Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Rev. 21:5
We typically think of the new year as a time to make changes. Each year brings new opportunities, new resolutions, and new determination to overcome past failures. Most often we approach these from a human perspective and look for ways to get the results we want. Whatever we accomplish, we want it to be new; something different from what we currently have or experience. The problem is, although we are interested in change, we are not committed to it. Few people actually follow through on their New Year's resolutions. Motivation usually wanes as time progresses until the resolution is eventually abandoned altogether. Simply stated, most people are not faithful to their resolutions.
In contrast to the weakness of human resolve, Revelation 21 offers a picture of God’s trustworthiness. The chapter opens with John’s vision of a new heaven, a new earth, and the new Jerusalem. One of the remarkable aspects of the new Jerusalem is the absence of the temple (v. 22). In the heavenly city, there will be no designated place of worship. Jesus’ declaration that the true worshipper would worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4: 24) is fully realized in the heavenly city. Rather than assembling in local churches, the people of God will experience the fullness of worship in God’s presence. This “new” way of worship is actually a return to the intimacy enjoyed by Adam in the Garden of Eden where his fellowship with God was unmarred by sin. Thus, God’s promise to “make all things new” represents the completion of his redemption story.
The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of the glorious future that awaits those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. These verses give us hope for the future regardless of our present circumstances. Our faith in God's promises enables us to endure life's difficulties and remain faithful to God and stay committed to his purposes as we await the fulfillment of his promises. The new heaven and earth have always been a part of God’s eternal plan, being mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments (cf Isa. 65:17-19; Isa. 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13). The word “new” implies freshness, restoration, or renewal. Although we may not fully understand all that it entails, because we know that God is faithful, we can look forward to the new creation with confidence
In his vision, John sees the New Jerusalem descending from heaven and hears a voice announcing that God would dwell with his people (v. 3) and bring an end to suffering and death (v.4). In another startling announcement, John reveals that the New Jerusalem would not need the light of the sun or the moon. Instead, the city would be illuminated by the glory of God and the Lamb (v. 23). As if that was not enough, God Himself speaks, vowing to "make all things new'" John is told to record these amazing promises as proof that they are "true and faithful" (v. 5).
As we enter into 2021, may we be reminded of God's faithfulness. Despite the challenges we may encounter, we can be assured that God has promised a brighter day for those who believe in Him. He has promised to make everything new. We can count on him to do just that.