I get to live on this earth forever. I’m really happy about this because it’s what our hearts are undeniably longing for: I want to live where I’ve come to love my surroundings, I want to live where my memories are, I want to live in and with what God has created for his glory and my joy, and I want to see what this earth would look like if there were no sin and no curse – it’s got to be breathtaking.
This earth has been subjected to a position of groaning and futility (Romans 8:20) – it’s cursed because of our sin. But this same creation will be set free from its bondage to corruption (vs. 21a). Notice that Paul does not say that this creation will be destroyed and a different creation will take its place. But rather this creation will be “set free to obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (vs. 21b). This creation, with its massive Oceans teeming with life, its Grand Tetons, its majestic Himalayas, its towering Redwoods, and its Swiss Alps, will get what’s coming to her: Resurrected children of God who will live like Kings and Queens forever with their Savior and Brother, Jesus Christ. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I get to live forever on this earth and you can too. Not even Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, and Robin Williams can story-tell what awaits us, though they tried in Vincent Ward’s, “What Dreams May Come.” Reincarnation via will-power is powerless.
Speaking of stories, Mankind has a thousand versions of the afterlife and how to get there, that’s because man really does want to live forever on a real physical sphere where unending delight is really found. And no wonder: Man was made to live on this earth forever. But Enter Sin. And then Enter Jesus Christ. He’s the only real way with no phantom fluffy afterlife to come. The afterlife is yours if Christ is yours. You can’t get there unless you’re with someone who went through deaths door and came out on the other side Alive. Christ is Risen! Do you believe this?
To give assurance that God will never break his covenant to love forever all those who are part of the new covenant family in Christ (Jer. 31:31-34; Luke 22:20; Hebrews 8:8-13), he made a promise that this fixed order of our Sun, Moon, Stars, and gravitational pull upon the seas of this Earth, will never go away:
“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the LORD of hosts is his name: If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever”
God says that if this fixed order of our earth, moon, stars and sun ever cease to exist, then so will his children in Jesus Christ cease to exist. But neither will happen. Which means, all those who are in a covenant relationship with Christ get to live on a cleansed and renovated earth – that’s what will be new about it. As Isaac Watts sang,
“No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found.”
(3rd verse in “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come”). One day – yes indeed, one day.