THE AGE OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH
Let us now consider Revelation 21. Verses 1 through 7 say, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me."
The description of the kingdom in Revelation 19 and 20 is entirely different from the description of the new heaven and new earth in chapter twenty-one. When describing the kingdom, the Bible speaks about what man has done. But when it describes the new heaven and new earth, there is no more mention of what man has done. From chapter twenty-one on, the Bible simply speaks of what God has done. God said that He has made all things new. God said that the first heaven and the first earth have passed away and that the sea is no more. All these are done by God. The tabernacle of God will be with men. He shall tabernacle with men. We are His people; God Himself will dwell with us and will be our God. He will wipe away all our tears, so that we will have no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain, for all the former things will have passed away, and all things will have been made new. God said all these words are faithful. He said that He is the Alpha and the Omega. Man has no place here at all. These verses go on and on, telling us what God has done. There is no condition or demand. If you wish to know how to obtain such a wonderful new heaven and new earth, just listen to His word: "And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End" (v. 6a). In other words, everything is done by God. "I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely" (v. 6b). After all these things have been said, everything is summed up in one sentence: "I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely." As long as there is the thirst, as long as there is the need, God will give from the spring of the water of life freely. This is grace. Grace is to give from the spring of the water of life freely. The new heaven and the new earth is of grace. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The new heaven and the new earth are absolutely from Him.
(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 22, by Watchman Nee)