A. THE NEW EARTH AND STARRY HEAVENS
Let us consider the following Scripture verses:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband. (Rev 21:1,2)
1. The first heaven and earth will pass away
How will this happen? The apostle Peter explains:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up. (2 Pe 3:10).
Once the earth has been emptied of all human life as seen previously, it will be totally consumed by fire, together with every heavenly body in the starry heavens. The constellations of stars and planets will be destroyed. The very atoms, the building blocks by which they were constructed at creation, will be consumed. The energy will return to God and nothing material will be left in the entire universe; no, the universe will cease to exist. Only that which is in heaven and hell will remain. It will even become less than an imploded star which, in size, becomes a mere speck of material (but with indescribable mass, weight).
2. A new heaven and a new earth
The first heaven and earth were good when created; they only got corrupted and cursed because of man’s sin.
The new starry heaven’s and the new earth will even be better.
The new heavens here spoken of, are of course the starry heavens and not the heaven where God lives, for that heaven was never corrupted by sin and does not need to be replaced or even renewed.
3. The New Jerusalem descends
From where does it descend? From heaven (Ja 1:17). Onto what? Onto the new earth for there is no other explanation, reading it in context.
We have seen before that this New Jerusalem is not so much seen as a city, but as a concentration of people, of God’s people. They are now coming to take possession of the mansion which God prepared for them.
4. The Bridegroom and Bride in their new home
The Bride has now married the Heavenly Bridegroom. In the following verse the Bride is, for the first time, called the WIFE of the Lamb.
And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (Rev 21:9).
The marriage feast of the Lamb has been held (Rev 19:7) and now they are going to live undisturbed forever. Both the Bride and Bridegroom went through many tribulations but now enjoy the fruit of their sufferings and efforts.
Man will no longer be a sexual being and there will be no marriages since both former males and females will, as members of the Bride, be married to Christ.
5. Bodies and movement
Jesus, after his resurrection, could appear to humans, but also disappear. He apparently could move effortlessly from once location to another as if in another dimension for He appeared to people in different places. When He appeared to 500 brothers at once or at the same time, were they together or separate?
Afterward He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain until this present day, but also some fell asleep (1Co 15:6).
He could eat human food – could He go without food? He could ascend to heaven.
So, the question now arises what our abilities will be on the new earth.
Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is. (1 Jn 3:2).
Will we be able to appear and disappear? Will we be able to move right through material objects? Will we be able to visit heaven? Will we be able to travel to the furthest star in the universe in a split second? What will the new heavens and earth look like?
Well we do not have the answers to all of these questions, but they surely open up exciting possibilities. We certainly will not be bored!
The new paradise will have no borders. The starry heavens will be open to be explored at will. Traveling all over the universe will be normal, even exploring the nuclei cauldrons of the brightest stars.