Our Eternal Home – Feb-Mar 2016

New JerusalemGod has a perfect plan for us that far exceeds our wildest imaginations. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). You are going to want to be one of those who enjoys those things God has prepared for you! Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you” (John 14:3). God has an eternal home for you. Where is this home, and when and how can we enjoy it?

God’s Original Plan

The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). When He did this, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

God made this earth with a purpose in mind. He said, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18). This earth was created so that it could be inhabited, specifically by humans. “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men” (Psalms 115:16).

God’s original plan for this earth was for man to live here. After He created Adam and Eve, “God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [fill] the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

Unfortunately, man sinned and gave up his dominion to Satan, who is now called, “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). This hindered God’s plan, but He still intends for us to inhabit the earth.

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Righteous Rewarded in the Earth

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shared these beautiful words, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). This was actually a quote from Psalms, where it says, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:9-11).

The righteous will inherit the earth after the wicked are removed from it. David continued, “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off” (Psalms 37:20-22).

It is sad to think about, but there will come a time when the wicked, along with Satan, will be as stubble and burn up so completely that they will turn into ashes and smoke (Ezekiel 28:12-19). This is a necessary part of cleansing the universe from sin. It is not something God will enjoy. God said, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). When God destroys the wicked, the Bible says that He will “…do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act” (Isaiah 28:21).

Wicked Punished in the Earth

When the wicked are destroyed, God will not bring them somewhere else to accomplish it, but it will take place on this earth. “Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner” (Proverbs 11:31).

The Bible says, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 4:1-3).

The day that shall come that will burn as an oven is described by Peter in this way, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:10-14).

This earth will be burned up, and when it is, the wicked will be burned with it. Afterwards, God will make a new earth, which is the one the righteous will inherit. (For a thorough study on the destruction of the wicked, please request our booklet entitled, “God’s Love Revealed in Hell.”)

New Earth

God foretold the new earth in this way, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). He also said, “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain” (Isaiah 66:22). The new earth will be our eternal home. You may have heard it said that heaven is our home. That is not entirely true. God promised to give us the new earth as our eternal home. In fact, God will move His headquarters here, which is awesome!

John wrote, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

It is absolutely amazing that the God who created the entire universe, with all its billions of galaxies, will move to our earth to dwell with us for eternity.

The Portable New Jerusalem

The Bible says that “the holy city, new Jerusalem” will come “down from God out of heaven.” This means that the city is portable. This is amazing, because it is huge (Revelation 21:15, 16). The biblical description of its size (1,500 miles long, deep, and high) is so remarkable that many scholars view its measurement as symbolic. However, when you consider how gigantic the universe is a city fifteen thousand miles high is not very big. It would clearly demonstrate that God has room in His mansion for you along with everyone who ever lived.

Don’t confuse this enormous city, New Jerusalem, with old Jerusalem in Israel. They are completely different cities. Since the death of Christ, that old city with its temple and sacrifices has been desolate (Matthew 23:38, 39). God’s plans for our future are not centered in the old Jerusalem, but in the New

When Jesus left this world, He told His disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). I believe the mansions He went to prepare for us in His “Father’s house” will be moved to the new earth when God will establish it as His headquarters.* Read Revelation chapter 20 and Isaiah chapter 24 to identify the facts in the timeline below.**

The description of the new earth in Revelation 21 immediately follows the description of the destruction of the wicked by fire in Revelation 20. This coincides perfectly with what the Bible explains about the old earth and the wicked being destroyed by fire, followed by a new earth where the righteous will dwell.

Revelation 20 depicts the New Jerusalem on the old earth, and Revelation 21 shows the New Jerusalem descending from heaven onto the New Earth. The New Jerusalem will be on the old world for a “little season,” but will be removed until the old world is destroyed by fire and the new earth is created, then it will again descend to earth, but this time the earth will be new. (For a thorough study on these events request our study entitled, “The Millennium.”)

The Only Way

Jesus encouraged us, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-6).

Jesus is the only way to the Father, and the only way we can live in the mansions prepared for us. Friends, there is an awesome place with unimaginable things awaiting those who love God. Do you want to see those amazing things? Jesus is knocking on your heart right now (Revelation 3:20), please invite Him in, and let Him transform you into His image. It is the best decision you will ever make.

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* Keep in mind that our home in the city will not be our only home, for we will inherit the new earth where we will “build” and “inhabit” homes (Isaiah 65:17-21). We will come to our city mansion at least once a week (Isaiah 66:22, 23).

Millennium Timeline

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