End Times Series #8 – New Heaven and Earth
By Rod Nichols (Rod@RodNichols.com)
This is the final installment of this series. In the previous installment, we studied the 1000 year reign of Christ, commonly called the Millennium. This is a time of rebuilding and repopulating the earth. Because Satan is bound during the millennium and Jesus reigns, it is a time of unprecedented good. Many come to know the Lord and yet even still some are deceived when Satan is released for a short time and raises an army. However, the army is quickly destroyed by fire from heaven and Satan is cast into the fiery pit for eternity. Now, we begin the most exciting time in the history of the earth.
Revelation 21:1-2 reads, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
For the first time since the garden, God is going to dwell with man. Have you ever wondered what it’s going to be like in eternity? What heaven will look like? Well, we’re going to examine what the Bible has to say and answer those questions by looking at the events that usher in our eternity with God.
Remember, that those who did not receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord, will be spending eternity in the fiery pit with Satan, the anti-christ, the false prophet, and all the fallen angels. Only those who understand, accept, and believe that Jesus is the redeemer, will spend eternity with God.
In this next part of human history, God is going to do something amazing. He’s going to meld the spiritual realm with the physical realm of earth. This is going to require some major restructuring of earth, so that it can handle the glory of God. The first of these restructuring events can be found in Isaiah 51:6, “…the heavens will vanish like smoke.” Peter also spoke of this event in 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” Also in 2 Peter 3:12, “as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.”
The first major event is the destruction of the heavens. Obviously this does not refer to the 3rd heaven, where God resides. Rather it is a reference to the 1st heaven, which is our atmosphere and the 2nd heaven, which is the spiritual domain ruled by Satan. From the scriptures we just read, it is clear that God is going to destroy the heavens in a sudden, explosive, fiery manner, which will be used to restructure our atmosphere.
The second event, which will likely occur at the same time as the first, is mentioned in 2 Peter 3:10, “…and the earth and its works will be burned up. The earth, as we know it is going to change. Jesus said that the earth would pass away (Matt. 24:35). In Revelation we see the new heaven on earth, so earth cannot be completely destroyed, however it is clearly going to go through a major restructuring.
This brings us to the third event, which can be found in our main text, Revelation 21 verse 1: “…and there was no longer any sea.” Right now earth’s surface is three fourths water. It is a necessity for human life. However, during the tribulation, God turns all earthly water into blood. That combined with the scripture we just read, leads me to believe that the oceans will cease to exist. Perhaps they will be dried up by the fire that changes the heaven and reshapes earth.
It appears that the only water that will be needed in eternity is the living water released by Jesus when he sets foot on earth at the end of the tribulation (Zech. 14:8). Jesus told the Samarian woman at the well that if she drank his water, she would no longer thirst. In eternity we will drink from the never ending living water and thirst no longer.
The fourth event and the most exciting is found in Revelation 21:2 – 22:5, which describes the New Jerusalem coming down out of the 3rd heaven to the earth. Literally heaven on earth! In these scriptures we are given an excellent view of this new heaven.
In the new heaven we will dwell with God. There will be no more sorrow (no more tears), death or mourning or pain. Everything will be new – the old will pass away. The city will have a high wall and twelve gates that will always be open. The wall will have twelve foundations, all made with precious stones. The gates will be made from a single pearl (image the size of that oyster) and the streets paved with pure gold, which is transparent as glass.
The city will be 1400 miles square and the walls 200 feet thick. There will be no need for the sun, moon, or stars, as God’s glory will light the city, so there will never be darkness. Running through the city is the river of the water of life. On each side of the river will be a tree of life which bears twelve crops of fruit. The fruit will provide eternal life and the leaves divine health, which means there will be no sickness.
This is a spectacular description of the city in which we will all live with God. Jesus also told us in John 14:3 that He was going to prepare a place for us. A verse earlier, He tells us that there are many mansions in His Father’s house. This would lead us to believe that Jesus has gone to prepare a mansion (house or dwelling) for each of us. So, it appears we will all have a dwelling of some sort in this new city. The most exciting part is that, as it was in the beginning, God will dwell with man and there will be no sin and with evil sent into the fiery pit, there will be no possibility of sin. We will live in perfect harmony with God for all eternity. It will probably take that long to see all of the faces of God and we, similar to the winged creatures in Revelation 4:8, will probably be saying “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty, who was, and is, and is here to stay.”
I don’t know about you, but I get very excited about spending eternity with God. I also look forward to spending eternity with all of my family and friends. How about you?
Are you sure you will be in eternity with God? If not, isn’t it time to give your heart and life to Jesus. Don’t wait another second; acknowledge that you are a sinner bound for hell. Then receive Jesus as your Redeemer and Savior. Promise to follow the Lord the rest of your life. If your’s is a heart felt prayer, then you are saved by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross over 2,000 years ago. All your sins, past, present, and even the future ones are covered by His blood. God now sees you through blood colored glasses. He no longer sees your sinful nature, but rather sees the righteousness of Jesus, because you are now in Him. Find yourself a good Bible teaching church and let them know you just accepted Jesus. They will help you with the next step.
Well, we’ve reached the end of the End Times Series. I’m sure that you recognize that these eight documents are packed with information that every person should know. Now that God has freely given you this knowledge, it is up to you to freely share it with everyone you know. Millions of people are bound for hell, because people like you and me are not sharing this information. It’s important for them to know what is in store for them. Your job is to share the information. The Holy Spirit will call those who are ready. However, you need to be ready to lead them in a salvation prayer.
If there has been any part of these eight teachings that you did not agree with or don’t understand, please e-mail me and I will be happy to provide additional documentation or clarification. Now, go in peace and may God bless you abundantly!
Rod Nichols is an Associate Pastor at Truth and Grace Foursquare Church in Tacoma, WA. He is also a published author and accomplished public speaker and teacher. Rod’s latest articles and books can be found at www.RodNichols.com. Rod is married with five children. He and his wife Karen live in beautiful Washington State. Rod is available as a freelance writer. If you'd like to hire him, e-mail Rod@RodNichols.com.
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