New things are just wonderful! A new bride; a new home; a new friend; a new beginning; a new adventure; a new look; a new job; a new day; a new life! All these and more are headed our way; or better said, we are headed toward them. God said through His prophet Isaiah, “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create.” (Isaiah 65:17-18 New International Version) The apostle John heard the Lord say, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 1:5 NIV) Not some things, but EVERYTHING is going to be made brand, spanking NEW! And things are going to be so new and so wonderful that we might not recognize them at all if God didn’t make it known to us.
Most people have imagined a new home for themselves. George Washington Vanderbilt II imagined and built his new and very palatial home in Asheville, North Carolina. Six years in the making and at 178,926 square feet, Biltmore House is the largest privately owned house in the United States and a very popular tourist attraction. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:1-3 that He was going to prepare a place for them and all who love Him – a new home. It is called the New Jerusalem and it surpasses anything George Vanderbilt or you or I could ever imagine. The apostle John was given a glimpse of it:
It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. 12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. 15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. 19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones . . . 21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. (Excerpts from Revelation 21:11-21 New Living Translation)
Clearly there is a lot of room in what will be the new home for all who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. Imminent Bible teacher, Dr. David Jeremiah, calculates the size of New Jerusalem as 1,960,000 square miles, nearly four times the size of Alaska, with “room for people redeemed from every tribe, tongue, and nation throughout all history.” (The Jeremiah Study Bible, p.1867).
If John’s explanation of new things ahead is hard to grasp, just consider it simply the best possible description he could give of things so utterly indescribable. The Hope Diamond, one of the world’s most famous gems, weighs 45.52 carats, is deep blue in color but emits a reddish glow when exposed to light. A single crystal, it is described in three very different ways. All the varied gemstones comprising the New Jerusalem will sparkle as one, shinning God’s glory throughout the new heavens and new earth which God said He is going to create.
And what about those new heavens and new earth? God revealed to Peter something of how He is going to do it: The Earth we live in and the heavens that surround it will be renovated by fire: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens 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 . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10, 13 New King James Version).
Global warming alarmists warn that the earth is going to be made uninhabitable by gradually rising temperatures. Well, they are partly right. The temperature is going to rise but suddenly – as a thief in the night. And it won’t stop at making the earth uninhabitable – the elements will melt with fervent heat. But after God has finished His renovation by fire, He is going to unveil new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. The fact is everything God is doing in the present world is preparing a new people (the redeemed in Christ) who will live with Him in the New Jerusalem in the New World that He is going to create.
I know, it sounds too fantastic. In fact it seems so completely unbelievable that more and more Christians have stopped believing it. Many teach these and other prophetic scriptures as allegory – symbolic lingo for things we otherwise recognize and can understand in the “real world.” Too many have just signed off trying to make sense of it and content themselves with the study of non-prophetic scriptures. A “whatever will be” attitude makes fine lyric for a children’s song, but it is no way for God’s children to be thinking or living in respect to their future. Indeed, the Lord declares a blessing upon all those who will read this prophecy and live their lives in light of what it says: God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near. (Revelation 1:3 New Living Translation)
Contrary to Doris Day’s wonderful performance of “Que, Sera, Sera” – the future is ours to see – and we should!