September 24 – Heaven FAQ’s – New Heaven and New Earth

Read Revelation 22:1-21

Have you noticed the dewdrops sparkling on the grass each morning as the hot summer mornings turn cooler? I notice them out my kitchen window as I make my hot cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. It’s a sure telltale sign that the end of summer is here. I look forward to the cool evenings and campfires after the long hot days of summer (I love those too!). This season is one of my favorite times of year. I love the crisp cool air, football games, the Wayne County Fair and getting my favorite sweatshirts out of storage. I long for each season change and this one is no different.

Do you have things that you crave? Maybe it’s not the expectation of the fall or the things that come with it…but what about full days spent with family and close friends? Or Friday night movie nights with buttery popcorn on the couch? Maybe you’re the person that craves a wild adventure, always making plans to go, do and see? We all have things that we crave.

Revelation 22 is an incredible chapter describing something worth longing for…the New Heavens and New Earth, where the Lord restores the earth as He promised. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the earth became cursed and throughout Scripture, we are reminded that God intends to renew all things and will create a New Heaven and a New Earth (Matt 19:28, Isaiah 65:17). This chapter in Revelation is describing the future home of the believer in this New Heaven and New Earth. A brand new universe that God promises to remake after the final judgment, where there is no more sin.

John describes the crystal clear River of Life flowing from the Throne of God, The Tree of Life finally restored for man to return to and enjoy, and the trees bearing fruit every month, a beautifully restored world. I’m reminded that in this final New Heaven and New Earth, this future home for the believer, we won’t be craving and desiring the things of this earth anymore, but rather living fully satisfied in the presence of our Creator, who is making all things new.

The New Heaven and New Earth is coming, which means the final judgment is also coming. It is not wrong to crave the restoration of all things, but we must remember that God is at work right now, even in our broken world. And we have limited time to share the hope we’ve found in Christ with others so they too can experience the beauty of an eternity spent with God.

I’m reminded of Paul speaking about heaven in Philippians 1. He had just described to the church in Philippi that for him “to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” but then proceeds to tell them, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:23-24).  Have you ever longed for heaven like Paul does here? Do you crave heaven like you crave the things of this world?

Life on earth is full of disappointments and heartache, and God will restore it one day after the final judgement. Until then, we must leverage our life for the sake of others hearing and receiving the hope and power found in Christ alone, so that they too can one day enjoy the New Heaven and New Earth. Who are you sharing Jesus with today so that they have the chance to spend eternity in this glorious place?

 Rachel Snyder

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