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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

20 April 2014

 

As a pastor, I’ve talked to many people who, when faced with the loss of a loved one, try to find consolation in the thought of their dearly departed’s soul at rest among the clouds in heaven. The image often includes a harp, a halo, some wings, and a choir’s steady chorus of Kumbaya. I’ve never found much comfort in this image, and doubt that anyone who has actually endured a choir practice would find much excitement in an eternity of it.

 

<snip>

 

Whether we admit our need or not, we know that something in us just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. We can’t simply keep spouting the hollow platitude that death is a natural part of living. The reason death feels wrong is that, according to the Bible, it is.  Death is the enemy. But Easter makes an amazing claim. Yes, death is the enemy, but in Christ it is a defeated enemy. As astounding as it seems to say, as outlandish as it is to hear, a bodily resurrection awaits.

 

And this means that ultimately heaven is not our home. Instead, the Bible points Christians beyond it to a recreated, healed heavens and earth, the culmination of our regular prayer for God’s will to be done ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ At the final consummation of God’s Kingdom, these two places—heaven and earth—will be one and the same. God’s dwelling place will be with men (Revelation 21:2-3). A groaning creation, we’re told, awaits this day of liberation (Romans 8:19-21). Creation doesn’t long to be done away with, vaporized, replaced. It longs to be redeemed. So do we. We long for what Tolkien called ‘everything sad coming untrue’ and Lewis called ‘heaven working backward.’ The world doesn’t work the way it should. We don’t work the way we should. But one day, by God’s grace, we will.

 

And so the hope of Easter is the hope of living physically before the face of God, sustained by him for all eternity. ...

 

Read the full article here

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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

20 April 2014

 

As a pastor, I’ve talked to many people who, when faced with the loss of a loved one, try to find consolation in the thought of their dearly departed’s soul at rest among the clouds in heaven. The image often includes a harp, a halo, some wings, and a choir’s steady chorus of Kumbaya. I’ve never found much comfort in this image, and doubt that anyone who has actually endured a choir practice would find much excitement in an eternity of it.

 

<snip>

 

Whether we admit our need or not, we know that something in us just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. We can’t simply keep spouting the hollow platitude that death is a natural part of living. The reason death feels wrong is that, according to the Bible, it is.  Death is the enemy. But Easter makes an amazing claim. Yes, death is the enemy, but in Christ it is a defeated enemy. As astounding as it seems to say, as outlandish as it is to hear, a bodily resurrection awaits.

 

And this means that ultimately heaven is not our home. Instead, the Bible points Christians beyond it to a recreated, healed heavens and earth, the culmination of our regular prayer for God’s will to be done ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ At the final consummation of God’s Kingdom, these two places—heaven and earth—will be one and the same. God’s dwelling place will be with men (Revelation 21:2-3). A groaning creation, we’re told, awaits this day of liberation (Romans 8:19-21). Creation doesn’t long to be done away with, vaporized, replaced. It longs to be redeemed. So do we. We long for what Tolkien called ‘everything sad coming untrue’ and Lewis called ‘heaven working backward.’ The world doesn’t work the way it should. We don’t work the way we should. But one day, by God’s grace, we will.

 

And so the hope of Easter is the hope of living physically before the face of God, sustained by him for all eternity. ...

 

Read the full article here

For right now heaven is our home until after the tribulation when the earth has been cleansed and made new as the New Jerusalem and New Heaven.There will also be a new heaven above created.The Bible does not say if we will have access to that.

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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

20 April 2014

 

.....And this means that ultimately heaven is not our home.

 

Instead, the Bible points Christians beyond it to a recreated,

 

healed heavens and earth.... Read the full article here

 

 

?

 

Ultimately

 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;

 

but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,

 

and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:9-10

 

The Cosmos Burns

 

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,

 

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. Revelation 20:11

 

As The Heavens Scroll Open

 

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

 

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,

 

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2

 

Showing Heaven Coming Down To The New Earth

 

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

 

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

 

And there shall be no night there;

 

and they need no candle, neither light of the sun;

 

for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:3-5

 

Ultimately

 

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

 

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3

 

~

 

It is a relatively simple thing for us as Christians to sell short our hope, even at Easter, by setting our sights blandly on heaven as our final destination.

 

It presses deep into us in subtle ways.

 

In fact, we have let the Christian doctrine of the resurrection become so misapplied that we often can’t imagine anything better than a disembodied soul in a cloud-filled, harp-playing eternity.

 

The concept of resurrection, too often, has become synonymous with this generic concept of life after death. http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2014/04/heavens-important-but-its-not-the-end-of-the-world/

?

 

Why

 

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21

 

Is It So Hard

 

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

 

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee,

 

and thou be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6

 

For Some Folk To Preach The Destruction Of The Cosmos

 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

 

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

 

And So I Wonder, Why Not The Biblical Hope

 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

 

And these words, which I command thee this day,

 

shall be in thine heart: Deuteronomy 6:5-6

 

Of God's Heaven?

 

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. Psalms 42:1

 

~

 

Be Blessed Beloved Of The KING

 

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

 

And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. Number 6:24-27

 

Love, Your Brother Joe

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And the older we get, the more our bodies groan and creak awaiting their redemption.

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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

20 April 2014

 

As a pastor, I’ve talked to many people who, when faced with the loss of a loved one, try to find consolation in the thought of their dearly departed’s soul at rest among the clouds in heaven. The image often includes a harp, a halo, some wings, and a choir’s steady chorus of Kumbaya. I’ve never found much comfort in this image, and doubt that anyone who has actually endured a choir practice would find much excitement in an eternity of it.

 

<snip>

 

Whether we admit our need or not, we know that something in us just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. We can’t simply keep spouting the hollow platitude that death is a natural part of living. The reason death feels wrong is that, according to the Bible, it is.  Death is the enemy. But Easter makes an amazing claim. Yes, death is the enemy, but in Christ it is a defeated enemy. As astounding as it seems to say, as outlandish as it is to hear, a bodily resurrection awaits.

 

And this means that ultimately heaven is not our home. Instead, the Bible points Christians beyond it to a recreated, healed heavens and earth, the culmination of our regular prayer for God’s will to be done ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ At the final consummation of God’s Kingdom, these two places—heaven and earth—will be one and the same. God’s dwelling place will be with men (Revelation 21:2-3). A groaning creation, we’re told, awaits this day of liberation (Romans 8:19-21). Creation doesn’t long to be done away with, vaporized, replaced. It longs to be redeemed. So do we. We long for what Tolkien called ‘everything sad coming untrue’ and Lewis called ‘heaven working backward.’ The world doesn’t work the way it should. We don’t work the way we should. But one day, by God’s grace, we will.

 

And so the hope of Easter is the hope of living physically before the face of God, sustained by him for all eternity. ...

 

Read the full article here

For right now heaven is our home until after the tribulation when the earth has been cleansed and made new as the New Jerusalem and New Heaven.There will also be a new heaven above created.The Bible does not say if we will have access to that.

 

 

Hi Bo,

 

It is not after the Tribulation that the earth and heavens are created anew, it is after the Millennium and at the Great White Throne Judgement.  Read Revelation 20 thru to the end of Revelation for a better understanding.

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For right now heaven is our home until after the tribulation when the earth has been cleansed and made new as the New Jerusalem and New Heaven.There will also be a new heaven above created.The Bible does not say if we will have access to that.

 

The word "heaven" in Scriptures have more than one meaning, you know.

 

The sky is "heaven," the cosmos is "heaven," and then there is what Paul mentioned as "the third heaven".

 

Can you say with certainty that the "heaven" John mentioned here was "the third heaven"?

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Revelation 21:1 - 22:17
 

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

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. 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.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

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Revelation 21:1 - 22:17

 

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

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. 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.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

 

~

 

Amen~!

 

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalms 119:160

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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

20 April 2014

 

As a pastor, I’ve talked to many people who, when faced with the loss of a loved one, try to find consolation in the thought of their dearly departed’s soul at rest among the clouds in heaven. The image often includes a harp, a halo, some wings, and a choir’s steady chorus of Kumbaya. I’ve never found much comfort in this image, and doubt that anyone who has actually endured a choir practice would find much excitement in an eternity of it.

 

<snip>

 

Whether we admit our need or not, we know that something in us just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. We can’t simply keep spouting the hollow platitude that death is a natural part of living. The reason death feels wrong is that, according to the Bible, it is.  Death is the enemy. But Easter makes an amazing claim. Yes, death is the enemy, but in Christ it is a defeated enemy. As astounding as it seems to say, as outlandish as it is to hear, a bodily resurrection awaits.

 

And this means that ultimately heaven is not our home. Instead, the Bible points Christians beyond it to a recreated, healed heavens and earth, the culmination of our regular prayer for God’s will to be done ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ At the final consummation of God’s Kingdom, these two places—heaven and earth—will be one and the same. God’s dwelling place will be with men (Revelation 21:2-3). A groaning creation, we’re told, awaits this day of liberation (Romans 8:19-21). Creation doesn’t long to be done away with, vaporized, replaced. It longs to be redeemed. So do we. We long for what Tolkien called ‘everything sad coming untrue’ and Lewis called ‘heaven working backward.’ The world doesn’t work the way it should. We don’t work the way we should. But one day, by God’s grace, we will.

 

And so the hope of Easter is the hope of living physically before the face of God, sustained by him for all eternity. ...

 

Read the full article here

For right now heaven is our home until after the tribulation when the earth has been cleansed and made new as the New Jerusalem and New Heaven.There will also be a new heaven above created.The Bible does not say if we will have access to that.

 

 

Hi Bo,

 

It is not after the Tribulation that the earth and heavens are created anew, it is after the Millennium and at the Great White Throne Judgement.  Read Revelation 20 thru to the end of Revelation for a better understanding.

 

 I understood  that the New Jerusalem will be set up at the start of the Millennium not at the end of the Millennium.I will do more research.

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Heaven’s Important, But It’s Not the End of the World

20 April 2014

 

As a pastor, I’ve talked to many people who, when faced with the loss of a loved one, try to find consolation in the thought of their dearly departed’s soul at rest among the clouds in heaven. The image often includes a harp, a halo, some wings, and a choir’s steady chorus of Kumbaya. I’ve never found much comfort in this image, and doubt that anyone who has actually endured a choir practice would find much excitement in an eternity of it.

 

<snip>

 

Whether we admit our need or not, we know that something in us just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. We can’t simply keep spouting the hollow platitude that death is a natural part of living. The reason death feels wrong is that, according to the Bible, it is.  Death is the enemy. But Easter makes an amazing claim. Yes, death is the enemy, but in Christ it is a defeated enemy. As astounding as it seems to say, as outlandish as it is to hear, a bodily resurrection awaits.

 

And this means that ultimately heaven is not our home. Instead, the Bible points Christians beyond it to a recreated, healed heavens and earth, the culmination of our regular prayer for God’s will to be done ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ At the final consummation of God’s Kingdom, these two places—heaven and earth—will be one and the same. God’s dwelling place will be with men (Revelation 21:2-3). A groaning creation, we’re told, awaits this day of liberation (Romans 8:19-21). Creation doesn’t long to be done away with, vaporized, replaced. It longs to be redeemed. So do we. We long for what Tolkien called ‘everything sad coming untrue’ and Lewis called ‘heaven working backward.’ The world doesn’t work the way it should. We don’t work the way we should. But one day, by God’s grace, we will.

 

And so the hope of Easter is the hope of living physically before the face of God, sustained by him for all eternity. ...

 

Read the full article here

For right now heaven is our home until after the tribulation when the earth has been cleansed and made new as the New Jerusalem and New Heaven.There will also be a new heaven above created.The Bible does not say if we will have access to that.

 

 

Hi Bo,

 

It is not after the Tribulation that the earth and heavens are created anew, it is after the Millennium and at the Great White Throne Judgement.  Read Revelation 20 thru to the end of Revelation for a better understanding.

 

Revelation 21:2   tells me that the New Jerusalem will be set up at the start of the Millennium.

 

 

The timing of the New Heaven and New Earth, along with the New Jerusalem in not in the Millennium, but after the Great White Throne Judgement. In sequence, scripture tells us:

  1. Revelation 19:11-16: Christ returning
  2. Revelation 19:17-21: Battle of Armageddon - the beast and False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
  3. Revelation 20:1-6: Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for 1000 years, Christ rules for 1000 years. 
  4. Revelation 20:7-10: After the 1000 years are up, Satan is loosed for a time to gather another army against Christ, Satan looses and is cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone
  5. Revelation 20:11-15: Old earth and heaven flees, Christ sits on the Great White Throne Judgment  seat and the dead rise into judgment.
  6. Revelation 21:1-22:17: The New Heaven and New Earth appear, the description of what the New Jerusalem looks like and what it will be like living there.
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