, Associate Pastor at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY, Evangelism Associate for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, and an Adjunct Professor for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
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