Bible Reading: Revelation 21:1-27
In this series I have not wanted to get into some of the controversial areas of teaching concerning the events of the last days and the order of events. There are various opinions on these issues but there are certain things that are very clear.
Jesus will reign on the earth for a thousand years [Revelation 20:4-6]. Satan will be released for a short season and then be sent to the lake of fire where he will be tormented forever [Revelation 20:7-10]. Then comes the judgment and the giving of rewards for good works [Revelation 20:11-15], and after this the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and all things will be made new. There will be a new heaven, a new earth and a New Jerusalem. We will inhabit the new earth. It will be Eden restored as God originally intended. When the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven it will be where the Lord God and the Lamb dwell [see Revelation 21:22]. It will have twelve gates like the old Jerusalem but the gates will never be shut [Revelation 21:12-13, 25]. God will come down to the new earth and dwell among men.
Now we need to return to God’s original intention that has never changed, and look back to the Book of Genesis. In the beginning man was made to have fellowship with God. He was placed in the Garden of Eden and given both responsibility and work. It was man who was given the responsibility to name all the living creatures, and to have dominion over them. Man was given the job of cultivating the garden. All this happened before the fall and the curse of sin. In the new earth we will have responsibilities and we will work. There will be trees to be cultivated – remember the tree of life bearing fruit every month [Rev. 22:4], and there will also be different levels of responsibility. For example, there will be kings on the new earth [Revelation 21:24]. Literally, in the words of John Milton, the paradise that was lost will be restored, and at its heart will be the Lamb who was slain. He will receive and glory and power and dominion forever and ever.
Does this picture of our eternal destination differ from that which you previously understood? In what way does it differ?
Do you think that the different responsibilities and positions on the new earth will be directly connected to the rewards that Jesus will give for the works that people have done?