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Section 9B .. The Future

 

003white   Index to Section 9B... The Future         >        Index To Heaven       >     Heaven: A New Heaven And a New Earth

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Heaven-Bg

What And Where is Heaven?..
Part IV... A New Heaven and A New Earth

God never had any intention of always maintaining a heaven somewhere 'up there', quite separate from earth.

Carol Brooks
Edited by Vicki Narlee

Index To All Six Sections

 Part I... Defining "Heaven" as The Promised Kingdom of God

  Part II... The Location and Nature of Heaven... The Promises and The Prophecies

Part III ... Jesus' Second Coming and The Resurrection of The Body

You Are Here 001orange Part IV... A New Heaven and A New Earth

Part IV B... No More Sea?

Part V... What The Bible Says About The Resurrected Body

Part VI... Will There Be Time and Space In The New Earth?

 Part VII... The Bema or Judgment Seat of Christ, and Rewards in Heaven
 

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On This Page

Will The Earth Be Destroyed?
The New Jerusalem Comes Down From Heaven
Heaven and Earth Become One ...
... In the Coming Kingdom of God

 See An Overview of Revelation.

Will The Earth Be Destroyed?...
The Earth is Permanent

In defense of the perpetual earth position, many refer to the Scriptures that speak of the earth's permanence. Particularly, Psalm 104:5 and Ecclesiastes 1:4

    He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever (Heb. lm) and ever.  (Psalms 104:5 NASB)

    A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever (Heb. lm)  (Ecclesiastes 1:4 NASB)

The Hebrew word lm translated "forever" is used over 400 times in the Old Testament. Olm is defined by Strong's Lexicon as being "generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity". Which is why it is translated into the English words everlasting, for ever, perpetual etc.'

    Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever (Heb. lm) "  (Genesis 3:22 NASB)

    Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting (Heb. lm) God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. (Isaiah 40:28 NASB)

However, there are verses where lm cannot be understood quite as literally, but refers to a long, indefinite period. For example,

    Then the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever (Heb. lm), because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3 NASB)

    then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently (Heb. lm) .  (Exodus 21:6 NASB)

So many of the Old Testament rituals and sacrifices were called "permanent", but they were all eventually replaced (Hebrews 10:11-12)

    Now you shall have this as a permanent (Heb. lm) statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year." And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did.  (Leviticus 16:34 NASB)

    Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual (Heb. lm)  statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.  (Leviticus 23:14 NASB)

    It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the Lord's offerings by fire, his portion forever (Heb. lm)  (Leviticus 24:9 NASB)

    "Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him and to set out the showbread continually, and to offer burnt offerings morning and evening, on sabbaths and on new moons and on the appointed feasts of the Lord our God, this being required forever in Israel. (2 Chronicles 2:4 NASB)


The Earth Will Be Destroyed
On the other hand, there are several verses of Scripture that indicate the present earth and heaven will one day be completely destroyed, then replaced by an entirely new creation. Two of which are ...

    For behold, I create new heavens (Heb. shmayim) and a new earth (Heb. 'erets); And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness. "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. [Isaiah 65:17-19 NASB]

    Then I saw a new (Heb. chdsh) heaven and a new (Heb. chdsh) earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. [Revelation 21:1 NASB]

However, these verses are not definitive proof of the total obliteration of the earth, simply because both the Hebrew and Greek words used (Heb. chdsh and Gk. kainos) do not necessarily mean something that has recently come into being, but can also mean something fresh or rejuvenated. For example, in the following verses, the Lord's kindness is renewed every morning as the psalmist said (a), and people's heart's are renewed or refreshed, not replaced (b).

    a) The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new (Heb. chdsh) every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  (Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB)

    b) Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new (Heb. chdsh) heart and a new (Heb. chdsh) spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 18:31 NASB. Also see Ezekiel 36:26)

Also note some examples of how the Greek kainos is used in the New Testament. In fact, it has been rendered "fresh" by the NASB in the first example.

    Nor do people put new wine into old wine skins; otherwise the wine skins burst, and the wine pours out and the wine skins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh (Gk. kainos) wine skins, and both are preserved." (Matthew 9:17 NASB)

    But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new (Gk. kainos) with you in My Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:29 NASB)

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new (Gk. kainos) creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB)

    and put on the new (Gk. kainos) self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.  (Ephesians 4:24 NASB)


Revelation 20:11
reads "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them", which some take to indicate that the old heaven and earth no longer exist.

However, the word translated "fled" means 'ran away'. Therefore, saying the earth and heaven "fled" before God is dramatization. Revelation 20:11 is not meant to be taken literally but, like many verses in the Psalms, paints a picture of God's majesty so overwhelming that even the planets cannot stand before Him.

    (Perhaps we need to pay attention to the fact that if the heavens and earth 'flee' at the sight of the Father as judge on His white throne, we had better stop taking our religion as lightly as many of us do, and do everything possible to ensure that we do not find ourselves standing at the foot of that throne).

Zephaniah 1:2-3, 18
One prophet of old told us what the end of the age will be like. *The word things is not in the original Hebrew.

    I will completely remove all *things from the face of the earth," declares the Lord. "I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, And the ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth," declares the Lord... Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord's wrath; and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth. (Zephaniah 1:2-3, 18 NASB)

These verses specifically mention all living things on the surface of the earth, but say nothing about the destruction of the planet itself


2 Peter 3:10-13

Finally we have Peter's second letter which seems to, unambiguously, point towards the heavens and the earth being totally burned up by fire. Or does it?

For: In this chapter, Peter talks about those who will, in the last days, scoff at the idea of the Lord's return saying that nothing has changed since the beginning of creation and that the world will last forever. He exhorts his readers to remember that God destroyed the world one before and it will happen again.

    (3) Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, (4)  and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (5)  For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,  (6) through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.  (2 Peter 3:3-6 NASB)

He will come and judge the world as he promised. However, time is not the same to God as it is to us, and He is being patient not wanting any to perish.

    (7) But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (8)  But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  (9) The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:7-9 NASB )

The day of the Lord will come like a thief and, when it does, the heavens will pass away with a roar, the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

    (10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens (Gk. ouranoi) will pass away with a roar and the elements (Gk. stoicheion) will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth (Gk. ge) and its works will be burned up. (11) Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,  (12) looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens (Gk. ouranoi) will be destroyed by burning, and the elements (Gk. stoicheion) will melt with intense heat! (13) But according to His promise we are looking for new (Gk. kainos) heavens (Gk. ouranous) and a new (Gk. kainos) earth, in which righteousness dwells.  (14) Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless (2 Peter 3:10-14 NASB)

In verse 10 above, Peter wrote that "the elements" will melt with intense heat. An element is a fundamental, essential and irreducible (cannot be reduced any further) component or constituent of a complete whole. In other words, it is the simplest component of a complex substance. If the elements themselves vanish in a puff of smoke, well... Also See The End of The Age - The Day of The Lord

Additionally, the word 'earth' has been translated from the Greek ge, which can mean a region as in Matthew 2:20 (take the Child and "go into the land (Gk. ge) of Israel"). However, in this context, ge has to refer to the physical earth, as in not one sparrow will "fall to the ground (Gk. ge) apart from your Father" (Matthew 10:29).

Note that Peter uses the Greek word ouranoi, (translated heavens) which is plural (http://biblehub.com/interlinear/2_peter/3.htm). As we saw in chapter 1, the word heaven can refer to 1) The visible sky, where birds fly, and clouds float, 2) Outer space where planets and stars etc. exist, or 3) The far less tangible place where God Himself dwells and which Jesus called the "Father's house" John 14:2. Since, God isn't going to demolish His own dwelling place, destruction is limited to the first two.... the atmosphere and outer space.


On The Other Hand:
In his first book, Peter compares the process of refining gold by fire (ie. melting it and extracting any other metals present) with how faith is refined by adversity and tests. All that is left at the end of the process is pure undiluted gold, while faith emerges stronger.

    so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  (1 Peter 1:7 NASB)

Therefore it is entirely possible that Peter is using the earth and heavens being burned up with fire as symbolism for a "smelting process from which the world will emerge purified". It is a moral, not necessarily a physical, burning up.

That this may have been what Peter had in mind may be seen from his use of the word kainos, twice used in verse 13... a new (Gk. kainos) heavens and a new (Gk. kainos) earth. As previously mentioned, kainos can, and often does, mean remaking, refreshing and renewing in the New Testament. In other words, Peter's words may very well not refer to the physical destruction of the world, but to its purification. The earth will not be destroyed, but will be restored to the state it was in when God called it "good".

It is, admittedly, not an easy question to resolve. However, there are a number of reasons I lean away from the idea that the earth itself will be totally obliterated. To begin with, there is a very important prophecy to be taken into consideration...


The Mount Of Olives, The Golden Gate And The City Of Jerusalem Exist After The Seven Bowls

Remember that the seven bowls are the culmination of God's wrath. The Tribulation (the persecution of the church), is followed by The Great Tribulation, which is God's wrath being poured out on the earth in the form of seven plagues (See The Seven Seals and Matthew 24). This is such a terrible time, that, as Jesus said, if "those days" had not been shortened, "no flesh would have been saved, but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened". There have to be some believers left who Jesus then takes off the face of the earth at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, and just before the Seven Bowls rain down.

It is after this that believers, who 'met' Christ in the air, will return with Him to this earth along with the angels. (See The Rapture) However, the prophet Zechariah was very clear as to exactly where on earth Jesus would first set down.

    In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. (Zechariah 14:4 NASB)

It is from the Mount of Olives that Jesus will, once again, enter Jerusalem through the Golden Gate, this time as its King. Please note that, in fulfillment of a prophecy made by Ezekiel (44:1-2), this gate, and only this gate, which is one of many in the walls of Jerusalem, was sealed off in 1541 by Suleiman the Magnificent, the tenth and longest-reigning 16th century Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. See The Golden Gate on THIS page.

The point is that if the prophecy is to be fulfilled, the Mount of Olives, the Golden Gate and the city of Jerusalem itself have to exist when Jesus returns to earth. This in no way disagrees with Zephaniah who said the Lord would make a complete, and terrifying end of all the inhabitants of the earth.

    "I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea, And the ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.  (Zephaniah 1:3 NASB)

Besides which, we have to consider ...


The Chronology of Revelation 20 Through 21:5
Unlike much of the book of Revelation, chapter 20 through (at least) 21:5 seem to be in chronological order, indicated by the frequent use of the word "then".

    (1)  Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. (2)  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  (3) and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. (4)  Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (5)  The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. (6)  Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (7)  When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,  (8) and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.  (9)  And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (10) And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    (11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  (12)  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.  (14)  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  (15)  And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:1-15 NASB)

In Summary, an angel lays hold of Satan (the serpent of old), throws him into the abyss, which the angel shuts and seals for a thousand years (20:1-3). John then saw those who had not worshiped the beast, but were beheaded for the gospel, come to life and reign with Christ for the thousand years (20:4-6). When these years are up, Satan will be released from his prison, and will go out to deceive the nations, gathering Gog and Magog from the four corners of the earth (20:7-8). These people will besiege Jerusalem, but will be consumed by fire from heaven (20:9).

John then outlines the fate of the devil, the beast, and the false prophet who are to be "thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone" (20:10), describes Gods great white throne, at which the dead, small and great, stand before God, and are judged according to their work (20:11-13).John then tells us that death and Hades will also be thrown into the lake of fire (20:14).

John again prefaces the following verses with the word "then", from which we can be sure that it is only after the events described above, that John saw the new heaven and the new earth and the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven...

    (1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. (2)  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  (3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, (4)  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."  (5) And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He *said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." (Revelation 21:5 NASB)

In other words, it is at this time, when after the millennium, Satan, death and Hades are done away for good that there will be a 'new' earth and new heaven and ...


The New Jerusalem Comes Down From Heaven
In three separate verses, the book of Revelation tells us that the holy city, Jerusalem, comes down from Heaven. Katabaino, used some 80 times in the New Testament, literally means to descend. [See, for example, John 6:33 and James 3:15]

    'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down (Gk. katabaino) out of heaven from My God, and My new name. [Revelation 3:11-12 NASB]

    And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down (Gk. katabaino) out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them [Revelation 21:2-3 NASB]

    And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down (Gk. katabaino) out of heaven from God, [Revelation 21:10 NASB]

God not only renews/remakes the heavens and the earth, but brings His capitol city, Jerusalem, down from Heaven to earth. It is from this New Jerusalem that He will rule and rejoice.

    "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness. "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. [Isaiah 65:17-19 NASB]

    "Thus says the Lord, 'I will return (Heb. shb) to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.... and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.... 'So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.' [Zechariah 8:3, 8, 22 NASB]

Incidentally, it is sometimes claimed that the New Jerusalem will not actually land on earth, but will remain suspended in the air, which stems from the idea that Heaven and Earth must always be separate... one being holy, and the other far from it.  However, when John watches the city "coming down" from Heaven, there is nothing that indicates it stops before actually touching down.

The earth is presently a sinful place, and cannot, in any way, be joined with Heaven. However, the new earth, as the dwelling place of God, and occupied only by the resurrected bodies of the redeemed, will no longer be under a curse, but will be a blessed place. in fact....


Heaven and Earth Become One ...
God never had any intention of always maintaining a heaven somewhere 'up there', quite separate from earth. Modern day charlatans please note that, with the exception of Paul's rather enigmatic account in his second letter to the Corinthians (12:2-4) , there is NO record of anyone ever, visiting, or being taken up to God's throne room. And no, Elijah wasn't either. See Did Elijah and/or Enoch Ascend to Heaven? See Did Elijah and/or Enoch Ascend to Heaven?

Adam and Eve were never taken up to God's dwelling place to visit Him. Instead Genesis 3:8 tells us that God Himself, walked the garden in the cool of the day.

    They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. [Genesis 3:8 NASB]

Much to the contrary, the Bible shows that not only did God visit earth, but the Tabernacle was built as God's "dwelling place", one that He intended to live in forever.

On Mount Sinai, God gave Moses specific instructions as to how the tabernacle was to be built. Exodus 40 tells us that, when Moses was finished, the "glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle".

    "Let them construct a sanctuary (miqdsh or holy place) for Me, that I may dwell among them. "According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle (mishkn or "dwelling place") and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it... "See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain. [Exodus 25:8-9, 40 NASB]

    He erected the court all around the tabernacle (mishkn or "dwelling place") and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court. Thus Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (mishkn or "dwelling place"). Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (mishkn or "dwelling place") . [Exodus 40:33-35 NASB]

Note: The tabernacle was a tent because the people had to transport it from Sinai to the land of Canaan. It is only when the nation was settled in the land of Canaan, that a more permanent structure was built by king Solomon. We are told that after Solomon finished building the temple he put the items dedicated by his father David into the treasury. However, it was only after the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place... [1 Kings 8:6]

    It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon said, "The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud. "I have surely built You a lofty house, A place for Your dwelling forever." [1 Kings 8:10-13 NASB]

Note the vision given to the prophet Ezekiel

    and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east. And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die, [Ezekiel 43:2-7 NASB]

In the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus Christ is introduced as the Son of God who dwelt among men.

    And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14 NASB]

As said by Randy Alcorn, founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

    "... it seems clear to me that if God's special dwelling place is by definition Heaven, and we're told that "the dwelling of God" will be with mankind on Earth, then Heaven and the New Earth will be essentially the same place. We're told that "the throne of God and of the Lamb" is in the New Jerusalem, which is brought down to the New Earth (Revelation 22:1). Again, it seems clear that wherever God dwells with his people and sits on his throne would be called Heaven. [17]


... In the Coming Kingdom of God
As said before, the heart of Jesus' preaching was the good news of the kingdom of God. Not only did Jesus define his purpose as being the announcement of the kingdom (Luke 4:43), but He spoke continuously about the kingdom. Additionally, many of Jesus' parables emphasized the importance of this kingdom. He likened it to a mustard seed which grows into a large tree, a treasure, a merchant looking for pearls, and a king who gave a banquet (Matthew 13:44-47; 22:2).  None of which should be at all surprising considering that, without the kingdom, there is no Gospel. See The Message of the Bible

And, as shown earlier, the kingdom of God and the heaven Christians look forward to, are synonymous.

The kingdom, defined as God's authority and rule, has already been established itself on earth in the hearts of men. It arrived with Jesus' preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and secured itself within the disciples, who were the initial 'subjects' of the kingdom. It made huge strides among the Jewish community at Pentecost, then was taken to the Gentiles and spread throughout the known world. However, its final fulfillment (which is around the corner), will take place when Jesus makes His glorious return to establish His physical rule on earth. See The Kingdom... When?

And we will have heaven at last.

Which leaves us with one question... whether or not the oceans will exist as part of this new earth.


Continue On To Part IV B ... No More Sea? HERE

 

Endnotes
[17] Randy Alcorn. "Heaven" Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Hardcover edition (October 1, 2004) Pg 45

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