God’s Rightful Place
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband.(Revelation 21:1-2) Good News Translation
We refer to the life after this one as “heaven” because we haven’t paid attention to what the Bible says. We’ll eventually live in a new Jerusalem at the the location presently occupied by our Earth.
During the month of December our devotion is going to be a study of heaven, which is to say, the next life. We, that’s me and the Holy spirit, are going to see if we can clear up some misconceptions about what comes next.
There will be a new heaven and a new Earth. But let’s pay attention to how these words are used. The heavens which we presently observe in our time has two natures:
- day time, when we have to avoid looking directly at the sun,
- night time, when we can observe a panoply of stars.
In our present age and in the Millennial Kingdom the heavens are spoken of as plural. Three heavens are described in scripture:
The Three Heavens
- Open firmament, atmosphere or sky where birds fly,
- celestial realm, cosmos, observable universe or space where the stars are set in their courses,
- firmament, sea of glass or heliopause the location of God’s throne.
All of the stars fall to Earth during the tribulation or are vaporized at the end of the age. The firmament rolls up like a scroll. That only leaves an atmosphere but it’s consumed with the Earth. The Earth collapses in on itself because of the expansion of hell, but then hell is cast into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is Venus which is sent drifting off into outer darkness. Whatever’s left of the Earth is vaporized at the end of the age along with what was left of the former heavens. There’s nothing occupying the physical space where the Earth presently resides.
However, the gravitational singularity around which the Earth formed is still present. How do we know? Let’s pay attention to our text. Up and down, above and below, were established when gravity was created on the second day. If the holy city, new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, the sky, then the orientation which was established on the second day is still in effect. We won’t be living in heaven, an empty sky, we’ll be living in the new Jerusalem which will be set upon the original singularity.
The city has no need of the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God shines on it, and the Lamb is its lamp.(Revelation 21:23) Good News Translation
We should pay attention to the fact that the heaven of the new heaven and new earth is singular. As such, the new heaven is going to be a sky which has nothing in it. There won’t be a sun or moon or anything else to detract from the glory of God, or that could be worshiped as an idol. The new heaven is simply the atmosphere surrounding the new Jerusalem.
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- Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
- believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
- confess your sin.
Read through the Bible in a year
|Reading plan||December 1|
|Chronological||1 Corinthians 9-11|