“I Am Making Everything New!”
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13
This present world will be transformed—destroyed with fire, not flooding as in the days of Noah. Sounds like a scene from Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, doesn’t it? And it would be scary if not for the promise of 2 Peter 3:13: we can look forward to “a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells.”
The transformation isn’t just something Peter wrote about. God promised this through his prophet, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17). The apostle John wrote, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1).
British author and pastor Charles Spurgeon said, “This world, so far as we know, will not cease to be; it will pass through the purifying flame, and then it may be the soft and gentle breath of Almighty love will blow upon it and cool it rapidly, and the divine hand will shape it as it cools into a paradise more fair than that which bloomed upon the banks of Hiddekel” (Tigris).*
The word new in 2 Peter 3:13 is the Greek Kainos, meaning as respects form: “recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn”; as respects substance: “of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of.”**
The new heavens (the sky and universe) and new earth will be like nothing we’ve ever seen, and yet there will be a continuity, a familiarity. It will be home, as we’ve always wanted it to be. There will be cities, countries, rulers, life-giving fruit trees, our favorite pets—and maybe a few new ones (Isaiah 11:6).
The best part is that God will dwell with his people on earth, in the New Jerusalem which will come down from heaven. The apostle John wrote, “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:2-3).
There will be no temple because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Revelation 21:22-25).
As you contemplate the new heavens and new earth, to what do you most look forward?
According to Revelation 21:4 and 8, what and who will be missing from the new heavens and earth?
Can you visualize the means of a great fire presently reserved inside the earth’s crust, ready to erupt–maybe from volcanoes worldwide? Read Genesis 1:7-9, 2:5-6, and 7:11-16. Compare the fire to come to the flood waters which were reserved for the flood in Noah’s time.
Read 1 Corinthians 2:9. As you look around at the present earth and sky, how do you think these things will look when they are renewed, with all traces of the curse of Genesis 3:15 removed from them?
Nancy J. Baker
This devotion is part of our series on Heaven.