Throughout the Bible, God continually talks about the general and then gets to specifics. An example of this is seen in the broad, sweeping creation account in Genesis 1 being further explained with more specific details during creation starting in Genesis 2:4. Another example can be seen during the Sermon on the Mount, where several times Jesus taught principles and then gave focused examples of how these principles were to be fleshed out in our daily lives.
We see a similar narrowing of focus in this section of Revelation 21 also. As we saw last time, God begins verse 6 proclaiming that he is both the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Then He states that a relationship with Him begins with the acceptance of His free gift, and that this gift is available to anyone. In verse 7, God gets even more specific:
Then He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
In order to fully understand what God is saying in verse 7, we need to remember the context of both the situation at hand, the book of Revelation as a whole, and the historical context of the original recipients.
The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Exactly what God is referring to by saying these things can be understood from the immediate context. John has just witnessed the arrival of the New Jerusalem – the Holy City, the city Abraham was looking forward to. This is this place that will be inherited by the one who conquers.
Let’s consider that statement for a minute.
God is telling us that it will be possible to obtain actual “ownership” within the New Jerusalem. With inheritance comes possession, and there is certainly a difference between living in a city and possessing property in a city.
So what does “inheriting” consist of?
And who is it that “conquers”?
Those are excellent questions.
For the moment, though, it’s pretty exciting to think about inheriting/owning part of this magnificent future God has planned. God says that He will look at certain believers and say, “This belongs to you. You own it.”
The New Jerusalem – Heaven on Earth – will obviously be more than just showing up and being happy to be there.