The Spectacular God at the Center

2012 The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference


What can we expect to see in the new heavens and new earth? In this 84-minute session from the 2012 TGC Women’s Conference, Don Carson unpacks Revelation 21–22 to describe what will be new, missing, and central to the new Jerusalem.

Don is a New Testament scholar and professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is also the co-founder and president of The Gospel Coalition and author of numerous books including The God Who is There and The Intolerance of Tolerance.  


Before watching this session, what did you imagine heaven to look like and what did you anticipate it to be like? How did this session change your perspective?
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Take a few minutes to read or review Revelation 21 and Revelation 22:1–5. Don Carson described four things we see:

1. What is new (Revelation 21:1–8) 
  • Abolition of chaos, evil, death, tears, hunger, thirst
  • Resurrected bodies 
  • Sons of God
2. What is symbolic (Revelation 21:9–21)
  • The bride is the city    
  • The city is the Holy Place where God dwells
3. What is missing (Revelation 21:22–27) 
  • A temple 
  • The sun
  • The moon
4. What is central (Revelation 22:1–5) 
  • The water of life flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb
  • The face of God himself

Describe one thing you learned from this session that makes you think about God and eternity in a new way. What was the most surprising thing you realized? What was the most encouraging?
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What has been the most sorrowful season of your life? How does the knowledge that there will be no death or mourning in the new heavens and earth give you hope to endure sorrow on earth today?
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Don said, “The intimacies and joys of marriage are merely a picture of the intimacy to come between Christ and the Church.” How does this imagery of future intimacy with Jesus encourage you in your walk with Him?
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Don concluded, “Heaven centers absolutely on the One, the One Triune God. We shall see his face. And every joy will be perfected, every ecstasy will be beyond measure, every intimacy will be superb…and even then we will only be scratching the surface.”  


To learn more about The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference and how you can attend the next event, click here