I don’t understand the new heavens and new earth business. If we are going to be heaven, who is going to be on earth?
This misunderstanding stems from a common myth about heaven: we’ll all be floating around in some spirit, other-worldly church service for all eternity. It is also cultivated by the false, but very common belief, that Heaven is “out there” and earth has nothing to do with heaven.
This is probably why few people have any real longing for heaven anymore (compared to the number of people who profess they are going there).
Let’s summarize the truth that Scripture clearly lays out:
- All things in heaven and on earth will be re-united because of, and in, Jesus Christ (Eph 1:10)
- Heaven will be the re-creation of all things physical, returning them to the perfect state they were originally in (2Pet 3:13)
- The final chapter of our history is revealed in Revelation 21 where we see the realms of heaven and earth reunited and eternally established under the Lordship of Jesus Christ
- “Heaven” will be one universe where the final dividing wall (the physical one) will be removed just as the spiritual one has already been removed – both because of Jesus. Like the Garden of Eden, God will dwell with men in the physical creation and men will walk with God as Adam did (Rev 21:3)
God’s plan for mankind has always been to recover, redeem, reunite and restore (notice those words as a continual theme in Scripture) both humankind AND creation. His inevitable and completely unstoppable plan is to retrieve everything He created originally, that Satan and man messed up. God will restore the gap that now exists between “heaven” and “earth” bringing everything BACK together in perfection under the rule of the King of Kings.
Eden was what God intended for us eternally. Eden is what God WILL HAVE eternally for us (and more!). His plans can never be stopped, never be thwarted. Continue to consider:
- An overriding theme of Scripture is “who reigns over the earth?” starting in Genesis. For a while it was man until he sinned. Then it was/is Satan for a time. Ultimately it will be man again, under the supervision of Christ. Man will be restored to is dominion over the creation God specifically gave to him, and man will reign “forever and ever” with Christ (Rev 22:5)
- Satan tempted the first Adam and won a temporary victory and reign over God’s physical creation (Genesis 1-2). The Second Adam, Jesus, crushed Satan’s head, and assured the final reassumption of His physical reign for all eternity, an event still future for us (Rev 20:10). Through Jesus’ death, He disarmed the all Satanic power and authority (Col 2:15), stripped Satan of his reign ultimately (Heb 2:14) and destroyed all the devil’s work (1John 3:8)
Notice this is all past tense. The work is done. The result of it is playing out. The great thing for Christians is, we get to play the game already knowing the final score and winner! While we struggle in the final throes of Satan’s demise and still have to exist in this sin cursed world, the battle is won and the results are not in question. Let’s continue:
- How can the restoring of the physical universe be accomplished? By removing the curse that now corrupts it. That is EXACTLY what Christ did, and a curse-free RE-creation will be the end result. (Rev 22:3). All the curse and its effects (Gen 3) will be completely NON-existent for all eternity.
- If you can imagine the earth with no curse, you’ve begun to imagine heaven.
- If you can imagine yourself, and other people, with no curse (ie. sin, corruption, hate, etc), then you can begin to imagine life in eternity which is the reuniting of heaven and earth.
- Imagine a life where God and Jesus dwell with us every day, walking and talking with us as God did with Adam – and you can begin to imagine heaven.
- Imagine the earth being perfectly ruled and supervised by Jesus Christ, with Believers being co-rulers in the perfect positions and responsibilities that will fulfill us and reward us. Imagine that, and you can begin to imagine heaven.
This may all sound very strange or new to you. I don’t understand why. This is very plain teaching from Scripture. It leads me to conclude that Satan has successfully distorted, diluted and degraded the very hope that it the whole point of Scripture: the restoration of our relationship with God culminating in eternal life on a new earth that is reunited with heaven.
Remember, if Adam would have never sinned, he would have lived eternally, walking with God, enjoying dominion over the creation that was without the curse of sin and corruption.
If that is the way God originally created earth, and obviously “heaven” was part of it because God dwelled with Adam in the garden, then why is it so strange to contemplate that a restoration of “Eden” (and more!) is what God has in mind when He says “eternal life in heaven”.
I think if you study this with an open mind, and let Scripture speak, you’ll find that there is alot of myth, confusion and illiteracy in Christianity about Heaven. Which is really weird when you consider the fact that HEAVEN (and all it represents) is the entire goal of our life.
How confusing is it to think “we die, go to heaven, and then just forget about the doomed-earth below”. How confusing to wonder about why there is a “new earth” if nobody is going to be living on it.
There is no confusion in Scripture. It’s pretty straightforward and clear in the Bible. Satan gets his “at-a-boys” for doing such a great job filling the Body of Christ with misinformation, ignorance and myths about Heaven. Let’s all start reversing that today!