Stephen Whitsett BA
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Preterism / Dispensationalism
The New Heavens and Earth
Rev 21.1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
22And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life..
Rev 22.1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
2 Peter 3 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
11Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
“19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved.
There are three very important concepts to remember concerning the New Heaven and Earth.
1.) It is the remaking of this present earth and heavens, a restoration of creation back to its original intent. A home for man.
2.) God will live with man face to face and so the necessity of the “resurrected” human body to its glorified state.
3.) Our final destination is not heaven in the sky but heaven on earth.
In NT Wright’s book “Surprised by Hope” the focus is correcting the view that somehow we live life after death in some third dimensional altered state of consciousness. The reality is the earth was created for man and a place for man to dwell with God.
The New heavens and earth is a restoration of creation or the “redemption” of creation from the curse. There is no sickness death, growing old, hurting ourselves as there is no pain. No marriage. No man gets 32 virgins every morning.
The resurrected body is made to live in this new earth.
Even the graciousness of God wipes the memory away of those who we loved and are now lost. There is no more crying or mourning.
I ASSUME we will appear as we are meant to be in the prime of life void of the scars or diseases that marked our bodies in this life. There is no lame, blind, or deaf all of whole minds. I cannot think that anything that is not “good’ and “perfect” in God’s eyes in how he created all things to be before the fall can exist in the New Earth.
Personally I look with eager anticipation to see a world in its pristine untouched condition
“Behold I make all things new".