Newness of Life
I find it exhilarating to read about heaven from the perspective of the ‘new heaven and new earth’. Now honestly, no one really knows what it’s going to look like but there are some things we do know from scripture. The word ‘new’ used in this passage from Rev. 21:1 means to be renewed or converted from the old. It’s the same word used as in believers who were reborn in the Spirit; we became ‘new’ creatures in Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:24). We retain our bodies but we are recreated, however, on the inside we are like Christ, pure and holy. Likewise, the heavens and the earth will retain their external appearance but will be renewed in some amazing way. The apostle Peter tells us that God will set the heavens on fire to burn away the impurities of our planet (2 Peter 3:12-13). We can look forward to the fresh and pure qualities of Earth as it was in the beginning: Gen. 1-2.
This is the place from where we will rule and reign. What does that look like? We don’t really know but we can anticipate having positions of authority as there are in the world today (the parable from Luke 19:11-27 shows us this). When Christ returns and the devil is thrown into his final destiny, the lake of fire, we know that life will go on but it will be a renewed life of righteousness and justice. Jesus Christ will eternally reside on His throne and undoubtedly give out assignments and missions to His people. There will be maintenance of the new creation just as there was in the beginning and there will be relationships and access to God; just as in the beginning.
When God says there will be a new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem, new bodies, new names, and new songs for believers it should stir up anticipation and hope that our final destiny will be more than we could ever think or imagine. There will be no sorrow, no sin, no grief, no hatred, children won’t be hurt, men and women will live alongside each other with no control or competition with each other; all things will be new. I don’t know about you but these are very good reasons to eagerly desire Jesus to come back and rescue us. These are promises from His Word that should stir up anticipation and excitement. So if things in your life are not now what you had hope for, be encouraged, it’s not over. If you’re here when He shows up in the heavens in brilliant light, riding a white horse, you can be assured: He’s coming for you.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:17, 20 NLT)