“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).
No discussion on the resurrection would be complete until we learn where our resurrected body will dwell. Let’s look at this verse:
1. The Promise.
What we lost in the Garden of Eden, God will more than restore in the new heavens and new earth. To love perfectly, which is God’s design for us, we need a perfect soul, one that will never sin again. We also need a new body, one that will never again suffer decay or disease. God will provide that to us with a new resurrected body. But we also need a new environment, one where the ground is not cursed. God promises to create a new heaven and earth to be inhabited by His children forever.
2. The Place.
Peter calls this place the new heavens and earth. Currently our earthly abode exhibits the curse. People die in natural disasters, wild fires and floods, not to mention volcanoes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Also, when God cursed the earth, He told man that he would earn his keep by the sweat of his brow. While we should view work as a blessing from God, it also brings pain, frustration, and difficulties. We truly need a different place, one free of all the pain stemming from the curse.
3. The Piety.
The word “piety” isn’t used much today, but it means “holiness.” The world we look forward to will not include anything except perfect righteousness. Our current world is filled with unrighteousness and “lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). But the world we seek abounds in love, righteousness, and perfect peace. Nature will not resist efforts to work the soil as it does now. Man will live in perfect peace with all living creatures. God will remove all effects of dying and decay, and the world will not be subject to any curse again.
We will let Peter supply the application here:
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (2 Peter 3:14).
When we relocate to a new country, we best learn the language of that place. Similarly, we need to presently live for that place to which we journey. In heaven, God will ban all ungodliness (Revelation 21:8; 22:15). It will be a place of glorious worship, praise, and perfect fellowship with one another. Do we give evidence by our behavior that we belong to that city? Our citizenship is indeed in heaven, and from it, we await our Savior (Philippians 3:20).
We close with a great passage from Romans, one that summarizes our present duty before God:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
Posted on Fri, April 1, 2016
by Sam Petitfils