There is much that can be said about the images in Revelation about the New Heavens and New Earth. Yet, none of the commentary about the text is very helpful when we consider why the text was written. In class, we talked about the fact that Revelation can be summarized by saying:
“Things are going to get worse before they get better, but God wins in the end.”
This is a great phrase, but it still does not answer the question of why the book of Revelation is in the Bible. It does not answer the question of why the text is so secretive and coded with its message. It does not help us to understand if there are “signs of the End of Time”. While it gives us a hope for the future, it does not give us a deadline for the fulfillment of that hope.
In Revelation, there are pictures of New Heavens and New Earth, of lions and lambs peacefully being together, of beautiful structures coming from the sky. There are pictures of pain, judgement, and plagues. There are pictures of death and resurrection. There are images that make sense, and there are images that we do not have any context with which to understand.
Read Revelation chapters 21 & 22 before responding to the questions.
(If you click the highlighted link, you will go to BibleGateway’s website)
What do you think the purpose of Revelation is? Why did God want to include a book that no one can fully understand in the Bible? Why is God so unclear about so many things? Is there a purpose behind his decision to be unclear? Or, do you think we should/can know things clearly? When you think about or read the text of Revelation, how does it make you feel? What do you think the New Heavens and New Earth will be like? What do you look forward to the most? What do you hope the New Heavens and New Earth will NOT be like? Is there anything you do not want to be in the New Heavens and New Earth?