2 Peter 3:13 “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (NKJV)
Peter and the other disciples badgered Jesus with questions about the future. They had to know how things were going to end up. Peter, for his part, may have gotten more than he bargained for. Well after the death and resurrection of Jesus, this uneducated fisherman looked through the lens of prophecy to a time when the entire universe would literally melt down. It’s a frightening picture: “the heavens and earth will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10 NKJV). In spite of the violence of the image, Peter says we should look for it, be eager for it. Why? Because out of that conflagration will arise the “a new heavens and a new earth.” The ashes of the old earth will give rise to a new earth, a grand and glorious paradise restored.
The Bible doesn’t say a great deal about our new dwelling place. It offers a few hints here and there, but we don’t really get a detailed description until the last book of the Bible, Revelation. There we read about a place of unimaginable beauty, bliss, and blessing where God will dwell with us forever. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 NKJV). We’ll be happy; we’ll never hurt again. No wonder the Bible ends with the words “Come, Lord Jesus!”
This world is not our home. This is not what we were made for. Sometimes, as in times of great sorrow, you feel that truth very keenly. At other times, you can feel quite comfortable here on earth. Even then, however, is it not because earth can remind us of heaven? When we are surrounded by loved ones, when our sorrows seem far away, the old earth feels a little bit like the new earth. As Peter taught, the new earth won’t appear in its fullness until the old earth has gone away, burned up in the last day. That’s something to look forward to, to long for. For you were made to be a citizen of the new heaven and the new earth. Here, you’re just a pilgrim and stranger.
Jody K Young