Waiting For The Coming Promise
2 Peter 3:13 (ESV) — But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
“I can’t wait to get to Heaven.” I’ve heard that statement by many Christians over the years. I appreciate the statement, and rarely ever correct it. But one of the interesting things many believers don’t think about is that the language is not the best or most accurate to use. Many think about Heaven as simply somewhere we go now when we die. We live “here” and we go “there.” This is true for those in Christ. But that isn’t the greater promise.
Our passage today goes into the greater promise that Christians hold to about Heaven. We read from Peter in 2 Peter 3:13, “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
The description Peter gives here for the promise believers cling to is “new heavens and a new earth.” What is he talking about? This is the description of Heaven that the Bible offers. When Christ returns from Heaven at the trumpet’s sound, the dead will be raised and judged. Then what? Then Christ will make all things new. New heavens and a new earth will come. We will then live here, on this renewed creation, for all of eternity. We will possess physical bodies and live on a physical earth. The difference will be that no sin or rebellion will exist. Righteousness will dwell on the earth as we live in the presence of the Lamb.
Christians today often settle for “going to Heaven” or say they can’t wait to “get to Heaven.” The more accurate description would be to say we can’t wait for “Heaven to come to earth.” We should speak more frequently about the new earth and new heavens. The renewal of all things and the restored creation is the promise we look forward to inheriting. This comes at the return of Jesus to the world. What this reminds us of is that:
Christians should hope for and speak more often about the return of Christ. We don’t want to die and “go to Heaven.” We want Christ to return and restore the world.
Believers long for that Day.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do so many Christians only focus on “going to Heaven”?
- What is the difference between “going to Heaven” and the “new earth and new heavens”? Why does it matter?
- How would proper understanding of this help shape better Christian theology and thinking today?
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