27 Apr What will the New Heaven and New Earth be like?
Isaiah 65:17 – I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
2 Peter 3:13 – We are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Revelation 21:1-3 – I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them.”
Right now, there is a place called Heaven that exists in the unseen realm. Living there are God, divine beings including angels, and departed saints who loved Jesus in their life on earth. When you die, you go there to be with them if you love Jesus.
Theologians call this the “intermediate heaven”. When our family moved to Arizona in 2015, we left our home out of state, moved into a VRBO rental home for a few months, and then moved into our new home. The intermediate heaven is a bit like VRBO rental. It’s nice enough, but you’re not living there forever.
One day, maybe in hours or centuries, Jesus Christ will return to this sin-cursed, tear-soaked world with Heaven packed in His cosmic U-Haul as the King and everyone and everything in His Kingdom make the big move to earth. Just as Jesus brought Heaven and earth together at His first coming, He will bring the New Heaven and New Earth together at His Second Coming.
You will have a perfectly healthy physical body. You will visit the city of God, as well as other cities around the world. You will have meaningful work to do, plans to make, and dreams to chase. You will swim in a lake, and raft in a river. You will enjoy family and friends, eat a perfect cheeseburger, and sleep soundly every night. Your needs will be met, your fears will be gone, and for all eternity you will join all of humanity glorifying God by learning, growing, building, creating, and loving. You will meet the folks you read about in the Bible, hang out with angels and other divine beings, and laugh more than any other time in your life.
The New Earth is the old earth perfected, with Heaven thrown in as a bonus. This is the good news of the Kingdom of God that Jesus talked about and what we look forward to in the end. The good news of heaven on other side of this life gets us through hell in this life. As Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” For the believer, this life is as close to hell as we will get, and the key is to keep going until we get to the New Heaven and New Earth.
What are you most looking forward to in the New Heaven and New Earth?