Some of our thoughts and expectations of heaven and the earth underscores human blindness and man’s ignorance towards his ultimate destiny. Many have accurately written about heaven, but very few have expressly spoken or written about the New Earth.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” (Matthew 25:31-34).
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:31-34).
Heaven is not a grand and glorious castle or mansion in the sky that is filled with golden streets that we are to inherit. I have heard many speak of their mansion next to the mansion of Jesus, as they have been taught. We need to get rid of our fantasies and come into the reality of the truth of God’s word. We need to burst the bubbles now! There is nothing of a grand and glorious castle or mansion in the blue sky. Heaven is a spiritual reality where the perfect order and will of God reigns. It is a purposeful realm that is prepared to invade the earth as the eternal home of the redeemed is established in the New Earth. There is a big difference with the scripture speaking about heaven as the throne of God and the New Jerusalem, or the New Heaven and New Earth that is being established by God.
“……Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3).
According to this particular chapter, the scripture does not speak of ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ as a literal place that exists somewhere in the sky as we may think. It is referring to the active rule of God occurring in a person’s life – it is a dimension of Kingdom living that is manifested even now. The Kingdom of Heaven is a reality of the will of God in heaven, taking its place in our heart, and affecting the earth. The desire of God for us is to prepare for the coming glory of God’s Kingdom that is to be fully revealed in the earth. We need to get rid of our uncertainties of treasures and mansions in the sky.
Indeed, there is a heaven that is established as the throne of God, which is the administrative seat of God’s government, and we should not be deceived about this. Heaven exists, but we need to accurately understand what it is, and what God is seeking to do in the earth through the Church.
First, we must understand that the earth and the heavens were created perfect – God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good. This began the rule of God’s Kingdom on earth when He placed man in the garden.
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…..Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” (Genesis 1:31; 2:1).
Again, we must understand that the earth will remain forever. In fact, the scripture speaks of a restoration of all things that will take place in the earth, and the original order of God will come into place again (Acts 3:21). Redemption is coming to the earth as God seeks to recover and restore the earth back to His original purpose.
“And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which He hath established for ever.” (Psalm 78:69).
“Who (God) laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.” (Psalm 104:5).
“But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:17-18).
“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21).
The scripture speaks about the earth and the heavens as vesture being changed, and they shall be changed. This change is something beyond the expression and understanding of the human mind, especially when the present realities are war, crime, hunger, sickness, diseases and aging. The process of change the earth will go through, is divinely purposed, and God has His own way and plan to bring this. God has in no way given up on His original creation, but His desire is to recover, redeem and restore the earth back to its original form and condition as it was in the garden of Eden before man fell.
This present earth will be changed and transformed, but the world will not come to an end (Ephesians 3:21). There will be ages after ages, but the world is without end. The earth has always been and will always be, but there will be the end of ages and the beginning of a new age in God that will be called a New Earth that will be kept by the word of the Lord.
“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4).
What comes to mind is the question of the scripture speaking about the earth being destroyed with a fervent heat. Consider Matthew 12:32, Hebrews 6:5, 2 Peter 3:5-7. When the scripture speaks of “the world to come”, and “the passing away of the present world”, it uses the original Greek for “world” as “aion”, which in fact translates as “age”, and “age” means a dispensation, a length of time of a generation and not the natural structure of the present earth. The context speaks of this age or ages, but there will always be the beginning of a new age and generation that will inhabit the earth, because the earth remains forever.
It is as in the days of Noah. It is a generation that was destroyed, which brought about the ending of that age, but the earth itself which is the natural world, was not destroyed. God began a new age with a righteous generation in Noah to repopulate the same earth which we now live in.
Consider the writing of Anthony Hoekema that says, “In His redemptive activity, God does not destroy the works of His hands, but cleanses them from sin and perfects them, so that they may finally reach the goal for which He created them. Applied to the problem at hand, this principle means that the New Earth to which we look forward will not be totally different from the present one, but will be a renewal and glorification of the earth on which we now live”.
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17).
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:13-18).
Read Revelation 21:1-27 and Revelation 3:12.
The New Earth will be a company of righteous people living on earth, and the New Heavens will be a perfect order of God’s Kingdom or government ruling over them in that new age. God’s original purpose has not changed, it is eternal and will be fulfilled as planned by God. The purpose of God is to see a righteous order of His people residing in the New Earth forever.
“The righteous shall inherit the land (“erets” – earth, world), and dwell therein for ever.” (Psalm 37:29).
“….and for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise we do wait, in which righteousness doth dwell” (2 Peter 3:13 YLT).
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2).
Our eternal house that we earnestly desire to be clothed upon with is the New Heaven and the New Earth, which is coming from heaven above to the earth, and this will change the whole course of things into the New Earth.
Paul Marshall writes, “Our destiny is an earthly one: a new earth, an earth redeemed and transfigured. An earth reunited with heaven, but an earth, nevertheless”.
I strongly recommend the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. He said, “God’s redemptive plan climaxes not at the return of Christ, nor in the millennial Kingdom, but on the New Earth. Only then will all wrongs be made right. Only then will there be no more death, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:1-4).
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great– and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:15-18).
Be it known that the Lord seeks to destroy those who are destroying the earth. His desire has never been to abandon the earth or give any terrain to satan, but to restore the earth into a New Earth. God will restore everything in the earth. As Randy Alcorn vividly puts it, “We won’t go to Heaven and leave Earth behind. Rather, God will bring Heaven and Earth together into the same dimension, with no wall of separation, no armed angels to guard the Heaven’s perfection from sinful mankind (Genesis 3:24). God’s perfect plan is “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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