The Life of Faith

Andy Nash

Andy Nash is an author and professor who leads family-friendly tours to Israel.

​This World Is . . . Actually Our Home

This world is not my home, I’m just a-passin’ through,
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Whenever I stand on the Mount of Olives with other believers in Christ, I’m hit with a stark realization: We’re coming back here someday. Back here on earth. We can stand here looking up into the sky, as the disciples once did, but the truth is, after 1,000 years in heaven with Jesus, we’re coming back here to earth. And He’s coming with us.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God’ ” (Rev. 21:1-3).

“On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west” (Zech. 14:4).

We don’t spend much time talking about the new earth, though it’s one of our fundamental beliefs. We focus more on heaven and the joyful wedding supper of the Lamb. (Years ago in a college Sabbath school class I remember a red-headed student saying how he wasn’t ever going to drink grape juice again, except for Communion, until he could drink grape juice in heaven with Christ. It was a meaningful sentiment, especially when he told us how much he loved grape juice! We sat there desperately wanting the red-headed kid to just drink some grape juice. But he was resolute: no grape juice until the wedding supper of the Lamb.)

Without a doubt, being in heaven (heaven!) is a breathtaking thought. But we’ll be there only a relatively short time. The new earth is where we’ll settle for eternity. We will “build houses and dwell in them”; we will “plant vineyards and eat their fruit” (Isa. 65:21).

One particular reason I anticipate the new earth is because of Cindy. While Jesus said there wouldn’t be “marriage or giving in marriage” in heaven, He didn’t say anything about the new earth. I believe I’ve found irrefutable proof that marriage will indeed exist in the new earth: “The wolf will live with the lamb” (Isa. 11:6). Any questions?

Author Chris Blake has devoted much study to the new earth. In his book Searching for a God to Love, Blake describes heaven as a place of “healing and reconciliation,” and the new earth as “our forever home base
. . . (with travel visas that are out of this world).”

“The people who populate this planet made new,” Blake writes, “will be more alive, clear-eyed, and distinctive than we can imagine.”

Perhaps most curiously, Blake suggests that life on the new earth will include obstacles, accidents, even forgiveness (“If someone drops a rock on your toe, what will you do?”).

Whatever life on the new earth entails, it will be eternal and perfect. Another author, John, gives us our clearest picture of all:

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22:1-5). 

Amen.

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