Revelation 20 ends with the elimination of Satan and his hosts.
Revelation 21 opens with a vision of a new heaven and a new earth.
Revelation 21:1-5 carries the promise that God is making all things new. In what ways does this reflect the Genesis creation account? (Genesis 1-2). What are the differences?
The word translated as “new” in Revelation 21:1 emphasizes something that is new in form or quality rather than new, as in a “new” event in time. God’s purpose in the Genesis Creation remains unrealized until the promise to make all things new is fulfilled on the new earth. Hence the whole creation groans and longs for liberation (Rom. 8:20-22). God’s new creation, then, will consist of the liberation of the cosmos and the earth from their present states of incompleteness, and the bringing of them into conformity with His design. Consequently, while the new creation will definitely be different from the old, there will be some continuity between the two. Like the old, the new earth will be a real, tangible place inhabited with real, physical beings. The new earth will be a renewed earth, purified as it were, by fire (2 Pet. 3:10-13).
Read Revelation 21:11-22:5 in order to capture the physical aspects of the New Jerusalem, the capital city of the new earth. In what way does John’s description portray the reality of the city?
One thing is clear: we are talking about a literal, physical place. The pagan heresy of the physical being bad and the spiritual being good is, again, debunked by Scripture. Although words are limited in what they can convey, even inspired words, they can teach us to know that a real inheritance awaits us. How important it is to remember that this world, with all its imperfections, is not the way it was supposed to be; it is an aberration, one that Christ came to fix. In contrast, the depiction that we see in Revelation, no matter how hard it is for us (knowing only a fallen world) to grasp, is the eternal reality that awaits us. What a hope we have, especially compared to those who believe that death is the end of everything.