1. Revelation 22:1–2 (ESV)
  2. Application

Future expectation and present realities

Revelation 22:1–2 (ESV)

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

Life in the New Jerusalem involves a richness of abundance (and purpose!) that far surpasses anything this life offers. Life-giving water nourishes life-giving trees so that each tree bears rich varieties of fruit in record time, and it all happens right there where people interact—it is a picture of Paradise enriched! With this abundance at hand, there is no distraction from worshipping this source of life and gazing upon and delighting in this God of glory and exercising kingship with him. It is a prospect calculated to fill the hearts of earth-bound people with impatient expectation.

Yet the expectation awakened in this portrait of the New Jerusalem has present reality already. The Bride of the Lamb, the church today, already enjoys something of the privilege and pleasure of worshipping and seeing and reigning; already the saints glory in the Lord (1 Peter 2:9–10). More, already the message and glory of the church have a profound impact on the world in which the people of God live, for the church has the message that gives healing to broken nations. History is full of examples of social improvement as a result of the gospel; for example, the end of slavery, and the prevalence of freedom and compassion in Western culture.