KEY THOT: The ultimate destiny of the church is not “up there” but “down here”. When the first heaven and first earth had passed away (NET: “ceased to exist”; NLT: “disappeared”), God will create a new heaven (cosmos), and a new earth (without sea). Then the saints in glory who are now with Christ in heaven will return as the Bride of Christ with the Bridegroom to dwell on the new earth where God himself will be among them: “coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God" (Rev 21:2-3). Also, all the saints of the Bride will have resurrection bodies that will enable them to live in this new future reality where heaven and earth are fused together in one place. What a glorious vision of the future for all who believe in Jesus Christ! It will be Eden 2.0 awaiting us when we return back to the new earth to live with Christ forever. And like Eden 1.0, we will again be placed in this new perfect Garden to live, work and play:
- Rev 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
- 2 Peter 3:10-13 “the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze! But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides.” (NET)
That’s why Jesus calls us not to lay up treasures on earth but lay up treasures in heaven. But what are the treasures in heaven? Redeemed souls who will live forever and ever. Not our houses, our stocks and shares, our bank accounts, our possessions – all these will be consumed by fire. Only the souls of the redeemed will remain—and these are the treasures we should invest our lives in. And Jesus concluded: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
So, what should be our treasure? What should we invest our time, energy and life in? There are two things only: our relationship with God and turning sinners into saints of God, for both these two will remain in the new heaven and new earth—everything else will perish.
Father, thank You for this heavenly vision that You have given us. Help us to live with eternity in view so that we might live this earthly life not for ourselves but to worship You and seek the salvation of the lost. Amen.