Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’
He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.
The Bible begins with a wedding and ends with a wedding. The first one is Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The last one is in Revelation 21, where the church is described in a double metaphor as the new Jerusalem, dressed as a bride for her husband.
Whether or not we are currently married, we can see throughout scripture that marriage is important. In Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea, marriage is used as a metaphor for the love between God and his people. Jesus taught about the importance of marriage, and when Paul was giving teaching on marriage in Ephesians 5, he kept slipping back into theological statements about marriage being a visual aid of the love between Christ and the Church.
Please pray for Peter Jordan this weekend as he prepares to bring us the next message in this series tomorrow – Marriage: surviving conflict.