Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth …” Isaiah 65:17 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Ever since the sin of Adam and Eve ruined everything, it has always been God’s plan to create a new earth.”
Bible scholar Albert Wolters once observed, “It is quite striking that virtually all of the basic words describing salvation in the Bible imply a return to an originally good state or situation.”
The entire salvation process – all three stages of it, are intended by God to return people to the state that was enjoyed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That will be fully accomplished in eternity when we have been given our resurrection bodies and our salvation has then been completely consummated on the New Earth.
The completion of God’s plan requires a new heaven and a new earth for our new bodies to spend eternity in. The old heaven and the old earth just won’t do. It will literally be a return to Eden. God has been talking to us about this truth for thousands of years. He said it through the Old Testament prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 65:17 above. There are also more than 100 other verses in both the Old and New Testaments that point to this. Our eternal existence will be on a new and perfect earth.
If you’re like me and you enjoy earth very much, then you’ll be excited about spending forever on earth – but on an earth that is a perfect paradise. There are many passages scattered throughout the Bible which give us some insight into what the New Earth will be like, and all of them use words and descriptions from the current earth to help us understand. Revelation chapters 21 and 22 are by far the most complete of those passages. In his book “Heaven”, author Randy Alcorn did a good job of drawing out from those passages some of the Lord’s descriptions of the New Earth.
There we read about a resurrected mankind; a redeemed earth; no pain, grief, or tears; there is no sin; there are trees and rivers; animals and mankind live together in perfect harmony; fertile ground produces bountiful vegetation and fruit; there are streets and buildings and cities. In other passages we read that we will be recognizable for who we were in life and we will reside in dwellings. We also read about feasting and fellowship and a lot more.
In the Bible God used realities from the current earth to help us understand what the new earth will be like. This is important because it’s the nature of our eternal existence that’s being described.
Before we move on to consider the resurrection body you will live in for eternity we need to discuss the difference between the New Heaven and the New Earth, and what our relation to each will be. We will do that tomorrow.