Hope after Hope Before Hope / Revelation 21
Advent is the promise that God has come to free His people. Revelation shows Him keeping it. We have faith in the promise offered and the promise kept.
Luke 2:8–17 ESV
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
When they Saw it. They came to the place where Christ was. Where He was born. Where He entered into the world. The shepherds were shown. They searched and He was there. He was present. But they found Him in their search.
In case we would forget, Jesus continually points us to Himself as the means to understand our eternal home
John 14:1–4 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
So by the time we get to Revelation, our hearts resting in Christ. We see that we no longer have to search or wait. We receive.
Revelation 21:1–3 ESV
Then 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. And I 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 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.
The sea is gone. Only God knows what to do with evil. Only He can truly master it. We have seen that in Revelation. We see that He removes it and brings renewal beyond it.
And we have no need to find God. Because God is with is. We don’t have to run to find HIm. He has found us. He has come to us.
Revelation 21:4–5 ESV
He 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.”
And 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.”
The church, the visible church, collectively as well experiences pain and loss. We do that together. But when we experience loss, we know all is not lost. When we cry ourselves to sleep we know there is joy in the morning.
Christ makes all things new. We see that in the advent and resurrection. We see it completed in Revelation 21.
There is a new heaven and a new earth. It is recreated. And we see a visible New Jerusalem descend down.
We know that just a few chapters earlier there was babylon. A city who was entirely destroyed. Destroyed by it’s own sin. couldn’t hold up under it’s own deception.
There is no place that does not carry within it the hope of the Gospel.
The world is still pregnant with the hope of the Gospel. With the need of the Gospel.
But the church, we are the ones who proclaim it. Who live it in reality.
You are here to proclaim the lived reality of Advent and the Parousia.
We wait in hope. not hopeless.
Even when it feels like our hope is leaking we remember that God reclaims even that which rebelled against Him.
He reclaims. He undoes we we have twisted up.
God will make all things new. Christ’s unrelenting effort on our behalf. His victory on the cross boldly proclaimed, It is finished.
In revelation 21 we get to see what the finished work looks like. It is not a perishable or transitory or temporary work. It is permanence for all who trust in Him.