A New Heaven and a New Earth

2015 TGC National Conference


In this 50-minute session from the 2015 National Conference, Philip Ryken works from Revelation 21–22 to awaken a greater longing for our final home and a renewed hope in this life. Philip is President of Wheaton College. He has published more than 40 books, including commentaries on Exodus, Ecclesiastes, and Galatians. 



Take a moment and read through Revelation 21:1–22:5 again.

Revelation 21:1-27 (ESV)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.7The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.8But 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 sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

9Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,11having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.12It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—13on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.16The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.17He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.18The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass.19The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.24By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,25and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.26They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.27But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Revelation 22:1-5 (ESV)

The River of Life

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb2through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.3No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.5And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


When do you most long for home, for wholeness, for eternity?
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When has the Lord given you a taste or a glimpse of what heaven will be like? What was it?
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What pain, sorrow, sickness, or sin do you long to be free from? How does the knowledge that one day God will wipe away all your tears help you endure with it today?
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Philip ended his message with the same words that the Apostle John ended his Revelation. As you live this life, live in light of the glory of the coming Kingdom—of the New Heaven and the New Earth. And as you think about the eternal joy of living in the presence of God, let the refrain of your heart be, "Amen, Come Lord Jesus."


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