The final two chapters of Revelation describe the eternal state of the redeemed from all ages. Redeemed man will experience supernatural phenomena incomprehensible to the finite mind during this age of universal curse.
Inasmuch as man was created in the very image of God, redeemed man will share in God’s finest throughout all eternity.
The prayer Jesus taught His disciples and the crowds is about to be fulfilled.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
Approximately 60 years after Jesus’ ascension, the apostle John received an invitation to get a glimpse of things that will follow the church age. Chapters 4 through 19 of Revelation relate to the seven year tribulation and the millennial kingdom following. Chapter 20 refers to the end of the millennial kingdom and the great white throne judgment.
However, we’ll be discussing the events after the thousand year kingdom, i.e. the ‘new heaven and new earth.’
“Now I (John) saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” Revelation 21:1
‘Saw, or see,’ means ‘to behold or gaze.’ Synonymous terms include ‘to look with amazement, behold, to comprehend, or perceive fully.’
‘New’ in the present context actually means ‘renewed or redone.’ The earth will be the same physical body, but will be renewed more splendidly and superior to the present earth.
The same word is used when describing a Christian. A Christian has their same old body but is indwelt with the Spirit; hence, a new being.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Just as the earth remained after the flood, the same earth will abide forever after the fiery judgment with incorruptible characteristics after all semblance of sin is judged and removed.
‘Passed’ from the Greek means ‘to unloose, let go, depart, or go away.’ It is used metaphorically for heaven and earth.
‘Heaven’ from the Greek in the present context is described as the final destiny for redeemed man where they will receive their inheritance. The new heaven is incorruptible as is the new earth which means it is not subject to decay but will remain throughout eternity in all its glory.
The new heaven and new earth was revealed to the prophet Isaiah approximately seven centuries before the birth of Christ.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 65:17
‘New’ in the Hebrew carries the same meaning as the Greek, i.e. ‘renewed.’
And then Peter echoed Isaiah’s prophecy after Christ’s death and ascension. Peter also spoke of the passing away of the current heaven and earth.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up…Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:10, 13
All semblances of sin and unrighteousness must be destroyed before the new heaven and new earth appear. We must never forget the holiness and righteous attributes of God.
The new earth will not have oceans.
“Also there was no more sea.” Revelation 21:1b
‘Sea’ in the present context refers to a large body of water like an ocean as contrasted to land.
It is interesting to note that without water life is impossible for man on this present earth. On the renewed earth there will be no water as we know it.
“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…” Revelation 21:2
New Jerusalem is the name of the literal, physical city that ‘descends out of heaven from God.’ It measures approximately 1,400 miles long, wide, and high. It appears that the city will rest on the renewed earth or hover above it.
Much more to follow.