Revelation 21:1-8

Heaven - a dwelling place
Need to distinguish two different places referred to as Heaven.

Heaven when we die - temporary / intermediate
  Those we die in Christ are in the presence of God 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Philippians 1:21-24.
Heaven where we spend eternity - Described in Revelation 21

Revelation shows us the reality behind our reality.
We have seen the war being raged for our hearts and minds.
Jesus is coming back - He is on His way.
Jesus is coming not to bring things to an end but to usher in the next chapter.
When Jesus returns life finally begins!
Is that life going to be as fulfilling as this, will we have the same joy?

Heaven is not an epilogue / footnote to the story.
Jesus calls us to follow Him through this life not to the end of all things, but to the beginning in a new creation John 14:1-3.

Five aspects of / things about Heaven found in Revelation 21:1-8

(1) Heaven is physical.

Massive amount of continuity.
Heaven is not a place of eternal relaxation, or eternal boredom!
Bible starts with beginning, Bible ends with beginning - creation at both ends!

In Genesis we see physical and spiritual as both being integral parts of humanity.
God plans for us to be fulfilled in both.
Jesus came to redeem us - buy back all that was lost.
Jesus' resurrection - not just a spirit, he had a physical body!
Luke 24:30,37-43; John 20:20.27; 21:13; Acts 1:3.
His resurrection is a pattern for ours.

We will live on a new earth to worship and glorify God.
God has not redefined death - he has defeated it!
Heaven is physical.
God has not called us to escape our bodies, called to glorify God in our bodies 1 Corinthians 6:20.

Old earth destroyed or recycled?
Uncertain - could be both (what can be redeemed will be).
Destruction suggests too much power given to Satan.
In Romans 8 we read of this creation longing for our resurrection.

Difficult to comprehend - in our physical bodies we see sickness, aging, we see it as broken.
To us growing older speaks of getting weaker.

(2) Heaven is free of death, no more disorder / chaos,

No more sea - in apoclyptic literature the sea speaks of disorder / chaos.
We saw this in Revelation 4.
What if evil removed?
  No more aging, death.
  Growing older resulting in getting wiser, more like Christ, closer to Jesus.

No disorder in the Kingdom of God.
  Every residue of sin and the curse removed.
The curse undone as promised in Genesis 3:15.

We are a rejoicing people, we celebrate the life we have been given.
Believers are people of joyful song "What a Wonderful Saviour is Jesus".
We start to take our inheritance now.
We pursue holiness, we receive joy and hope.
Sin has no place in our life now, it has no place in eternity.

(3) Heaven is a city

In Genesis 1,2 we have a cultural mandate - subdue the earth.

We see the darkside of our modern cities.
God's solution - He brings His own!

People from every nation.
We are defined by our God, not our nationality.

(4) No more separation between God and His people Revelation 21:3.
This is explained more in Revelation 22 when considering the dimensions of the city.

Leviticus 26:11-12; Ezekial 37:27

We get God. God will walk with us.
To have God is to  have it all.
Pursue God above all else.

(5) Restoration of all things, God is making all things new

Revelation 21:6 It is done - there is no plan B.
His people will not be stripped of their inheritance, unmovable, unfading.
God is true forever - the Alpha and Omega

We are called to be light and salt in a world which is getting darker and tasteless.

Are you thirsty for more?
Disatisfied with current existance?
Living water springs from within John 7:38.
Jesus our source and our fulfillment.

In Revelation 21:8 we see a list of things which mark all of us.
The city we come from is not the issue.
Which city will you choose - will you follow the beast of the lamb.

Further Reading

Revelation 19:11-16
Isaiah 63:1-3; 11:1-5
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Revelation 19:17-21
Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
Ezekiel 39