As one of God’s image bearers I look forward to The New Heaven and the New Earth. Over the course of my life, I am now 64 I have experienced my share of physical debility, now contending with multiple cancers, side effects etc. I understand and feel the futility that my sin and everyone else’s sins bring to the world. But it is not all negative: Jesus gave this reply in John “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3
So from this statement by our lord we see that our physical and mental debility accomplishes several things not the least of which is to remind us of our pending death and to direct us to our Savior and his Holy Word.
As my mind and body continues to break down as I age, I get the fact we must die and be with our Lord and eventually have resurrected Bodies. You see there is great potential there. Often there is a misconception that we will be going backwards to a restored Eden but that is not what scripture tells us, that we be a reduction as Eden was just the beginning of God’s plans. Restoration is the reality we are heading towards moment by moment. “3 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13
Eden was a start that changed directions. Had Adam and Eve not sinned they would have eaten of the Tree of Life and entered into a glorious future with God. It’s amazing for me to try and visualize what God the Father, God the Son, and the Person of the Holy Spirit did together and separately as creation unfolded. We can see this unfolding in the OT if we read and look closely. It’s interesting how the late Theologian Hugh McCann described God’s omniscient view of creation as being present to him all at once from eternity past. Hard for us to grasp in our finite existence.
When Lucifer aka Satan rebelled, became the first sinner and the Father of Lies and then convinced Eve and Adam to doubt God like Lucifer they sought to be a little god. That was a function of free will. You and I have that same function. God’s sovereign plan was already underway as the Son became the mediator between God the Father and humanity. Why does this plan matter, does it matter we understand God’s original and ongoing plan always has been headed toward a reality far beyond what Eden could have been?
“27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 20:27
I look forward to those endless days as people from every tribe, ethnicity, language will be there with us.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, Revelation 5:9.
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4 And the most important fact is we won’t need to imagine our Lord anymore we will see him, touch him, speak to him, listen to him!!!!
Our shared humanity with a Fallen Adam is now made right by Christ on the Cross.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We can understand that the glory of the future New heaven and New Earth transforms our sense of reality now. The security of the future soothes our fear of our impending death in the here and now. We should contemplate our growing sense of identity as citizens of Heaven as our time in this life grows short. Taking time to imagine the love relationship we’re going to enjoy forever warms our hearts toward Christ in the present.
When we depart this life, we will be in a nonphysical existence outside of time. We will be with loved ones and many others we do not yet know. Eventually Christ is going to give us resurrected, glorified bodies that are made for living forever with him. We’ll experience all that God has planned, and been preparing, to share with his people from the very beginning in eternity past.
In relationship with Christ we pray daily, we talk with and petition him, and we patiently await our future with Him. So do not waste the present, glorify him in all you do, disciple those around you and be grateful!