Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” What difference does it make anyway. Intro: I was talking to a nurse one night while a patient in the hospital. She asked me a question. “Why do the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses come to my house? Are they wanting to know about my religion?” She is a Muslim. My answer was, “No they are wanting you to be their religion.” She said to me, “Why would they do that we all have the same God.” “What difference does it make.” I spent the next few minutes sharing with her that Jesus was God in human flesh. All three groups reject the deity of Jesus. She left the room and did not discuss religious issues with me again. I am often asked the question, “What difference does it make anyway.” Even in Washington DC the question has been asked in the last few months. ‘What difference at this point does it make!?’
Make a difference in what? Often we hear of some issue that supposedly is important. You will then hear someone say, “What difference does it make anyway?”
Billy Graham wrote in 2004 Q: I don’t have any problem believing Jesus was a son of God, just as we all are (although He was more perfect than we are). But I can’t believe He was the only Son of God. Why do Christians say He was, and what difference does it make anyway? A: You are right when you say Christians believe that Jesus was the unique Son of God. In fact, they have held this belief for almost 2,000 years—since the very beginning of the Christian faith. Why is this? The main reason is because this is the consistent testimony of the Bible. Jesus Himself declared that He was both fully man and fully God. To those who opposed Him, He said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). They understood exactly what He meant, and even started to stone Him “because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). This also was the consistent testimony of the earliest Christians (including His closest disciples). John declared, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father” (John 1:1,14). Why is the divinity of Jesus so important? Because our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven, and only a divine Savior—and therefore without sin—could become the final sacrifice for our sins. I invite you to see Jesus as He truly was: God in human flesh, coming from heaven to save us from our sins. Then turn to Him in repentance and faith, and give your life to Him today. Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. (NASB) Jesus is sitting on the throne and makes an incredible statement. He claims to be God. New Living Translation Revelation 1:8”I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.”
God has no beginning, and no end. Jesus claims He has no beginning and no end.
What difference does it make?
Prepare for something new.
Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
In this case the something new replaces the old that is corrupt, broken, or as we often saw “fallen.”
It is one thing to understand that Adam and Eve fell from their innocent stage. They made a choice that caused not only the fall of mankind, but all of creation was affected.
Something new is not just a return to innocence but a completely new existence called redemption. Redemption is on a much higher plane than a return to innocence. God is finishing the final road to a new existence.
Paul saw this transformation at work on this side of eternity: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day . . . Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 4:16, 5:17)
You can count on it. The end is a new beginning. Not only are you made new at salvation, but at the end everything becomes new.
Where does all this information come from?
FROM HE WHO SITS ON THE THRONE
Jesus Himself is telling John that everything is new. A new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem. Everything is redeemed. All is saved. Jesus then says to John, “Write it down.”
Robertson believes that there is a change of speakers and that the second ‘he’ is really an angel who is reminding John to write what he sees and hears. Whoever it is believes it is important enough to write down. Sandy often sends me to the grocery store. I have the debit card in my pocket to pay for it. But the words that come out of her mouth. “Write it down, Make a list.” Why? She knows I will forget something. Maybe Jesus or an angel wanted John to remember by writing it down.
The Book of Habakkuk has a verse that says,
Habakkuk 2:2 Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets,
You will remember things more if you write it down. Statistically you will forget 90% of what you hear within 24 hours. Writing down what you hear will increase your remembering by several percentage points. Ever notice that the students who take good notes make the best grades.
Friend Billy Hankes has a discipleship ministry and a lot of discipleship materials. He encourages serious students of the word to write things down. He calls it a blessing catcher.
When God finally completes this work of making all things new, they will stay new. “Presumably this means not only that everything will be made new, but also that everything will stay then new. The entropy law will be ‘repealed.’ Nothing will wear out or decay, and no one will age or atrophy anymore.” (H. Morris)
Expect that there will be a completion to Redemption.
Revelation 21:6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
“It is done:” Not “it is finished.” Instead of it is done, it might be more accurate to say “It has come to pass.”
When Jesus died on the cross He uttered the word, Tetelestai. His death on the cross paid in full the penalty of sin. In this place Jesus says it is done.
And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
We know it is Jesus speaking and there is no doubt that He is here identifying Himself as God. Although likely one of the most difficult concepts in the Christian faith the fact that Jesus is all God and all Man is vital. If Jesus was not God then what He did on earth; His virgin birth, His sinless life, His suffering, His death, His resurrection and His ascension is meaningless. It does make a difference.
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
“What does a thirsty man do to get rid of his thirst? He drinks. Perhaps there is no better representation of faith in all the Word of God than that. To drink is to receive-to take in the refreshing draught-and that is all. A man’s face may be unwashed, but yet he can drink; he may be a very unworthy character, but yet a draught of water will remove his thirst. Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating.” (Spurgeon)
Water is not only symbolic of life, it is symbolic of God Himself. The feast of the Tabernacles discussed in John 7 is especially indicative of the value of water as a symbol. IVP COMMENTARY “On each day of the feast there was a procession of priests to the pool of Siloam to draw water (m. Sukka 4:9). The priests returned to the temple, where the water was taken in procession once around the altar with the choir chanting Psalms 113-118, and then the water was poured out as a libation at the morning sacrifice. All-night revelry lead up to this morning libation. This was a time of joy so great that it was said, “He that never has seen the joy of the Beth he-She’ubah [water-drawing] has never in his life seen joy” (m. Sukka 5:1; cf. Deut 16:14-15; Jubilees 16:20, 25). This joy was associated with Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” On the seventh day of the festival the priests processed around the altar with the water not once but seven times (Bloch 1980:200; cf. Beasley-Murray 1987:113 for a more detailed description). At this high point of the festival Jesus dramatically cries out loudly (krazo, as in v. 28), If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink (v. 37). If he spoke this invitation during the revelry, he would have to shout just to be heard.
But we have also an allusion to the image of Wisdom, calling out, inviting all mankind to come and drink (cf. Prov 8–9; Sirach 24:19). What Jesus offers is the fulfillment of the very things they were celebrating. Here is grace upon grace (Jn 1:16). Here the Son is repeating the offer of the Father, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters” (Is 55:1). Indeed, he is fulfilling the role of God, who “will guide them and lead them beside springs of water” (Is 49:10). His offer shows he is far more than just a prophet or an agent; here we have God himself offering us life.”
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
He who overcomes is reminiscent of the words to the seven churches in the first chapters of Revelation. The promise to believers that as Jesus was an overcomer so are you.
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are overcomers because we are in Christ and Christ is in us.
8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” The word BUT is a big word in scripture. It is used over and over to describe a large and important contrast.
Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
The contrast here is to those who are in Christ, saved and safe. The description of those who are unsaved and lost for eternity is interesting.
They are cowardly. “John is not speaking of natural timidity, but of that cowardice which in the last resort chooses self and safety before Christ.” (L. Morris) John Trapp spoke of these “Cowardly recreants, white-livered milk-sops, that pull in their horns for every pile of grass that toucheth them, that are afraid of every new step.”
unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Any of you tell a lie during the last week? How about already today? How about a lie in the last hour. I have a friend who says our music makes liars of all of us.
If it were not for the death and resurrection of Jesus none of us would avoid the Lake of Fire in the end.
So back to the original question: What difference does it make. It makes the difference whether you enter the Lake of Fire of the New Jerusalem.
Francis Schaefer had a Book and video series called: ”How should we then live.”
If you have been saved, born again you are new. All things will be new and you will be a part. Praise the Lord.