After the eradication of sin, the earth will be transformed into the home of the redeemed. What will it be like?
In Revelation 21:1, John saw “a new heaven and a new earth”.
The Bible refers to three heavens: the sky, the starry universe, and the place where God dwells (2 Cor. 12:2). In Revelation 21:1, the earth’s atmosphere is in view. The contaminated earth and the sky cannot endure God’s presence (Rev. 20:11). The word “new” in Greek (kainos) refers to something new in quality, not in origin and time. This planet will be purged by fire and restored to its original state (2 Pet. 3:10-13).
Particularly interesting is the fact that the first thing John observes on the new earth is that there is no sea. John’s reference to “thesea” (with the definite article) shows that he probably had in mind the sea that surrounded him on Patmos, which had become a symbol of separation and suffering. For him, the absence of that sea on the new earth meant absence from the pain caused by his separation from those whom he loved.
Read Revelation 21:2-8 and Revelation 7:15-17. What parallels exist in the description of the new earth and the Garden of Eden, in Genesis chapter 2?
A life free of suffering and death on the restored earth is guaranteed by God’s presence among His people. This presence is manifested in the New Jerusalem and “the tabernacle of God” (Rev. 21:3), where God will dwell among His people. The presence of God makes life truly a paradise in the restored earth.
God’s presence guarantees freedom from suffering: no death, sorrow, crying, or pain, which are all the consequences of sin. With the eradication of sin, “the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NKJV).
This idea was well articulated by Mary and Martha at the death of their brother Lazarus: “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, NKJV). The sisters knew that death could not exist in the presence of Christ. In the same way, the abiding presence of God on the new earth will secure freedom from the pain and suffering that we now experience in this life. This freedom is the great hope that is promised to us in Christ, a hope sealed in His blood.
|Why is this promise of a new existence in a new world so central to all that we believe? What good would our faith be without it?|