River of Life

River of Life


Revelation 22:1-2a ESV  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  (2)  through the middle of the street of the city;

  • The beginning of chapter 22 starts out with more physical descriptions of New Jerusalem.
    • John is being shown by an angel what earth will be like in the future, where we will spend eternity.
    • And if you are new this morning, I just want to clear up confusion right out of the gate.
    • You see sometimes we use the word “Heaven” to mean “where we will spend eternity with Jesus”, but that’s confusing… because in actuality we spend eternity with God on earth, in a city called New Jerusalem.
      • God will recreate the earth into it’s original perfect form, New Jerusalem will come down from heaven, and we, along with every believer from all time, will live in this massive golden city.
      • We will each have our own mansion in the city, we will have no more sorrow, or pain, or tears.
      • We will walk with and talk with Jesus; we will see the Glory of God and live in His light.
      • Isaiah describes life in New Jerusalem like this:

Isaiah 11:6-9 ESV  The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.  (7)  The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  (8)  The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.  (9)  They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

  • Some people ask “will there be animals in heaven?” And the answer is YES! If by heaven you mean New Jerusalem, where we spend eternity.
    • I mean… did you catch what Isaiah said? Leopards are going to be snuggling up with goats! And lions will be hanging out with cows… because the lions will be eating grain instead of meat!
    • Even babies will play with cobras! Because everything will be set right in the world, no more pain or suffering or violence, not even in the animal Kingdom!
    • This is New Jerusalem; this is our home forever! A perfect city on a perfectly remade earth!
  • And in this massive city, a city that is, remember, 1,500 miles by 1,500 miles, by 1,500 miles…
    • In this massive city is a river, flowing right from the middle of it, and that is what we are going to talk about today.
  • Again our Key verse is revelation 22:1 which reads:

Revelation 22:1 ESV  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

  • So today’s Title is very simply: The River of Life
    • We are going to talk about the river of life, in all it’s aspects, what it looks like in New Jerusalem, and what it looks like now…
    • But before we do that, let’s pray.

Point One – The Waters of The River Bring Life

  • This morning I want to start with this first point… I want to make this very clear…
    • The waters of the River bring life!
    • The River of Life brings life!
      • It is abundantly and eternally life giving.
      • That means that where the river flow, eternity changes… from death to life, from destruction to preservation, from cursed to blessed.
  • Now, if you only had Revelation 22:1 to go on, you might not think much about this river… but the River of Life is talked about ALL throughout scripture… let’s read some of the passages that talk about this river…
  • First we have the two verse in Revelation that mention the River of Life, the one that is our key verse today, but also another from Revelation 7 and 17.

Revelation 7:17 ESV  For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

  • What I love about this verse is that RIGHT away we realize that when we say “The Waters of The River Bring Life” we don’t just mean breath and consciousness… we don’t just mean being physically alive…
    • But we mean life as in “NO MORE TEARS! NO MORE SORROW! NO MORE PAIN”!
      • We mean the kind of life that makes you scream “I FEEL SO ALIVE” when you are pumped upped and hyped about something.
      • We mean the kind of life that people spend every year of their existence chasing after… they look for this life in better houses, bigger retirements, fancier cars, prettier women or handsomer men… they look and look and look… but this life comes from THE WATERS OF THE RIVER. This life comes from the Springs that flow fourth from God Almighty, and those who find the water, they find LIFE!
    • Listen to me! If you have drunk from the waters of the River, if you are born again, YOU SHOULD BE LIVING ALIVE!
      • I am so tired of Christians walking around like they are dead.
      • I am so tired of this Eeyore Christianity…
        • *in Eeyore voice* “Woe is me… not even sure why I got saved in the first place… pastor keeps talking about joy but I am too busy being miserable to be joyful!”
      • Man get some of the water of life inside of you and BE ALIVE!
        • Yeah life sucks… LET’S GO! The Bible says we should rejoice in our sufferings!
        • I am alive because HE is alive so get up off me Satan you aint bringing me down today!

Zechariah 14:7-8 ESV  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.  (8)  On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.

Joel 3:17-18 ESV  “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.  (18)  “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Shittim.

Ezekiel 47:6-9 ESV  And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.  (7)  As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other.  (8)  And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.  (9)  And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

  • From these verses about the River of Life we see very clearly that the river does not just stay in New Jerusalem, but goes out into all the world, figuratively and literally.
    • But what is wonderful about these prophetic visions of the very real river of life, is that they show us the figurative truth that God desires life to go out into all nations.
    • The waters of the river of life are not just for a select few.
    • There is not a drought, we don’t need to conserve water… we can share it with all… and all who drink of it will find life.
    • It is why mission’s is so important! We need to bring the water of life to the ends of the earth!
      • It’s why you can find that “I AM SO ALIVE” kind of joy and energy in the most remote and desolate places in the world.
      • Places where they have no running water.
        • No electricity.
        • No major league sports teams
        • No Tesla super chargers…
      • Yet they can have that kind of joy, that kind of energy, that kind of life that so many people here spend their lives looking for and never finding… they have it because of JESUS!
      • They have it because the River of Life flows out into all the world!
  • Now at this point maybe you are thinking “Why is he talking about the River of Life in present tense terms? Isn’t the River of Life something that is in New Jerusalem in the future?!”
    • And the answer is YES! The River of Life is something that flows out of the Presence of God in New Jerusalem, but it is not something new! It is here, at least figuratively, now!
    • Jesus tells us all about it in John 4:10-14

John 4:10-14 ESV  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  (11)  The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?  (12)  Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”  (13)  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  (14)  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  • “The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”… that is how we are going to introduce point two this morning: We Have the River of Life Flowing Out of Us.

Point Two – We Have The River of Life Flowing Out of Us

Revelation 22:1 ESV  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

  • In Revelation we see the River of Life flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb.
    • But in Ezekiel this very same River is said to be flowing from the temple of God.
    • And if you have been with us as we have gone through Revelation you know that the temple of God in New Jerusalem is not a physical temple, but it is the presence of God.

Revelation 21:22 ESV  And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

  • Take a look at what Ezekial sees…

Ezekiel 47:1 ESV  Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar.

  • So when Ezekeil said he saw the river of life flowing from the Temple of God in Ezekiel 47:1, what he was actually seeing was the river flowing from the glory of God’s presence.
    • And this all makes sense because we know according to 1 Corinthians 13:9 that Ezekial was only seeing and prophesying in part, and that the rest of the vision would not be made known until John’s revelation.
  • So Ezekiel sees the River of Life flowing from God’s temple, but what he is really seeing is the River of Life flowing from God’s glory.
    • And all of this makes double makes sense when we realize that God’s glory is inside of us and WE are the Temple here on earth.

John 17:22 ESV  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

  • So God’s glory is in us… and of course it is, because God lives in us. If you are born again, God lives in you… and not only that, but because of that, YOU are the temple of God!

1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV  Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

  • Ok, so follow with me…
    • You are the temple of God.
    • You have the Glory of God inside of You.
    • Ezekiel sees the River of Life flowing from the Temple in eternity.
    • John sees the Temple in eternity, but it’s not a physical temple, it is the Glory of God.
    • From the Glory of God flows the river of Life in Johns vision.
    • Therefore, whichever vision you are reading, be it from the temple or from the glory, you should be able to figure out that the RIVER OF LIFE should be flowing out of YOU because YOU are God’s Temple, and the Glory of God lives in you…
      • Again, this is if you are born again, if you are not born again GET BORN AGAIN and the glory of God will be in you as well!
  • And really that’s what Jesus said to the woman at the well, He basically said “Get born again and you will have rivers of life flowing from you!”

John 4:13-14 ESV  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  (14)  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  • Y’all know the song…
    • “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me! Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see! Open’s prison doors sets those captives free! I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me! SPRING UP OH WELL! SPLISH SPLASH! WITHING MY SOUL! SPRING UP OH WELL! SPLISH SPLASH AND MAKE ME WHOOOOOLE!”
      • We sing the song in Sunday school… but do we live it?
      • We name our churches after it… but are we living it?
  • Listen Church… if Rivers of Life ought to be flowing from you, the temple of God, the glory of God, then that means people should be finding LIFE wherever you go!
    • When I got saved one of my favorite songs was Wherever We Go by the Newsboys… anyone remember this song… I love these lyrics…

Wherever we go, bluebirds sing
And the flowers bloom and the grass gets green

Wherever we go, the bees behave
In the treetops, squirrels smile and wave

Wherever we go, the dumb get wise
And the crime rates drop and the markets rise

Bullies make nice, crooks repent
And the Ozone layer shows improvement

  • Man is this the legacy of our church?! IT’S TIME THAT IT STARTS TO BE!


  • Listen… remember our key verse includes the first part of verse two… that wasn’t by mistake… here are our key verses again…

Revelation 22:1-2a ESV  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  (2)  through the middle of the street of the city;

  • flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  (2)  through the middle of the street of the city;
    • Why is the “Street” important in this verse? Why include the street? BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS RIVER HAS BEEN SEEN BY A PROPHET.

Isaiah 35:5-8 ESV  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;  (6)  then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;  (7)  the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.  (8)  And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

  • There is a river of life flowing through the desert places… through the dead and desolate places… the places that have not had life for eons… there is a river that will come fourth, springs that will pop up… and THEY BRING LIFE.
    • And where that river is there is a street! It is called the HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS!
        • Let 33rd Ave, and Schaeffer Drive been known as HIGHWAYS OF HOLINESS.
  • That is why we are doing this outreach picnic… because I want to bring life to these neighborhoods.
    • Church come to the outreach picnic… come and serve! Come and pray for people… come and bring joy to people… come and bring life to this neighborhood!
  • This is why we preach the Gospel every Sunday… because we want to bring eternal life to this city!
    • Y’all bring people to church, people who don’t know Jesus, that they might be saved! That they might drink from the well.
    • And some of y’all are powerful evangelists and lead people to Christ before they ever step foot in this door! PRAISE GOD! KEEP IT UP! But for the rest of us, you don’t have to be a charismatic evangelist to lead someone to Christ… ANYONE can bring someone to church… anyone can say “let’s go to the well together” and then they can chose to drink. LORD LET THEM CHOSE TO DRINK!
  • Now listen, before I close this thing out I have to confess something… I am always getting convicted when I go to Homecoming in Sioux City… and this time was no different…
    • Eileen Gordon spoke, her and her husband planted Cornerstone in Sioux City 40 years ago… and she spoke powerfully and prophetically to the pastors in the room…
    • And as she was speaking she said, with great authority, “Pastors… let me NEVER hear you speak bad of your city!”
      • And all of the pastors in the room kind of shrunk down a little… you could see it…
    • She said “Let me never here you call your city the armpit of America”
      • And I am thinking… well I never said EXACTLY that…
    • She said “Your city is one of the best cities in the world because YOU are there… because that is where God has planted YOU!”
  • And church I am sorry for joking and speaking bad about Cedar Rapids and about Iowa… I LOVE THIS CITY!
    • Cedar Rapids is one of the best cities in the world because Chirstian Life Church is here, and out of it flow rivers of living water!
    • Cedar Rapids is one of the best cities in the world because Kat and Jimmal Battiste live here, and out of them flow rivers of living water!
    • Iwe are one of the best cities in the world because James and Stacy live here, and out of them flow rivers of living water! And I know you live in Fiarfax but we will claim them as our own too! God thank you for Fairfax!
    • We are one of the best cities in the world because Zion and Laura live here, because Monthe lives here, because of Joyce, because of Jared, because of Elizabeth, Tara, Josh, Brandi, Moly, Anita, Jerry, Don, Chyrel, Jonas, Canain…
      • We are one of the best cities in the world because the BORN AGAIN live here and out of us flow rivers, springs, fountains of living water!
      • And I am honored to serve God amongst other Godly churches in this city, because of out them flows rivers of living water!
      • And together we will water this city until it is all green and alive or until Jesus comes back!
  • Lord thank you for Cedar Rapids, and thank you for your River of Life that flows out of us!
    • One day we will see the physical River of Life, but Lord let it be JUST AS REAL today as it flows out of us!
  • Gospel Call
  • Word?
  • Isaiah 60:1-2 ESV  Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.  (2)  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
    • The disciplined don’t require motivation…
    • Snooze button people…
      • Snooze button in life (Depression, anxiety, procrastination, negative thinking… (you don’t have to teach kids to be negative))
      • Get disciplined! Arise and shine!!!!!!!!!!
      • Go and bring life to people, don’t look for motivation this morning, be disciplined, ARISE!
      • Don’t say to discourage you like “oh you are so bad” but to encourage you, dig deep, find the discipline you need and arise!

Aaronic Blessing


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