Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
“V. New Heaven and New Earth (21:1-22:5)” pp. 726-776.
“A. Coming of New Heaven and New Earth (21:1-8)” pp. 728-744.
Osborne observes as we move into the narrative of the new heaven and earth that it provides fitting closure for not only the themes of Revelation but for the entire drama of sin and salvation found throughout the Bible (Osborne 2002, 726).
The idea of a coming new heaven and new earth is common to both the Old and New Testaments. Since the original creation was ruined by sin, Osborne sees that it needs to be replaced with an eternal heaven and earth (Osborne 2002, 729). Though he is not completely certain of the type of physicality, Osborne does believe it will have a physical element. The new heaven and the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven to earth, making a united reality (Osborne 2002, 730). In this new creation there is no evil remaining. The judgment has fallen on evil and it is not able to pose a threat. The Bible passages describing restoration are now fulfilled (Osborne 2002, 731). As the heavenly city descends, the saints have their permanent home and are united with God (Osborne 2002, 733).
In Revelation 21:3-4 a loud voice comes from the throne of God. Osborne asserts this as an angel, not God, because God speaks in verses 5-6 (Osborne 2002, 733). The message is that God’s dwelling is with his people. They are his people and he is their God. This results in peace and joy in God’s presence.
Verses 5-6 have God’s description of his new order. Osborne enumerates five elements of God’s speech. First, the church is to know that God makes all things new (Osborne 2002, 736). Second, the message is true and worthy of faith (Osborne 2002, 737). There is no place for doubting God’s Word. Third, the events of world history are now finished. We do not look for more after this point (Osborne 2002, 738). Fourth, God as the beginning and the end is the sovereign Lord over all history. Finally, the God who is sovereign over all will care for his people, particularly those who thirst and need living water (Osborne 2002, 738-739).
In Revelation 21:7-8, the readers are challenged to distinguish “between those who are faithful and those who are not” (Osborne 2002, 739). The faithful depend on God for all their provision. They will receive all the promises which have been made in the past, especially the promises of adoption as children of God (Osborne 2002, 740). The sins discussed through the book of Revelation will most certainly be punished, particularly a refusal to believe or attempts to deceive others. This, Osborne sees, is a stern warning to Christians that they need to persevere in the Christian faith (Osborne 2002, 742).