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A New Earth

by David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

It is great to be together again as we look in to the Word of God.

     The title for the lesson is: A New Earth.  Our text is from the New Testament, Second Peter, chapter 3, verses 10 thru 13. Listen to the Word of God.

      “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

This is the Word of God. And so be it, it will come to pass exactly as it is prophesied.

     For millennia men have been claiming the demise of planet earth.  Doomsayers claim our planet could be destroyed by natural causes such as large asteroids.  In modern times doomsayers claim a hole in earth’s ozone layer, catastrophic climate change or thermal nuclear warfare will destroy planet earth.

     Actually, the Bible has much reveled regarding planet earth.  Theologians identify at least five major phases of earth.

     So, earth originally created by God was perfect, very good in every way, a paradise.  However, man’s sin, disobedience, caused God to curse the earth and everything on it.  Genesis 3:17-19 “To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it.’ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.’  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

     So, this is the basic condition of the earth to this day.  Earth and everything basically on it have gone from perfection to erosion, decay and death.

     Part of the benefit was great longevity of mankind’s lifespan yet eventually there was death.  Consider one prominent example:  Genesis 5:27 “Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.”  These long lifespans allowed mankind to “Be fruitful and increase in number; (to) fill the earth and subdue it.”  As according to Genesis 1:28.

     However, mankind’s sinfulness became so great that God once again intervened and again radically changed the nature of the earth.  Consider Genesis 6:17-18 “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it.  Everything on earth will perish.  But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark, you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.”

Genesis 7:11-12 “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.”  So, added to the rain were the subterranean waters that sprang up from inside the earth, plus from the heavens the water vapor canopy came down to cover the entire earth with flood waters.  Consider Genesis 7:18-19 “The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.  They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.”

     How long will Christ reign on this earth?  Revelation 20:6 says in part “they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for one thousand years.

     What will happen to this earth at that time?  Consider Act 3:20-21 “and that he may send the Christ who has been appointed for you, even Jesus.  He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”

     “Restore everything”. How?  “As he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”  Paradise on this earth will be in large part be revisited.  For example, Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”

     Isaiah 11:9 “They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Has that come about yet on this earth?  No. It has not.  It is yet future.

     Isaiah 35:1-2 “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.  Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.  The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharron; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.”

     Consider Second Peter 3:10-13 “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  New American Standard Version reads: ‘will be burned up.’ In verse 11.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promises we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”

Let’s understand a few key points in this most important passage:

     But why this fiery finish to most radically change at least earth phase IV if it is to be renewed, if it is to be restored?  In part because of: Revelation 20:7-9 that says in part “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth.  In number they are like the sand on the seashore.  They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.  But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”

     So, Satan, and again most of mankind born during the thousand-year reign of Christ actually will have the audacity to rebel against God.  Against God incarnate on earth, even Jesus of Nazareth reigning with his saints; sin once again will leave its stain and pollute this earth.  Therefore, God will create a brand-new heaven and new earth as the Revelation prophecy reveals. Revelation 21:1 that says in part “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

     Moreover, Second Peter 3:13 says in part “in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth.”  That promise of God was rooted in the Old Testament.  For example, Isaiah 65:17 that says “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”  And God always keeps his promises.  Therefore, the phase V new earth will finally and permanently be a universe whereby all of God’s people will dwell in our “home of righteousness” in Second Peter 3:13.

     Finally, permanently “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!” from Revelation 21:4-5

     So why is all of this important and practical for us today?  Just this: you have heard the doomsayers claim our planet earth will end tragically by an asteroid, catastrophic climate change, thermal nuclear war or the like; that is by awful devastating natural or man-made causes.  Wrong!  As Bible-believing Christians we should be comforted to know only Almighty God will bring an end to this earth.

     So, as scripture reveals, we “ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming!”   Second Peter 3:11-12.

     One of our motivations now practically for ‘holy and godly lives’ is knowing newness and eternity with God is coming.  “To speed its coming” is to eagerly desire our eventual ‘home of righteousness’ as we are and remain in Christ Jesus.  And our overarching attitude therefore is not as this world continues to repeat doom and gloom. No believers do not fear the ultimate future of the Day of God.  We instead should rejoice in the victory and joy to come – forevermore!

But dear listener you need to be in Christ through persevering faith.

     Have you received, have you personally received Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord?  Repenting of your sin, believing that he is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  Confessing him as your personal Savior and Lord.  Being baptized by immersing in to Christ Jesus and persevering in him.  Then one day ultimately all of God’s people together with the faithful angels will be together with the triune God for ever and ever in a brand-new universe with new heaven and a new earth.

May this be true of each one of us. 

 

       David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.




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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8