On the New Heavens and New Earth
What will the New Heavens and the New Earth be like (Isa 65:17; Rev 21:1)? Such a glorious question for Christians to contemplate. The Bible gives us few specific clues as to what it will be like. Nevertheless, those clues tell us important truths to contemplate.
First, the New Heavens will be different than “heaven.” The New Heavens is an eternal state. Heaven is not. Heaven is the intermediate state where Christians go after death. It is only after Jesus returns (which we await) that the New Heavens will be created. The Bible indicates that heaven is “paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor 12:4), where, after death, Christians will exist in an spiritual, non-embodied state (2 Cor 5:1–10; Rev 6:9).
Second, the New Heavens entails a physical existence. In this state, we will have resurrected bodies. Both the Old (Dan 12:2) and the New Testaments (Luke 14:14; 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thes 4:16) teach this. With our physical resurrected bodies, we will enjoy physical pleasures. God has prepared for us “a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine” (Isa 25:6). Do you like delicious food and drink? You’ll love the New Heavens! The New Heavens will not be a place of smoke and clouds, but of rocks, trees, rivers, and oceans—all perfected and redeemed.
Third, the New Heavens will be unimaginably good. Christ’s love surpasses our ability to know (Eph 3:19). The New Heavens is Jesus’ love fully actualized. The New Heavens will be exactly like Jesus’ love—it extends beyond our wildest imagination. Whatever type of good you think the New Heavens will be, times it by infinity. That is what the New Heavens will be like.
The difficulties of this world do not compare with the glory that will be revealed in us (Rom 8:18). No one can comprehend what God has planned for believers (1 Cor 2:9). God is infinitely good. We await an eternal physical existence of eternally physical pleasures.