Renewed Heaven Earth
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80. Renewed Heaven Earth
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 there was no longer any sea. 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, 'Now the God's dwelling is 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. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these are trustworthy and true words.'" (Revelation 21.1-5)✞

Ancient Jewish Peoples

New Heaven EarthAncient Jewish peoples' thoughts have always dreamed of a renewed heaven and earth. "See," says God in Isaiah 65.17, "I create new heavens and a new earth. I will not remember the former things, nor will they come to mind." Gone is sorrow, sin, and darkness. Time will turn into an everlasting eternity. Our beliefs today point to our immortal longings, to our inherent sense of wrong, and our abiding faith in God that, in the end, he will resolve all things with a new heaven and earth. Forever, there will be no death, pain, sorrow, or crying in this heavenly eternity. What a beautiful truth! No matter what you are going through, it's not the last word. God writes the final chapter, and it is about true fulfillment and joy in eternity for those who love him. Eternity with God will be more wonderful than we can ever imagine!✞

No Sea

SeaIn this futuristic vision, we also come upon one of Revelation's most intriguing phrases, "There was no longer any sea." This phrase has a much more significant background than we might realize. Jews believed that seas were demons' homes. Demons killed those who fell into the water and drowned. The thought that there would no longer be this "menacing sea" would have been a great comfort to all Jews. Ancient Jewish people hated and feared the Mediterranean Sea so much that they employed other nations like the Phoenicians to bring in supplies by boat for them from different Mediterranean parts. Phoenicia was a "thalassocratic" state. They operated "with primarily maritime realms, a seaborne empire." This ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization originated in the west of the Fertile Crescent. Phoenicia held the coastal areas of today's Lebanon, Northern Israel, and Southern Syria, reaching as far north as Arwad, a fishing town on an island in the Mediterranean sea. It controlled the coastal city of Ashkelon in Israel's south. Phoenician colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Cadiz in Spain and Carthage in North Africa, and even points on the Atlantic Ocean. The Phoenician civilization spread across the Mediterranean Sea between BC 1500-300.

Revelation's Heavenly Eternity

Old OarRevelation describes a "new heaven and earth" where God would wipe every tear away from every eye. There would be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. There is a story of an elderly sailor who was weary of battling the sea. He placed an oar on his shoulder and set out to journey inland until he reached a people who knew so little of the sea that they would ask him what this strange thing was that he carried. In Jewish dreams, the end of the sea was the end of a force hostile to God and humans. Isaiah 25.8 longs for relief, "He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and he will take away his people's reproach from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken." The holy city, the New Jerusalem, is where God will do away with all pain and sorrow. God will "wipe every tear away from their eyes."

Eternal Experience

InfinityThe one seated on heaven's throne says he provides an endless, eternal experience for those who love him. He is making everything new. Eternity is a place prepared for us, an infinite, everlasting experience not hindered by physical properties, where everything is unique. We will be like Jesus and have new bodies in this futuristic eternity. We will have a new environment, a new sense of God's presence, and new emotions. Most of the eternal bliss descriptions are hints using terms and ideas from our present experiences to describe the unknown until we arrive there ourselves.

Book of Life

Heavenly EternityChristians who persevere will stand firm in the end. They will receive God's promised blessings, including fruit from the tree of life. They will escape the lake of fire to obtain a unique name and have authority over the nations. They will be included in the Book of Life and sit near Christ on his throne. Such will be our eternal experience.✞

"Renewed Heaven Earth"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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