New Heaven and New Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away ~Revelation 21:1

When most people think of heaven, they generally don’t picture it being anything like what we see day to day here on earth. In some respects this is true. There will be no death or suffering in heaven. There will be no deceitfulness, no sorrow, no hunger, and no pain. While that part sounds good, most of us have grown up with a picture of heaven involving harps and clouds and singing in endless monotony.

In his book titled Heaven, Randy Alcorn quotes an English vicar. When asked by a colleague what he expected after he died he replied “Well, if it comes to that, I suppose I shall enter into eternal bliss, but I really wish you wouldn't bring up such depressing subjects.” Most people, when they think of heaven, have in mind some eternal disembodied sort of church service, but is this what scripture teaches about our eternal state?

There is considerable high-minded theological debate about what happens immediately after we die, when the second coming of Christ will be, how the period of the millennium described in the book of Revelation will play out, and in what order all of the end times prophesies will unfold. These are interesting intellectual questions, but what I am speaking of is our final state at the end of the book.  How will we spend eternity?

Jesus says “Behold! I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5) The picture our eternal state that is clearly described throughout scripture is not one of disembodied boredom but one of flesh and blood on a new earth, a physical world with real physical food and real physical places. This is the world that is again what it was originally created to be. It is a world just like the one we see every day but without any trace of sin or death. When God finished his work of creating all the universe and placing man and woman, created in His image, at the center as the crown jewel over all that He had made, he declared that it was all “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

God made the universe, and everything in it, exactly the way He wanted it to be.  He created it to perfectly suit us and He created us to be in intimate and personal fellowship with Him. After we rebelled against Him, He himself took on the form of a man, paid the dearest cost for our sake, and was resurrected in His physical body in order to redeem us and spend eternity walking among us just like He did in the Garden in the beginning.

We were created as physical beings with physical wants, desires, and needs. We were designed to live in a physical realm. If we misunderstand the glorious physical reality of our eternal existence in personal relationship with our creator then we miss out on the blessed hope (Titus 2:3) that gives us strength during our times of trial and testing in this fallen version of the world. Worse than that, if we miss the truth then we may begin to think of this world as our only hope and place all of our effort in storing up our treasures here and now instead of storing up our treasures in heaven where they belong.

Where are you storing up your treasure?

In My Father's house there are many dwelling places; if it were not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. ~John 14:2-3

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Recent Posts

Post Categories