The New Creation
Open Your Bible
Revelation 21:1-27, 1 Corinthians 15:42-49, Colossians 3:1-4
BY Guest Writer
As the consummation of redemptive history unfolds, God’s plan is nearly complete, and Revelation 21 and 22 tell us what will be regained and restored. But at this point in the narrative, it’s helpful to remind ourselves not just what we will gain, but what will be lost.
In the first garden, when sin entered the world, perfection was broken, marred and spoiled. A seemingly unbridgeable chasm was created between what God had intended and what humanity would now experience. Perfection was made imperfect. The devastating effect of our rebellion was all-encompassing, wrecking ourselves, our relationships, and creation. Nothing was left untouched.
Sin is the most aggressive of cancers. Let’s look at a few of its fatal symptoms.
Sin separates. The first and most catastrophic effect of the fall was how sin destroyed our intimacy with our Creator. Once His friends, we became His enemies. No longer able to enjoy intimate, unbroken fellowship with God, we hid. And as a result of our sin, we were ejected from the garden. In His mercy, God spared Adam and Eve from staying in Eden and eating from the tree of life, which would have left us forever broken (Genesis 3:22–24).
Sin sentences us to death. Expelled from Eden, humanity was lost, but not beyond restoration. There is hope for the fallen, but we are not spared death, which is the second consequence of sin. Every person will succumb. No one can escape it. Our bodies are breaking down. Death looms for us and our loved ones. Though we will be raised to life in Christ, most of us will mourn many times over before we see our Maker. Death, mourning, crying, and pain are the result of the fall, full of emotions we were never meant to experience.
Sin spoils everything. Not only does sin separate and sentence us to death, it spoils and ruins. Eden was pristine, peace-filled, and perfect. After the fall, what would have been eternally new was now destined for decay. Creation was fractured, and humanity was plunged into conflict with the rest of God’s creatures. Now creation groans and travails awaiting the restoration of what was lost.
This is the backdrop of Revelation 21. Separation. Ruin. Decay. Death. God isn’t just creating a new heaven and a new earth, glorious as that is. No, He is restoring perfection, ridding us of all the residue and side-effects of sin. Look at what He promises.
What sin had separated, God rejoins. For the ancient Near East, water, particularly the sea, represented chaos and danger. Our new heaven and earth won’t have a sea. More profoundly, the chasm between Creator and creation has been closed. God now dwells with His people in a world where sin, decay, and death are no more. Where we once were destined for cyclical mourning, pain, and grief, we are now promised the joy and comfort of dwelling with God forever.
We were Adam and Eve’s co-conspirators, and we have lived with a death sentence ever since. But our God is now making all things new, putting an end to all that was broken. What we had forfeited, He has restored.
He was there at the beginning, our Alpha. And He is now standing at the End, our Omega. What He started, He is gloriously finishing.
Whitney Capps is a national speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her first book, Sick of Me (B&H Publishers) and bible study, We Over Me (LifeWay) both release in March 2019. Whitney is the founder of Simple Seminary, a place for the everyday gal to learn theology. She and her husband, Chad, are raising their four boys just outside Atlanta, Ga. You can connect with her at whitneycapps.com or on Instagram, @whitneycapps.