Eternal Heaven will be different from the heaven where God is dwelling at present.
When God’s program for this present time is complete, God will renovate the heavens and the earth. In fact, He will merge His heagen with a new universe tthat will be our perfect dwelling place, and our home forever.
Put differently, heaven, the place where God dwells will expand to encompass the tneir universe which will become a universe fit for the glory of heaven.
2 Peter 3:13. Peter speks of new heaens and new erth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
This was what Abraham was looking for by faith. Hebrews 11:9-10. Abraham was willing to be a nomad and to seek his only permanent dwelling in God’s eternal city in the world to come.
Psalm 102:25-27 describes the Lord changing the universe as we would change a worn-out garment, a massive renovation of heaven and earth.
Psalms 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
This passage is quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12.
Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Isaiah 65:17-19 prophesies that God will create new heavens and a new earth, such that the present heavens and earth will not be remembered.
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
In the new universe, New Jerusalem will be the center of everything.
This new universe will be eternal and the saints will be there forever, Isaiah says in Isaiah 66:22.
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
God’s promise through Isaiah is given a full exposion in Revelation 21. Here is a glorious desription of the new heavens and the new erth, with His capital, the Holy City, New Jerusalem.
The backrop is that the Battle of Armageddon has been fought (Revelation 19), the Millennial Kingdom of Christ has come to an end (Revelation 20:7), the Great White Throne Judgments have been pronounced over Satan and all the ungodly, all of whom are sentenced to eternal hell (Revelation 20:11-15).
Then the whole universe will be dissolved
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Everything we know will be made perfect. Death, sin, sadness and pain will be done away with. The new heavens and new earth that take the place of the old will be the glorious realm in which the people of God will dwell eternally.
How will the current universe be destroyed before all things are made new?
Peter tells us that the present world will not even entertain the notion that God will dissolve the world.
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
This predicts a time of apostasy and when the prevailing worldview will be one of unbelief and mocking skepticism such as we see around us already, showing with every passing day of increasing apostasy that we are indeed in the last days.
The arguments of mocking skepticism have no solid foundation. The argument that since Jesus hasn’t returned in the last two thousand years, He won’t return at all, is on the same shaky foundation as the argument that sinfe I haven’t died so far, I will not die at all!
Peter regards this attitude as a form of “wiling ignorance”::
2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Before the chapter ends, Peter assures us that all thes things shall be dissolved, and that this knowledge has implications for us in this present world.
2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Peter warns that no one should think of God’s delay as slackness; rather we need to realize that the delay is yet another sign of God’s grace, which results in His being enormously patient (long-suffering).
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
As a matter of fact, God made a covenant with Noah and every living creature that He would never again bring a cataclysmic flood that would destroy nearly all mankind as the Great Flood did.
Genesis 9:9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
The next time judgment will come not by flood but by fire that will be different from any known to mankind.
Atomic science has shown that, theoretically, a nuclear bomb like a cobalt-60 bomb
has the theoretical potential to destroy all life on the planet (though this is disputed by some). But this fire from God is not a thermonucler fire but a suddden miraculous fire that will melt the very elemens with fervent heat..
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
This amounts to saying that the heavens and the earth will be “uncreated”. No scientific method will be able to preserve the planet. It is temporary, disposable … and replaceable by a New Heaven and a New Earth. Only God can work a miracle as great as this. An Uncreation followed by a glorious New Creation that is imperishable. Exactly the kind that Abraham fixed his hopes on.
This shows that even God’s greatest judgment has a gracious purpose, for only then will the universe stop groaning under the curse of sin:
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Revelation 21:1 gives us a Biblical description of the new heven and a new earth for hte firt haven nd the firt erth were pssed away.
The Greek word translated “new” (kainos) stresses that the earh that God will create will not just be new as opposed to old, but will also be different.
Paul uses the same Greek word in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”. It speaks of a change in quality. The new heavens nd earth, like our newness in Christ, will be glorified, free from sin’s curse, and eternal.
John does not tell us in Revelation what the New Earth will be like, but it will be familiar in many ways. Jerusalem will be there (New Jerusalem) and it has streets, walls and gates. he does say there will be a mountain (probably Mount Zion) and Heavenly Jerusalem (which will be the dwelling place of God), will be right next to the mountain, as earthly Jerusalem’s was next to Mount Zion.
Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
The holy city has a stream of living water that waters every part of it, and trees in and on either side of the stream.
But there will be no sea. A fact in sharp contrast to the present earth, which is covered mostly with water.
In the New Jerusalem, there will be no sea to separate us from other people. No turbulent waves to make us afraid.
The only water described in heaven is a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:`.
New Jerusalem will be a ream of perfect bliss. No tears, no pain, no sickness, no death, no sorrow or crying. Rather, it will be a place where God’s people will dwell together with Him forever, free from all the consequences of sin and evil. God will personally wipe away the tears from the eyes of the redeemed. Just absolute joy and eternal blessing.
More on all this later