In The Apostles' Creed we confess not only belief in the resurrection of the body but also in the life everlasting What is that life going to be like? To get a glimpse, one place we can turn for answers is Revelation 21:1-5....
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. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.He will dwell with them;they will be his peoples,and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.Death will be no more;mourning and crying and pain will be no more,for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”From this passage I think we can learn at least three things about the life everlasting:
- We will have a new environment.
- We will be with the Lord.
- There will be no more sorrow, pain, or death.
So what about that new environment? Some have thought that the new heaven and new earth will have no connection to the old. However, Paul suggests in Romans 8:20-23 a transfiguration of the old heaven and earth into the new....
...for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.Just as we groan and long to put on our resurrection bodies, so also all of creation groans and longs to put on the new heaven and the new earth. And just as Jesus' resurrection body was fashioned out of his old mortal body, so also, I believe, the new heavens and the new earth will be fashioned from the old.
However, more important than the manner in which God is going to create, or recreate, the new heaven and earth is the fact that we will be with the Lord. "The dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."
I want to look at this topic a little bit further tomorrow, and share with you one of my favorite bits of writing from you know who ... C. S. Lewis.