The following chart shows that Rev. 21:1-22:5 is referring to heaven and not to the church that is now on this earth.


1. To picture heaven fits the sequence of the book.
2. 21:4 - John uses future terms for a better world where the painful experiences of this world will not be. The prophets used similar terms, but referred mainly to the rejoicing of God's people upon their return from captivity.
3. 21:7 - "He who overcomes." He who gains the ultimate victory will have these things (see 2:7, 11, 17, 26-27; 3:5, 12, 21-22). The word "overcome" is used in Revelation in the sense of the ultimate victory, even as Christ "overcame" (3:21).
4. 21:8 - A contrast is made: eternal torment versus eternal life.
5. 21:12-13 - The righteous of the O.T. have part in it. They were not in the church.
6. Some of the details are not compatible with the church; ex. "twelve gates" (vs. 21:21), "shall be no night there" (22:4).
7. 21:27 - It pictures those already written in the Book of Life going into it. Thus, it pictures those already in the church going in, not outsiders going into the church.
8. 22:2 - The "tree of life" (that by which man could live forever, Gen. 3:22-24) is in it. It is not in the church.
9. 22:3 - "There shall be no more curse." All men and women are still under the curse; i.e., "In pain you shall bring forth children," "Cursed is the ground for your sake" (Gen. 3:16-19).
10. 22:4 - "They shall see His face" (See 1 John 3:1-3). We see Him only through the eye of faith now, but there faith will be reality.
11. 22:5 - "They shall reign forever and ever" (lit. "to the age of the ages"; used of the eternal existence of God, 4:18; duration of hell, 20:10). We are not reigning eternally now. Thus, the verses cannot apply to the church.
12. 22:3-5 - John used the word "shall" several times which declares by the inspiration of God that these things are yet future.