New Heavens and Earth
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80. New Heaven and 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 dwelling of God 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 away.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'" (Revelation 21.1-5)

Ancient Jewish Peoples

New Heaven and EarthThe dream of a new heaven and new earth has always been deep in the thoughts of ancient Jewish peoples. "See," says God in Isaiah 65.17, "I create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." This indicates that even sorrow is to be forgotten, sin is to be vanquished, darkness is to end and time is to turn into an everlasting eternity. our continuing belief today points to our immortal longings, to our inherent sense of sin and our abiding faith in God that all will be resolved in the end.

No Sea

SeaIn this vision of future bliss, we also come upon one of the most interesting phrases in the Book of Revelation, "There was no longer any sea." This phrase has a much more important background than we might realize. Jews believe that the seas are the home to demons, hence those people who fall into the water and drown in their thought processes are killed by demons. Ancient Jewish people hate and fear the sea so much so that they have other nations like the Phoenicians bring in supplies for them by boat. Phoenicia is called a "thalassocratic" ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization that originates in the west of the Fertile Crescent. A "thalassocratic" state is one with primarily maritime realms. This includes 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, and as far south as Ashkelon a coastal city on the southern part of Israel. Phoenician colonies later reach the Western Mediterranean, such as Cádiz in Spain and most notably Carthage in North Africa, and even the Atlantic Ocean. The Phoenician civilization spreads across the Mediterranean between BC 1500 and BC 300. The thought that there would no longer be this "menacing sea" would have been a great comfort to all Jewish peoples.

Revelation Heavenly Eternity

Old OarThe Revelation heavenly eternity is described as "holy heaven and a new earth." God will wipe away every tear from every eye with no more death or mourning or crying or pain. There is an old story of an elderly sailor who was weary of battling with the sea. He places an oar over his shoulder and sets out with the intention of journeying inland until he reaches a people who know so little of the sea that they ask him what this strange thing is that he carries on his shoulder. In Jewish dreams, the end of the sea is the end of a force hostile to God and human beings. Have you ever wondered what revelation's heavenly eternity will be like? Isaiah 25.8 reads, "He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken." The Holy City, the new Jerusalem is described as the place where God will "wipe every tear away from their eyes."

Joy For Ever

Heavenly EternityForevermore, there would be no death, pain, sorrow, or crying in this heavenly eternity. What a wonderful 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!✞

Eternal Experience

InfinityThe One seated on the throne in Heaven says that he is providing an unlimited eternal experience for those who love him and making everything new. Eternity is a place prepared for us which is an unlimited eternal experience not hindered by physical properties where everything is completely new. We will be like Jesus and have new bodies in this future eternity. Our experience will be wonderful. We will have a new environment, a new sense of God's presence, new emotions and no more death. Most of the brief descriptions of this eternal experience can be more accurately described as hints using terms and ideas from present experiences to describe what we cannot fully grasp until we arrive there ourselves.

Book of Life

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

"New Heaven and Earth"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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