Understand What The Bible Really Says About The Future...
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What Does The New Heaven and Earth Mean?

The Bible's Prophetic Program Culminates With "A New Heaven and A New Earth". What might this mean? What are the implications of this? Does it have bearing on how we live today?

The Bible culminates its pages with the announcement that there will one day be a "new heaven and a new earth".

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Revelation 21:1

But what does this mean? The implications of how we understand this Bible prophecy are slightly enormous. I was recently discussing with another pastor some issue of concern we shared about a potential environmental hazzard. I ventured that we needed to take some action. He responded by expressing doubts that a pastor could achieve any change. Then he said, "...besides, this earth will soon pass away soon since the Bible says a 'new earth' is coming, so ultimately it doesn't really matter!" How we understand what the Bible means when it refers to a 'new heaven and a new earth' may well determine how we treat our 'existing' earth and the type of legacy we will leave for generations to come.

 

THE BIBLICAL EXPRESSION OF 'HEAVEN & EARTH'...

¶ “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind."
Isaiah 65:17

The context of the latter portion of Isaiah is the coming new covenant. Within this context the Lord speaks of creating a new heaven and a new earth. The expression heavens and earth seems to speak of God's relationship with mankind. He is the God of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 14:19; Ezra 5:11). Actually he is the God of the entire cosmos- but the expression heaven and earth emphasises His connection to mankind. And the expression heaven and earth may well refer to the covenant God has with mankind. When the Lord speaks of a new heaven and a new earth there may be some merit in regarding this as Biblical language for a new covenant.

This suspicion is increased when we consider how Christ used this expression as well.

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Matthew 5:18

Since Christ fulfilled the Law, was He right in stating that heaven and earth passed away? If we regard the expression 'heaven and earth' as referring to God's covenant with mankind, then this statement makes perfect sense. It seems that Christ was therefore saying that Once the Old Covenant is fulfilled it will be done away with and replaced by a new covenant.

Hebrews 8:13 says that the Old Covenant became obsolete at the Cross, but it was still to be done away with. Since we now know that the Book of Revelation was written around 64AD (just after the Epistle to the Hebrews, which referred to the Old Covenant as still being in existence - note Hebrews 8:13) Revelation's announcement of a 'new heaven and a new earth' was perhaps announcing that a change in covenant-order was pending.

 

FUTURE IMPLICATIONS...

The closing announcement of the Bible of a coming new heaven and new earth does have some future implications. But if we are conditioned into thinking only in terms of geography we may completely miss the point of what being in covenant with God is all about. "Heaven" is not so much about a location as it is about a relationship! Dieing and going to heaven is not merely about a change in location but a blessing due to a covenant relationship with God. The most important thing you could do with your life now is not merely to prepare for heaven, but to ensure that you have entered into a relationship with God. It is a misrepresentation of Christianity to think that Christ died so that people could go to heaven- He died so that people could be forgiven of their sin and enter into a covenant relationship with God!

 

Could the picture of a new heaven and a new earth in the Book of Revelation be describing a coming new physical reality? Perhaps. But we have some Biblical precendent for regarding it as an expression of God's covenant relationship with mankind. Reading this closing passage of the Bible reveals that a time is coming for God's elect when nothing will hinder their relationship with God.

Therefore, while there may be future physical implications of this Biblical prophecy, there might not be. This is why those who regard other verses, such as Psalm 78:69, as speaking of God having creating the earth to last-

He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded forever
.

Psalm 78:69

If God has created the earth to last 'forever' we might need to abandon our 'disposable earth' theology and have a rethink about how Christians can be stewards not just exploiters of our environment. That's why our interpretation of this prophetic passage has such dire consequences if we get it wrong.

This, and other such issues, is dealt with more fully in my downloadable ebook on the Book of Revelation- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM PENTECOSTALS?

Why do some people believe? Every Christian has a story of conversion. For some Christians their story is a journey from atheism to belief in the God of the Bible because of the evidence. For others, like Abdu Murray, their conversion story from Islam to Christianity was based on the credibility of the Bible. Then for those like Sy Rogers, former homosexual and formerly a Gay Rights activist, his conversion to Christianity was based on the love and acceptance he experienced in a Christian community. Many people become Christians for reasons like these, but, by far, the most common reason, at least statisticaly, is some kind of Pentecostal encounter. [Read full article]

Heaven and Hell are commonly presented as either the benefit or the consequence of how a person responds to God. It's as if people think that the whole point of religion is to get people into Heaven and to keep them out of Hell. From this "religious" perspective, Heaven is Ultimate Bliss, Paradise, Perfect Beauty - while Hell is Fire, Eternal Punishment, Anguish, Torment, and The Devil's Domain.

In recent times there has come a lot of push-back regarding the very notion of Hell as it perceived by many. Among Christians who have rejected the classical view of Hell are several well-respected writers including...[read full article]

Where is human history going? Many people believe that the Bible has not only accurately predicted human history to this point, but that it predicts a coming 'Golden Age'. This possibly impending event is called: "The Millennium". But there are very devout Bible readers who think this kind of reading of Scripture is actually a gross misreading of the Bible, and that what the Bible really says about the future may surprise - and even shock people today.

The "Millennium" is the touchstone for how people label themselves when it comes to interpretting Bible prophecy. Depending on how they regard the Millennium, they will classify themselves either as, (i) Premillennial; (ii) Amillennial; or, (iii) Post-Millennial. Within these Millennial categories there are people who take a "fundamentalist" view, generally known as "Dispensationalists" and there are others who take a "Reformed" view, generally known as "Historicists", or the position I will argue for- "Preterist"... [read the full article]

The problem with approaching a particular text of the Bible with a preconceived notion of what it means is that it can hinder us from appreciating its actual meaning. I think this might be the case with the Second Peter 3:12 text...
[more]
Are we already in the New Jerusalem as Full-Preterists claim? [read]
Much damage to the credibility of the Bible has nearly been done by those who twist the contents of the Book of Revelation to force it to sound like it refers to the events of our present day. Time and time again, so called Bible-Prophecy teachers have been left with egg on their faces as their ridiculous speculations have proved to be completely wrong. Our Administrator forwarded onto me a copy of an email we were sent claiming that our understanding of the Book of Revelation was wrong and that we would be humiliated by the Lord when the Rapture took place on October 17th 2009. [Read]
About Baptismal Formulas in the New Testament I remember in my youth about hearing of a group of Pentecostals who made this the touch-stone of whether someone was baptised correctly or not. Today there are "Jesus-Only" groups who insist that what appears to be a Trinitarian formula is actually code for "Lord (The Father) Jesus (The Son) Christ (The Holy Spirit)", which is why, they appeal, the Trinitarian version is no where used in the Book of Acts. [read]

If you were downtown and looked across the street over the parked cars and saw someone you knew rushing intently to push a little old lady over, what would you think of that person? Would your opinion of this person change if you later discovered that the cars you were looking over obscured your view of this person actually pushing this little old lady out of the way of a speeding sports car which was hurtling towards her and about to hit her? Sometimes, a bigger picture changes the entire picture!

This is what reading the Book of Revelation is like for some people. They have their understanding of the Book of Revelation obscured by their lack of understanding about history, Biblical language, and even modern opinions [read]...

The Book of Esther is controversial Biblical book. Why is it in the Bible? There is not even a direct mention of "God" in it. This has led some to question whether it even belongs in the Bible. But what these critics have missed is one of the most profound messages from God in all of Scripture. [Read]

CIRCLING AROUND
THE MARRIAGE
SQUARE

- Why Marriage Is Between A Man and a Woman-
Arguing against same-gender couple “marriage” feels like arguing against square-circles. Yet this is what we are being asked to do. This can be done in three ways. Firstly, we can reiterate why marriage is between a man and a woman. This is like being asked to defend the roundness of circles. Secondly, we can argue from nature that marriage is naturally between a man and a woman. This is like arguing that round things are circular. Thirdly, we can argue that two people of the same gender cannot ever be considered “married”. This is like arguing that even though a square claims to be a circle its claims are hampered because it has four sides. [Read full article]
In age of scientific enlightenment, does the Bible story of Creation have any credibility? After all, it is now claimed that, science has explained nearly all of the mysteries of life from a naturalistic point of view by showing how life began, how life evolved and how the universe came into existence...[more]
The Bible is uniquely prophetic. No other religious or holy book makes predictions of the future like the Bible does. This phenomenon has led some Bible teachers to over-emphasise the Bible's ability to predict the future. The rise in claims of the Bible's prophetic detail coincided with its increased availability. When medieval scribes increased production of Bible copies the number of prophetic speculations also increased. When the Gutenberg Bible revolutionised the way Bibles were produced from the 1500s, there was similarly a marked increase in the number and variety of prophetic speculations...[more]
Is Israel God's Unfinished Business? Some Christians regard the Church as God's "Plan 'B'" and that He has some unfinished business to complete with Israel. This has become big business! Those who promote the Biblical concept of one means of salvation and therefore one covenant people of God are derided as Replacement Theologians but this is totally ironic when you realise who is really doing the replacing...[more]
During his Presidential Election campaign, President-Elect Barak Obama criticised taking the Bible "literally". Many Post-Moderns are using the same criticisms to justify their various sexual proclivities...[more]

THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL IS BANKRUPT!

Many people think that the Prosperity Gospel - as preached by many televangelists - is all about money. But this is the least dangerous aspect to this spiritually toxic peddling... [more]
Almost without exception, preachers promote the idea that the Song of Solomon is loaded with sexually erotic symbolism and allegory that extols the joys of monogamous marriage. If this be true then it is completely out of step with the overall revelation of God's story of redemption! [more]
THE TODD GOSPEL -
DELVING INTO CHARISMANIA
Exploring the ministry of Todd Bentley and the claims of the Lakeland "Revival" [Read]
Many of the "new" atheists are now making a lot of noise about Bible Prophecy. Theologically liberal scholars have long fuelled the atheists' assertions that Bible Prophecy is really just fabricated history made to sound like predictive prophecies. But now they've gone a step further! In fact, for some of them, they've made these new claims about "failed" Bible prophecies central to their arguments for atheism... [more]
Is Preterism "Over-Realised" Eschatology? Mark Driscoll, considered one of the best preachers in the world today, recently implied that Preterism was "over-realised" eschatology. His concern was that Christians holding this position would no longer engage culturally or in evangelism with the world. But this criticism should not be directed at Preterists since they are largely not dis-engaged! [Read]
Disappointment With Dispensationalism [more]
What is the difference between Islam and Christianity? [more]
What has "holiness" got to do with how we understand Bible prophecy? It may well be holy relevant! [more]
Does Bible Prophecy Matter Anymore? Afterall, most Bible Prophecy teachers have failed to match up their interpretation of Bible Prophecy with their forecasts of the future. It's time to explore the predictions and theology of Bible Prophecy teachers such as John Hagee...[read]
The tide is now turning when it comes to how we understand Bible Prophecy...[Read]

The Marriage Supper of The Lamb may have some sombre implications for the idea of 'SAME-SEX' 'MARRIAGE'...[read]

What does the expression mean "new heavens and a new earth" mean? [Read]

Interpreting Bible Prophecy or Just Fortune-Telling?

To properly understand "the end" we need to properly understand the beginning. The latest installment from Hank Hanegraaff makes much of the idea that Paradise has been lost and must be 'restored'. The idea that Paradise was "perfect" has some serious implications for how we understand the Bible! [more]

Prophecy or Just Failed Fortune-Telling...[more]

The seven feasts of Israel each foretold of a major prophetic event relating to Jesus Christ. Some have been fulfilled, others are yet to be. [Read]

The American experiment with Prohibition is frequently touted as the best example of why prohibition of any kind does not work. But this reasoning completely misses the point of Prohibition and fails to acknowledge that we still have various forms of Prohibition today- and for good reason! [more]

Is Climate Change A Sign of the End Times?...[more]

Will Jesus Come This Year? No. But if I'm wrong, you can let me know this time next year...[read]

People's ideas about what the Bible says about the future can be tested by how their predictions have and will fair...[read]

Some people argue that the Devil is not bound and that believers can temporarily bind Satan. But is this Biblical? [Read]

Who are the two witnesses of Revelation 11? [read]

MILLENNIUM MYTHS

The lion and lamb shall both eat straw? Does this imply that animals will be resurrected to enoy a future millennium along with the redeemed and that there shall be no more death during that period? [Read]

Is there such a thing as a Just War? Should Christians be involved in armed conflict? [Read]

Why is it that the most well-known verse in the Bible was the subject of a recent U.S. Supreme Court Trial?

[read]

The 'baptism in the Spirit', is it synonymous with regeneration or subsequent to it?

[Read]

Is there a contradiction between Genesis 1 & Genesis 2? The Bible is emphatic that God is the Creator.
It's entire message of redemption is founded
upon this truth. If God is not Creator then
the Scriptures have no authority at all- [more]

Who is the person identified in Scripture as "666"? Is it the same person identified by Paul as the "man of sin" in 2Thessalonians 2?

The "Eschaton" is "the end". Some regard the 'eschaton' as being entirely fulfilled- while others regard the 'eschaton' as being entirely future. I believe both are wrong.

Kingdom Technology? Learning from Judges 1:19 for today...The world is changing. There are rapid changes in technology which rather than threaten the church's mission could actually enhance it

 
 

The Need for a Neo-Reformation of Good Manners...

One of William Wilberforce's main achievements was a campaign to reform the manners and morals of his day. Perhaps it's time for a neo-reformation of manners today...

Dan Brown's DaVinci Code is claimed by its author to be based on fact, if it is then Christianity is without any basis! But...

There are many people who link the age of the earth to the end of the world...

An overview of how superstition has disguised itself to creep into the church

The Tests of Truth

How do we know what is truth and what is error? Can we know the truth? [more]

THE TRINITY EXPLAINED

This is one of the most fundamental teachings of Christianity, yet...[more]

ABOUT RU486
(The "Abortion Pill")

Understand the flawed philosophy of those promoting RU 486...[Read]

Some Christians feel that any fantasy or fiction is wrong for the Christian. With the launch of CS Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, we need to explore this crucial issue...

The Date of Revelation's Authorship?

Put simply, a 95AD date for Revelation's authorship is impossible! It must have been written mid 60s...[Read]

"ELs" or Relativistic Education Theory- What does it mean?

Tasmania is one of the first states in Australia to introduce a Relativistic Education Philosophy. What does this mean for educational schooling and society? [read]

Who Do We Blame?

When Mark Latham released his much fan-fared "Diaries" many people were appalled by mega blame-shifting. But is what he has done just symptomatic of what is happening in Australia? [Read]

Intelligent Design

Controversy rages over this apparent war between science and religion. But is Intelligent Design and how did rise to such prominence? [Read]

Abortion- Its All About The Language

Those advocating for Abortion rarely use appropriate language. [Read]

What Principles Determines Public Policy?

When Politicians make decisions and enact legislation, do they do on the basis of a principle? [Read]

The Tragic Case of Terri Schaivo

What principles should have been applied during this tragedy, and what lessons can learn from this tragic case? [Read]

Are All Religions Essentially The Same?

Can we pursue multi-culturalism without engaging in a religious discussion? Is it reasonable to consider that in the midst of gloabalisation that we simply regard all religions as having the same merit? [Read]

Why Marriage And The Traditional Family
Really Does Matter

Are all family compositions equal? Can two people of the same sex equally parent as a married man and wife (father and mother) can? [Read]

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster

Some say that this was a sign of the end or even God's wrath being poured out on the unrighteous heathen. Read why these two ideas are wrong. [Read]

The Most Embarrassing Verse In The Bible

Entire web sites are set up by atheists who take pleasure in pointing out to Christians that their Bibles are wrong - based on just one verse of Scripture, which C.S. Lewis admitted was "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible!" Read the first chapter of this timely eBook and then order your own copy for just $A1.95 [Read]

Five Proofs For The Existence of God

In December 2004 it was announced that the long time British Professor and Philosopher, Antony Flew, regarded by many as the world's leading and most acclaimed atheist, had renounced his atheism in favour of Theism (belief in God). [Read]

Are We Trying To Christianise Non-Christians?

There is a growing political movement of Christians engaging in politics. The claim is being made by some Christians that this is a wrong direction for the Church because you can not "christianise" non-Christians by expecting them to keep the same standards as Christians. [Read]

Are There Apostles Today?

Many people today are claiming to be apostles. What does the Bible really teach about Apostles? Are there apostles today? What was the Apostolic function, and is this what is being proposed today? Read Dr Corbett's major work on the history and ministry of the Apostle - now available for viewing online or downloading as an eBook for just $A10 via a secure online Paypal transaction. [Read]

Why Left Behind Should Be Left Behind!

Matthew 24:34 almost single-handedly cancels out any possibility of the Left Behind series having any credibility. [Read]

Homosexuality And The Moral Law

Many people wrongly confuse religion with morality. They are in fact two separate facets. What the Gay Lobby unwittingly attempts is to silence the religious opposition to their practices by redefining morality (confusing it with religion), but by doing so they in fact are admitting that there is a Moral Law that needs (in their opinion) to be redefined. [Read]

Alcohol

What the Bible Says About Alcohol [Read]

Morality?

What Is Morality? [Read]

Dystressed?

Handling Dystress [Read]

Church Discipline

Church Discipline [Read]

Character

The Importance of Character [Read]
Dealing With Depression [Read]
Importance of Pentecost [Read]
Shepherding [Read]
Pressing In [Read]
Is Homosexuality Genetic? [Read]
Can Morality Be Legislated? [Read]
When Grace Becomes Disgrace [Read]
Pulling Down Strongholds [Read]
Why I Hate Divorce [Read]
Revival? No Thanks! [Read]
Barnabas
What's So Amazing About Barnabas? [Read]
Israel
About Israel & the Church [Read]
Ethics
Understanding Ethics [Read]
Crisis Management
How To Handle A Crisis [Read]
Leadership
Increasing Your Capacity [Read]
God's Will
The Plan of God [Read]
Small Churches
The Value of the Smaller Church [Read]
Spiritual Warfare
Examining Spiritual Warfare [Read]
Church Finances
Increasing Church Income [Read]
Financial Management
Help For The Indebted [Read]
The Sabbath
The Sabbath Question [Read]
Pastoring
Pastoring [Read]
Demons
Demons [Read]
Same-sex Couple Adoption
Gay Adoption? [Read]
Politics
Christianity and Politics [Read]

Why The Rapture Has Ruptured!

The belief in the rapture is a recent phenomena in Christian thought. Previously all such Scriptures were seen in a different light. [Read]

 

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