Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Then I saw a new heaven … for the first heaven had passed away …” Revelation 21:2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God will create a new heaven.
There is much discussion and debate among evangelical Bible scholars regarding the question of whether the new heaven and the new earth are separate places, or if they are different terms that refer to the same place. There is some thought that in the new creation heaven and earth are merged by God into a single place.
I personally believe the Bible doesn’t give us enough information to be dogmatic in our answer. We do know that the intermediate heaven, the place the saints in Christ are at now, ceases to exist in that day. Revelation 21:1 makes that clear. So there will be a new heaven. We also know that there will be a new earth that will in many ways be a better and perfected version of the current earth. And from Revelation 21:2 we learn that as the new earth is being created, God will create a new city of Jerusalem which will occupy a prominent place on the new earth. John writes, “I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God …).
Additionally, we know from Revelation 21:3 that God will dwell with His people where they are, “Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God.”
Author Randy Alcorn takes the position that: “God will bring Heaven and Earth together into the same dimension, with no wall of separation, nor armed angels to guard Heaven’s perfection from sinful mankind. God’s perfect plan is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head – Christ.”
Whether the new heaven and the new earth are separate places or a single location created from the merging of the two, may be open to debate. But what is clear from a careful study of Scripture is that our eternal existence will be very much like our life on earth, in a perfected earth-like place, and lived in perfected resurrection bodies. Tomorrow we will begin to learn about those resurrected bodies.