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Milepost 82: New Creation: Eternity

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Milepost 82: New Creation: Eternity

New Heavens and Earth: Primary References: Revelation 21:1-8

 

This description shows John has mastered the art of understatement as he casually discusses the indescribable destruction of heaven and earth and the creation of their replacement as though these were common everyday occurrences. Though not specified, this description suggests this whole process occurs extremely quickly as no descriptions are provided concerning how the existing creations were destroyed and the new ones created. In fact, just the simple fact that John observed both seems to narrows these timeframes from countless millennia to down to at most years and maybe even hours or less. The descriptions throughout Revelation 21-22 are the primary basis for understanding the new creations but even these focus primarily on New Jerusalem and provide few details of the new heaven(s) and new earth.

Isaiah 66:22-23 shows Old Testament prophets teaching of the future creations:

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

This passage provides several key insights in the new creations. First, the new heavens and new earth still have days and nights, weeks and months (assuming the moon still rises on a monthly cycle). Second, unlike the millennial reign where only appointed representatives appeared annually in Jerusalem, now everyone worships God in His tabernacle, now located in New Jerusalem, at least once a week. Next, the omission of any mention of annual feasts, suggests the only holy day observed during this time is the Sabbath, the Lord’s day. Finally, people’s relationship with God has changed dramatically. To understand how much, consider that when Moses requested to see God’s face, God only permitted him to on gaze on His back because otherwise Moses would have died. Likewise, once a year the high priest and only the high priest could breach the vial and enter the Holy of Holies. Now people not only see God the Father but worship Him face-to-face. Now perfected, people not only survive the sight of God but now thrive in His presence as He lovingly protects and comforts them. Now they live in a place of new beginnings free from pain, crying, sorrow, or death (now conquered) where God himself wipes away their tears.

Jesus returns the gift of life taken from people when Adam chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil over the tree of life and God sent a flaming sword to protect it from the very people for whom it was created (Genesis 2-3). Ever since then, people have searched for the fountain of youth or some other magical potion to stop the aging process and prolong life. Now the righteous can freely drink of the water of life Jesus promised (John 4:7-30). Soon, they will also eat the tree of life’s precious fruit.

Through inheritance, Jesus gives the righteous ownership of all God has created including the new heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem, the water of life, and the tree of life. God’s generosity clearly demonstrates that He takes great pleasure in blessing His children. Additionally, who enjoy these blessings do so in the perfect eternal bodies promised by Isaiah 40:31.

Oddly in the midst of utopia, there is suffering as the wicked serve their sentences in the lake of fire. They do not partake of the joys and blessings of God but instead, suffer the wrath of God. Where the righteous live in the full perfect light of God, the wicked live in absolute total darkness (spiritually and physically). The lake of fire is a carry-over from the old heavens and earth (probably the only one) and as Abraham and Lazarus could see the rich man in hell (Luke 16:15-31), those living in the new creation see the wicked suffering in the lake of fire.