November27 , 2022

    The River – Revelation 22:1-6

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    The Bible opens with man in the garden of Eden with God. There were four rivers in Eden mentioned in the book of the beginnings (Genesis 2:10-14). The Bible closes by telling the saved we will be with the Lord in a place of perfection and peace just like Eden before the fall of man. Again, we see that just like Eden there is a river that differs from the other four named in Genesis. This river is of water of life according to the text.

    It is a paradise to say the least according to his description of it. Everything was made new. There was no more sea, no more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying and no more pain.

    As we focus our study on this river, we know from Revelation chapter 21, John has already seen a new heaven, a new earth and a new Jerusalem. It is a paradise to say the least according to his description of it. Everything was made new. There was no more sea, no more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying and no more pain. The capital city, New Jerusalem, was foursquare like a cube that was 12,000 furlongs (Revelation 21:16). Think about a city 1,500 miles in length, height and depth. The walls were 144 cubits which is 216 feet high and made of jasper, and the city was pure gold (Revelation 21:17-18). The foundation was garnished with all manner of precious stones (Revelation 21:19-20). There were 12 gates made of 12 pearls with three on the east, three on the west, three on the north, and three on the south and they were never shut (Revelation 21:13;21; 25).

    Many times, the question arises why were there 12 gates? Some would have you believe it is symbolic that there are different ways to enter Heaven, but they are wrong! There is only one way, and that is Jesus (John 14:6).

    The trials of life do not save us, but many have sought Christ for salvation because the storm showed them they needed a Savior.

    Through study, it is my feeling it represents two things. First, it is inclusive of our compass of the entire world, meaning people from all across the globe will come into Heaven. Jesus will save anyone from any place in the entire world. Salvation does not hinge on our location but on Jesus and His completed work.

    Second, while there is only one way to Heaven, there are many things that lead us to a realization we need to be saved. Some will enter through the three east gates. The east is a picture or type of new beginnings. The sun rises in the east and brings in the dawning of a new day. It tells us many will be saved in their youth. The sun sets in the west.

    Therefore, we know of those who were aged with years but still turned to Jesus for salvation. The north is from where some of the harshest storms come. The trials of life do not save us, but many have sought Christ for salvation because the storm showed them they needed a Savior. The south is a symbol of blessings. The warm breezes come from the south and bring blessings with it. The cold heart is melted by God through the blessings He sends us. Many a person has seen how good the Lord has been to them, and it made them see they needed to be saved.

    In verse one he tells us about “The Beauty” of the river. It is beautiful because it is clean.

    What a vision John sees in the 21st chapter of Revelation. Then we go to the 22nd chapter and see he is not finished with the description of this wonderful place he is seeing. It is almost like he saves the best for last. He starts to pen the words about “the river.” It is one of the last things John sees, and he gives us blessed details about it too.

    In verse one he tells us about “The Beauty” of the river. It is beautiful because it is clean. In my travels, I have seen a lot of rivers and some are clean and others are not. Our ministry office is located a few blocks from the Ohio River. There are times it is so clean and beautiful. Then there are times it is so dirty and muddy. The river of water of life will never be unclean.

    This river is beautiful because it contains the water of life. None of us have ever seen a river as beautiful as this river because we have not seen a river filled with water of life. Every river we have ever known contains life but also death. The fish live, but they also die in rivers here on this earth. Now we have a river to look at with only life. Nothing dies in this water. Only life proceeds from it.

    She said, “There is a river flowing right up to where I am laying in this bed, and I can almost reach into it. It is the most beautiful river I have ever seen, and I have never been so excited in all my life to get into the water.”

    Many years ago, it was my privilege to pastor a precious saint. As years robbed her of strength and vitality, the decision was made for her to move several hours away where she would be cared for by her family. Time continued to rob her of strength, health and even her vision.

    I was in a service at a church within driving distance of where she lived. So, I made plans to leave early in hopes to see her one more time on this side of eternity. She was staying in a small mobile home. The family lovingly led me down the little narrow hallway into the bedroom where she was staying.

    Every few minutes as we were talking, she would stop and point down the hallway and say, “Do you see that Preacher?” Finally, it got to the point I just had to try and find out what she was talking about.

    She said, “There is a river flowing right up to where I am laying in this bed, and I can almost reach into it. It is the most beautiful river I have ever seen, and I have never been so excited in all my life to get into the water.”

    Her family later told me that one of her final words was she was going to go into the river and how much peace she had. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL RIVER! It is also beautiful because it is clear. In fact, John says it is as clear as crystal.  John was really saying it is so transparent you can see everything in it. This means there are no mysteries when we get to this river. Every question we have ever had will be made known to us.