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Sunday: A New Heavens and a New Earth — 9 Comments

  1. In the remote Pacific Islands, Seventh-day Adventists envisage heaven as a place where the Taro crop never fails and there are always fish in the lagoon. We of course are somewhat more ambitious when we describe heaven, but quite possibly our vision is just as limited.

    Just something to think about in this season that is often ambushed by grandiose commercialism.

    (29)
  2. A completely renewed heavens and a completely renewed earth is the fullest and ultimate manifestation of the progressive renewing and renewal that is on offer today for today (eg, (see Philippians 3:12-15). That eternal life which goes on forever is a quantative 'byproduct' of eternal life's qualitative nature - the type of life you live each and every 'today'.

    "And this is eternal life, that they may know* You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." John 17:3

    I invite you to be mindful of this aspect of God's gift to you this Christmas.

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    * Keep in mind that this kind of knowing is not merely knowing about/of God and His Way/s. Rather it is 'experiential knowing' via authentically (again, progressively) embracing and therefore being in harmony with what you know about God and His Way/s - the only Way/s by which true, eternal life is viable. This is not in any way implying 'legalism' - it is just reality.

    (26)
  3. The sinfree new heavens and new earth where we will walk and talk face to face with Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, is the greatest hope of all.

    Yes, we can have the peace and joy of knowing Jesus is with us here in this life. But it's still peace in the midst of suffering and trouble. We still face heartache and sorrow even though the strength of the Lord sustains us and gives us hope and courage.

    But in this present world --

    Romans 8:22-23 we know that the whole creation (not just mankind, but the whole creation) has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth together until now.
    8:23 And not only the creation, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.

    The whole creation is groaning. All of nature is sighing because, through the fall of Adam, creation itself changed and became subject to death, violence, pollution and decay.

    All nature was drawn into this mess after sin entered the world through our first parents' fall. Therefore even the non-human creation is figuratively calling out for the fulfilment of its own real destiny through the renewal. And yes, previous to that promise being fulfilled, we need to cleanse ourselves and experience spiritual renewal. The rest of creation actually depends on us making the right decisions and thus hastening Christ's coming. Creation will one day be delivered, and the difference between new heaven and earth and the present one is the difference between agony and ecstasy!

    The newly created earth will be a literal place not spirits fluttering on clouds. A real place! The old with all its pollution and corruption will be burned up. This earth will be restored again
    Creation itself will one day be delivered—and the difference between then and now is the difference between agony and ecstasy! Think what will happen when even nature is newly created. No more pestilence and danger.

    (10)
  4. When you have nothing to look forward to, what hope is there? For those who live with Heaven in view, life continues to be filled with wonder and expectancy. "We according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Amen!

    (7)
  5. The lesson writer considers how the Old Earth “would have been if Israel as a nation had remained faithful to their covenant with God.” I am certain that man in its old body of sin is incapable of achieving full righteousness without the redeeming power of God’s Son’s imputed righteousness in which we have already now our being. Matt.5:21-47; Rom.3:22.

    A new Covenant by God for the salvation of man needed to be ratified in which our Creator writes His ‘Way of Righteousness/His Law’ onto our hearts, and now all living can understand truth as revealed by the Spirit of Truth; but not without Jesus Christ’s coming, first.

    I believe that the old earth has to come to an end in order for the people of the New Earth to have a truly new beginning; even the heavens will need to be made new – Rev.21:1. Then, all the people of the New Earth will reflect God’s Righteousness, whereas only the believer living in/by Jesus Christ’s righteousness are able to do so now - 2 Peter 3:13. And this represents the fundamental difference between the old and the New Earth – its foundation will again reflect the Righteousness of God.

    People living in the New Earth will not remember the old heavens and earth any longer – Isaiah 65:17; 23; they will be “descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.” They will be the ones who love God with all their heart and being and their fellow man as they are loved by their Creator God, and the nations will show forth the Glory of God – this is our hope! Rev.21:24; Isaiah 60:3.

    (1)
  6. Hello dear friends,

    I am delighted with your developments and thank God for the discussions in this forum which give me a global view of the topics studied.

    English is not my first language, so I beg your indulgence.
    I come back to Brigitte's above comment. You are quite right, but in reality, the problem here is that the text is severely truncated due to the format to be respected (fitting the daily lesson into three paragraphs and onto one page!) and the summary is not accurate.

    For in fact, the "commentary" section of the French-language monitors' booklet expands on the "Description of Isaiah 65:17-25" over 4 pages and reads: "The crucial question is whether the above description of Isaiah 65:17- 25 is a representation of the eschatological new heavens and new earth. *It becomes clear that Isaiah 65:66 does not describe the eschatological picture as described in Revelation 21, 22,* because death, sin, curse, marriage and birth are included. To what situation or event, then, does Isaiah 65:17-25 refer? ..."

    (3)
  7. Hi Annie,
    This is a question often asked and I've seen various interpretations. The one that makes the most sense to me, is that Isaiah was addressing Israel and telling them this was what God wanted to do for their nation if they would surrender to His leadership and covenant and allow the Holy Spirit to change them.

    But to materialize it needed people to leave their carnal natures behind and fully surrender themselves to God. It never materialized back then, as the carnal nature of the population was the ruling nature, and where sin is prevalent, sin will bring it's baggage and consequences.

    My own thoughts on this go back to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden. It seems to some Bible readers, that life COULD have continued in Eden if Adam and Eve had only confessed and promised to do better, everything would have continued as it was before. But the fact that Adam and Eve's children rebelled so significantly against God, shows that the carnal nature is passed on. What happened outside the garden would have exerted itself and ruined Eden.

    Could God have provided this very dream to Israel? Saying, confess your sins and embrace my covenant and walk in my ways and you will live in Eden like conditions? What history shows, is that human nature is such that this just doesn't work. It most certainly didn't work for Israel.

    There was no universal change of heart. God always had a few faithful who walked with Him in faith, but the majority followed their own carnal hearts. Even in a nation that had God's special blessing and presence, the majority followed their own carnal hearts and produced the sinful society with all it's miseries.

    The citizens of the New Earth, as we've been studying this past week on judgment, will all be totally committed to God. Israel's failure brings home the truth that there really is only one way to have the Edenic society and that is being sure everyone in that society has willingly and joyfully experienced and accepted the new heart and spirit that God provides. The new birth experience.

    In the New Earth that Revelation depicts, it is only those who are willingly and totally committed to the ways of Christ that have their names in the book of life and are invited into that perfect kingdom. And this time it will work, for all sin, including those who cling to sin, have been eradicated. This is the only way it will work to have a perfect world. God will be there! Sin with all it's consequences will never again mar this earth, it is created new, and it won't be half and half, it will be one hundred percent perfect.

    (9)
    • Hi, Ulrike. You've shared some interesting ideas, and personally I feel quite sure that the passage in question was indeed a conditional promise for the nation of Israel -- and quite possibly for the whole world, joining them -- to be fulfilled in the "here and now." It does sound rather Eden-like, with one very important difference. Eden includes the Tree of Life, to which Adam and Eve could not have been allowed access, once they had become sinners, no matter how truly sorry or determined to obey, in the future, they may have been -- not until the process of the plan of redemption is complete, of course.

      While it is sad that Israel failed to meet the conditions for the literal fulfillment of that prophecy, how wonderful that God's ultimate plans for the human race cannot be thwarted!

      (6)

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