Bible Question:

Does Revelation 22:15 mean that sinners will be in the New Heaven and New Earth?

Bible Answer:

Revelation 20:4-6 teaches us that everyone who believes in God will enter the millennial kingdom when it starts and not appear before the Great White Throne judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15. Some individuals will be Christians during the kingdom but many will not. This is important since Revelation 20:5-6 tells us that the second death will have power over everyone else, that is, those who have rejected God. These unbelievers will appear before the Great White Throne and be sent to the Lake of Fire as described in Revelation 20:11-15.

Lake of Fire Is Outside the New Heaven and New Earth

The Citizens of Heaven

The New Heaven and New Earth are described in Revelation 21-22. In Revelation 21:7 we are told that he “who overcomes” will inherit or live in this New Heaven and New Earth.

He who overcomes will inherit these things, and  I will be his God and he will be My son. Revelation 21:7 (NASB)

Who are those who overcome? They are described in 1 John 5:5.

Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5 (NASB)

They those who believe in Jesus Christ.

The Citizens of The Lake of Fire

Then in the next verse, Revelation 21:8, we are told who will not be living in the new heaven and new earth.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8 (NASB)

Since Revelation 21:7 told us that only Christians will be living in the new heaven and new earth and since Revelation 20:11-15 has already told us that all unbelievers will go into the Lake of Fire, which is the second death, we discover that this verse is describing unbelievers. That is, only believers will live in the New Heaven and New Earth forever.

Also, notice these individuals are described as unbelieving, murderers, immoral persons, sorcerers, idolaters and liars. Now lets go to Revelation 22:15 and answer our question.

Meaning of Revelation 22:15

Revelation 22:14 is a beatitude. It speaks of those who are believers or overcomers. We are told that these individuals have washed their robes and can eat of the tree of life, which is in the New Heaven and New Earth. (Revelation 22:1-2).

Then Revelation 22:15 speaks of the unbelievers. This is the same pattern that just occurred in Revelation 21:7-8. The description of the individuals in Revelation 22:15 is identical to the description in Revelation 21:8. In Revelation 21:8 we are told that the murderers, immoral persons, sorcerers, idolaters and liars would be living in the Lake of Fire, the second death. Now notice the description of the individuals in Revelation 22:15.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. Revelation 22:14-15 (NASB)

The individuals in this verse are described as murderers, immoral persons, sorcerers, idolaters and liars. In Revelation 21:8 we were told these individuals would be living in the Lake of Fire, the second death. Therefore, we are told they are “outside” we should understand that they are outside of the New Heaven and New Earth. There will be only two places in eternity—1) the New Heaven and New Earth and 2) the Lake of Fire. Therefore, “outside” refers to the Lake of Fire.

Conclusion:

The question that each of us must ask, is where do you want to live: 1) the New Heaven and New Earth or 2) the Lake of Fire? If you wish to go to the Lake of Fire, then ignore God and continue living as you desire. But if you desire to live with God in the New Heaven and New Earth, God calls you to repent of your sins, believe Christ died and was resurrected as proof that He did everything necessary for your sins to be forgiven. However, you must realize that when God forgives your sins and gives you the right to enter the New Heaven and New Earth, He wants to take over your life. Therefore, what is your decision?

Suggested Links:

The Final Words From Christ
Jesus Is Coming!
The Great White Throne Judgment, part 1
The Great White Throne Judgment, part 2
Heaven, Paradise, Sheol, Hell, Hades and Lake of Fire
What is the Lake of Fire in Revelation 20:10-15?
What is the second death in Revelation? — Lake of Fire
Is Hell a real place? — What does Jesus say about Hell?