Rev 21- Heaven Or Hell – Who’s Going Where?

Click on the image to see the text. Click on the arrow to see the video.

I. Video Details.

David Phelps – No More Night (Live). Oct 4, 2012. Gaither Music TV. In the opening video David Phelps sings of the conditions that will be present when the thousand year Kingdom Age ends, the present world is destroyed, and the Eternal State of the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem is revealed to the Apostle John, who was the human writer of the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:11).

II. Key Verses. The following two verses describe the New Jerusalem as it will be in the Eternal State (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, Dr. John F. Walvoord (Deceased)). Dr. Walvoord’s credentials can be found in my About Sources Page of this site.

Revelation 21:2 (KJV)
2 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 21:10 King (KJV)
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, (he is an angel of vs 9, mine).

III. Introduction. Most people use the terms of “Heaven and Hell” to relate to the eternal destinations for all of humanity, as to whether they have been “good or bad”. However, the eternal home for those whom have been born again will be in the New Jerusalem; such people are Christ’s (1 Cor 15:23), and relates to Old Testament saints, New Testament saints, and martyred Tribulation saints. Those whom are not Christ’s will find their eternal destination to be the in the “Lake Of Fire” (Rev 20:15). In this twenty-first chapter of Revelation we will discuss the subject of the Eternal State of “the New Heaven and New Earth, and the New Jerusalem.” We will discuss those whom will, and will not, enter the New Jerusalem. People whom are Christ’s have been born again. People whom are not Christ’s have not been born again. Being born again means to have one’s spirit, “born from above,” which is by an act of God’s Holy Spirit (John 3:8).

A. Let’s consider the inhabitants of the Kingdom Age of Rev 20, which is also known as the thousand year Millennium. It will be from the Kingdom Age that the occupants of the New Jerusalem will come. It will be necessary for all whom enter the New Jerusalem to have bodies and souls that are “sinless, perfect and eternal,” as a result of bodily perfection that will come from rapture or resurrection, per 1 Cor 15:50 (KJV), “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Additionally, all whom enter the New Jerusalem Kingdom Age must have been born again (John 3:3). In the following sub-paragraphs we will address those whom will, and will not, go from the Kingdom Age into the New Jerusalem.

1. Church age saints will inhabit the New Jerusalem. Coming with Christ from Heaven to Earth for the Battle of Armageddon will be the resurrected and raptured born again believers in Christ. (John 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Rev 19:11-14).

2. Old Testament Saints will inhabit the New Jerusalem. These saints, including those of the Gospels, will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation (Dan 12:1-2).

3. Tribulation Martyred Saints will inhabit the New Jerusalem. These saints will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation (Rev 20:4).

4. Surviving Tribulation Saints will inhabit the New Jerusalem. Those whom will be left behind from the rapture, and who later come to saving faith in Christ during the Tribulation, Jew and Gentile, will be allowed to enter the Kingdom Age. (Matt 24:40-41, Jews; Matt 25:34, Gentiles). These saints will enter the Kingdom Age in imperfect bodies and souls, but having been born again. They will be given eternal and perfect resurrection bodies (body and soul) during the Kingdom, which will allow them to inhabit the New Jerusalem. These saints will have children during the Kingdom Age, as is discussed in the next paragraph.

5. Those whom are born to surviving Tribulation saints during the Kingdom Age may, or may not, inhabit the New Jerusalem. No one whom is born during the Kingdom Age will have a born again spirit upon their birth; they must accept Christ as their Lord and Savior in order for them to enter the eternal state. They must have perfect eternal resurrection “bodies, souls and spirits,” which will come from their having accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. (Rev 20:15).

6. Restated, the born again experience must take place in the life of each person before entry into the Kingdom Age and New Jerusalem are permitted. In addition to being born again, all whom enter into the New Jerusalem must have an eternal and perfect, “body, soul, and spirit,” all of which must have come from spiritual acts of God, “new-birth and resurrection.”

B. Who are the people which will not enter the Kingdom Age, “the thousand years prior to the New Jerusalem?” Such people are those whom will not have not been born again (Dan 12:1-2; John 3:3; Mt 24:40-41; Mt 25:41). These people are the unsaved dead of all times (Rev 20:11-13). The unsaved living survivors of the Tribulation will be taken in death, to be resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgement of Rev 20:15 (Matt 24:40-41; Matt 25:41).

C. Who will rule and reign with Christ during the Kingdom Age? These will be people whom have resurrection or raptured bodies.

1. Old Testament Saints (Dan 12:3; Matt 19:28.)
2. New Testament Saints (1 Cor 6:2.)
3. Tribulation Martyred Saints (Rev 20:4).

D. Who “will not” rule and reign with Christ during the Kingdom Age?

1. All whom will be born again during the Tribulation. They will not have resurrection bodies and souls when they enter the Kingdom. Prior to the time of entering the New Jerusalem, these Tribulation saints will be given perfect and eternal, resurrection bodies and souls. During the Kingdom Age, these people will be busy being “students of Christ,” (Isa 2:1-3).
2. All children who will be born during the Kingdom Age. Upon birth, they will not have resurrection bodies, souls or spirits. If they accept Christ as Savior, they will be given “perfect, eternal, and resurrection” bodies, souls and spirits which will allow them to enter the New Jerusalem. During the Kingdom Age, these people should be busy being “students of Christ,” (Isa 2:1-3). However, they may not be as such (Zech 14:16-19, Rev 20:7-9).

E. During the time of the Kingdom Age, who will rule and reign over whom?

1. In the Abrahamic Covenant, Jews are promised the land of Gen 15:18-22, which will not occur, in full, until the Kingdom Age. Surviving, born again, Jews of the Tribulation will occupy the promised land in mortal bodies. OT saints having been resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, will have resurrection bodies, souls and spirits, and will rule and reign over the Tribulation Jews. The Abrahamic Covenant relates to Jews of all times, with details of that promise going back to the Davidic Covenant in 2 Sam 7. The promised land will extend from the River of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) to the Euphrates River in Iraq (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Allen E. Poss).

2. Surviving, born again, Tribulation Gentiles will enter the Kingdom Age in natural bodies, and will reside beyond the boundaries of the promised land; they will come and go, to and from, the promised land of Gen 15:18-22 (Zech 14:16-19). Born again saints of the Church Age, and the martyred and resurrected Gentiles of the Tribulation, will have resurrection bodies, souls, and spirits; they will rule and reign in the area that is beyond the promised land of Gen 15:18-22, over those Gentiles that do not have resurrected bodies, souls and spirits.

3. Resurrected and raptured saints of the church age will be caught up and taken to Heaven by Christ, never to be absent from His Presence (John 14:2,3,6; 1 Thes 4:16-17). We, “church age saints,” will travel from Heaven to Earth with Christ during the Millennium, and back to Heaven with Christ, as we rule and reign with Him….back and forth….back and forth….back and forth. We will go back and forth, from heaven to earth to heaven, for the 1000 year duration of the Kingdom Age. Because of the wording of 1 Thes 4:17, “so shall we ever be with the Lord,” church age saints will be present with Christ during the Kingdom Age, “ruling and reigning with Christ,” as He rules from Jerusalem. If Christ should leave the Promised Land, the church age saints will accompany Him.

4. Those in the Kingdom Age, having “perfect and eternal,” resurrection bodies, souls and spirits, will rule and reign over those not having such resurrection bodies. All of those whom will be in the New Jerusalem must have resurrection bodies. Imperfection and sin will be present during the Kingdom Age, as children are born, not having come to saving faith in Christ. Sin will escalate and lead to the Battle of Gog and Magog, as the Kingdom Age comes to an end (Rev 20:7-9). No imperfection will be allowed in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:27, Ryrie Study Bible).

IV. Scripture Study Details.

A. Introduction. Revelation 21 (NASB) Text and Comments. The NASB translation was chosen for the following scriptures of this article because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that address God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation. Scripture notes come from the Ryrie Study Bible, due to the demonstrated knowledge of scripture of Dr. Ryrie, and because of the concise way that he makes his thoughts known. The credentials of Dr. Charles Ryrie (deceased) can be found in the About Sources Page of this site. Everybody should have a Ryrie Study Bible.

B. Text. Revelation 21 (NASB).

The New Heaven and Earth

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. 18 The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

C. Comments. Revelation 21. Ryrie Study Bible.

21:1. “a new heaven and a new earth.” The present creation will be destroyed so that it may be cleansed from all the effects of sin (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12). “No more sea” because climatic and human conditions will be completely different.
21:2. “new Jerusalem.” This heavenly city will be the abode of all the saints (Heb 12:22-24), the bride of Christ (vv 9-10), and the place Christ prepared for His people (John 14:2). During the Millennium the Jew Jerusalem (described in Rev 21:9-22:5) apparently will be suspended over the earth, and it will be the dwelling place of all believers during eternity (as is emphasized in 21:1-8).
21:3-4 People will enjoy a new intimacy with God and the elimination of those sorrows that sin brings.
21:8. Those whose lives can be characterized in these ways will be cast into the lake of fire, because they have shown themselves to be unbelievers. “brimstone = sulphur.
21:11. The city will shine with the “glory of God,” like “crystal-clear Jasper,” which will allow that glory to shine brilliantly.
21:12-14. Though both Jewish saints and Christian saints will inhabit the city, the names of the “twelve tribes” and the “twelve apostles” are a witness to their continued distinction.
21:16-17. Shaped foursquare like a cube, the city is 1380 mi (2,220 km) on each face, including height, with a wall 72 yd (66 m) thick. It has been calculated that even if only 25 percent of this space were used for dwellings, 20 billion people could be accommodated spaciously.
21:19-20. “chalcedony.” Probably a greenish blue agate stone. (The exact composition and color of all these precious stones is unknown.) “sardonyx.” Bright red. “chrysolite.” Golden in color. “beryl.” Sea green. “topaz.” Yellow-green. “chrysoprase.” Apple green. “jacincth.” Blue. “amethyst.” Purple.
21:24. Whether these “nations” and “kings” are millennial people or resurrected people in the eternal state is unclear. In either case, only the redeemed will be allowed to enter the city (v. 27).

V. Conclusion. Verses of judgment and condemnation. In the verses that follow, are the lifestyles of people whom have not been born again, “those whom are not Christ’s.” There are differences, however, in the verses that identify such non-believers. Those whom are alive during the time prior to the tribulation had been exposed to Christ by eyewitnesses of our Lord, and by those whom had been won to Christ by those whom had been won to Christ by converts of eyewitnesses (from the first century until now). Because only eyewitnesses of Christ had actually seen the Truth of Christ, “those whom had not/have not seen our Lord” based their decisions to accept Christ as Lord and Savior on faith, which will be the case of those which will be martyred tribulation saints. Those whom will live during the Kingdom Age as unbelievers will have the physical Presence of Christ in their lives, and will come under His teaching. In Rev 21:8 such words as “cowardly, fearful, liars,” along with the other verse qualifiers, show a lifestyle of unbelief in Christ, of not having been born again. All whom have direct access to the Person of Christ and to His teachings, should have no reason to be cowardly, fearful, or liars. But, because of their not having been born again, such Kingdom Age unbelievers will find their eternal destination to be in the Lake Of Fire (Rev 20:15), because they did not receive the Person and teaching of Christ; they were born in the Kingdom Age as unbelievers, and will exit the Kingdom Age as unbelievers. In essence, those of Rev 21:8, have not been born again (John 3:3). It is important to know that “Kingdom of God” can relate to the Millennium or to the Eternal State, depending on context. John 3:3 and 1 Cor 6:9-10 directly relate to the Millennium. However, those whom have been born again will also enter into the New Jerusalem of the Eternal State.

A. Pre-Tribulation

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

B. Post Tribulation.

Revelation 21:8 (NASB)
8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:8 (KJV)
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

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