Revelation 21 – A New Heavens, A New Earth, and A New Jerusalem [C] The temple of the New Jerusalem.

(ONE) (v.22 – v.23) GOD IS ALL IN THE NEW JERUSALEM.

But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

(a) But I saw no temple in it: In the ancient world, it was unthinkable to have a great city without many different temples.  It’s like saying today, “I saw a great city but I saw no bank in it” or “I saw a great city but I saw no shopping mall in it.”  This city is marked by the fact that there is no temple in it.

(bFor the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple: Here, ­­the temple is not removed, but expanded.  Every­thing and every place is holy and the dwelling place of God.

{i.} Before Jesus the temple was a prophecy.  In the Christian era God’s people are His temple.  In the Millennium the temple will be a memorial.  Here the temple is everywhere.

{ii.} “The inhabitants need no place of worship or sacrifice, the object of all worship being present, and the great sacrifice Himself being there.” (Alford)

(cNo temple . . . no need of the sun or of the moon: This reminds us that heaven will be a place of pure worship.  The things we use to help us worship, but often end up distracting us in worship (such as buildings, music systems, customs, and so forth) will no longer be an issue.  

Our focus will be totally on the Person we Worship,the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.

{i.} In heaven, none of our joy, beauty, or knowledge will be based on created things, but only on the Creator.  By faith, you can have it that way now.  You can decide to trust in God so completely that your joy, what you consider beauty, and your foundation of knowledge are all based on Jesus, and not on anything created.

(d) The Lamb is its light: Light speaks of joy, for in the Scriptures light and joy go together.  Light speaks of beauty, because without light there is no beauty.  Light speaks of knowledge and in heaven we will all know Him as He knows us.

(TWO) (v.24 – v.27) ACCESS INTO THE CITY.

And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

(aThe kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it: What about these kings of the earth?  Who are they?  This is difficult to understand, and different commentators have different suggestions.

{i.} “How encouraging to note that not all wer­e destroyed when the nations came to do battle­ against Jerusalem and the Lord Himself.  There will also be ‘kings of the earth’ who will be a part of the eternal state.” (Hocking)

{ii.} “Among the mysteries of this new heaven and earth this is set forth to us: that, besides the glorified church, there shall still be dwelling on the renewed earth nations, organized by kings, and [xxii. 2] saved by means of the influences of the heavenly city.” (Alford)

(b) There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles: Does this mean that such people will threaten the city?  It isn’t necessary to say that this is the idea, because all sinners and death have been cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).  Instead, “the exhortation warns present readers that the only way to participate in the future city is to turn one’s loyalties to the Lamb now.” (Johnson)

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