At the conclusion of his vision, John saw a new heaven and new earth (the first having passed away), with the sea being “no more.” Further, he saw God’s holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from the Lord out of heaven prepared as a bride for her husband. A loud voice cried from the throne that the dwelling place of God is with humankind – God would dwell with them, they would be his people, he would be their God, and all tears would be wiped from their faces. Death will end, along with mourning, crying, and pain for all the former things have passed away.
Finally, the one seated on the throne says, “Behold, I am making all things new,” who told John to write these things down for these words were “trustworthy and true” (v. 21.6). In a final climactic shout, the one seated on the throne says to John, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (v. 21.6-8).
This vision establishes the creation of a new heaven and new earth. This is taught in the prophets (see Isa. 65.17 and 66.22), with some historic Jewish teachers believing that this could involve either a renewal of the old, or the replacement with an entirely new creation. The absence of a sea may be less about water than about the elimination of ancient evil and the effects of the Fall itself (“sea” being seen as an ancient symbol of primordial evil). Finally, the end of the effects of all evil are at last in play: the works of the devil, the antichrist, and the world system itself are destroyed, and the new order contains not even a molecule of the old fallen world. The new heavens, the new earth, the new city, and the end of evil – what a grand vision for the destiny of the saints, those through the ages who have clung to the promise of God by faith.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
We beseech thee, O God, that it may please thee to maintain thy holy Church, in her testimony to thy Son, her fellowship in the Spirit, her ministry for mankind. Give her grace and power in the sight of all peoples, and unite thy servants everywhere in the love of one Lord. Amen.
~ Book of Common Worship (Ferguson, 36-37)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
~ Tickle, 150
Affirmation from the Psalms
Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day!  May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field!  May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!  Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.  Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!!
~ Psalm 72.15-19
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
May your Kingdom come, your will be done, in earth as it is in heaven!