New heaven new earth

Hey everyone looking for various perspectives and answers.
As Christian’s when we die what happens? I’ve heard a few things:

  1. when we die we will go to heaven to be with God. Spiritually or physically, I’m unsure.
  2. When we die we will be with god on a new heavens and earth with a new body.
  3. When we die we will be put on this exact earth that will be “made new” or restored with our resurrected bodies.
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Excellent question @Alive_In_Christ - and if you get five Christians together on this topic, you’ll likely get seven opinions!

But one of the mainstream positions in our day that I think can be well articulated from scripture is that when a believer dies, his soul is absent from the body and present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8).

The body sleeps in the grave until the resurrection at the end of this age when the Lord returns with the souls of the departed who are then reunited with their new, resurrected bodies (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) which are made as miraculous as Christ’s resurrection body (Philippians 3:20-21).

The best explanation for this is that in heaven, the soul does not need a physical body (which would actually be an impediment in that spiritual environment). But to interact with this world, a physical body is very useful - and we are destined to reign with Christ over this world.

When Jesus returns, and us with Him, we will reign with Him for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-6). It will be the final age of mortal history and of mankind’s story in a fallen world.

Although it is still under the curse of sin, Christ’s beneficent rule will greatly mitigate the ills of former times so that the lion will lie down with the lamb, nation will not lift up sword against nation, every man will dwell securely beneath his own vine and fig tree, the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas, and mortal men born into that world (descended from the Tribulation survivors) will live as long as trees. (Multiple verses for this, but an easy Google search will take you to them all.)

But at the end of the 1000 years (often called the Millennial Kingdom), there will be a final rebellion against Christ at Jerusalem (Rev. 20:7-10), because even men born in that perfect kingdom will have inherited a sin nature. And contrary to what some say in our day, a utopian environment would not really change our basic depravity.

The heavens and the earth which are now will be dissolved by fire (II Peter 3:10-13). And in that spaceless, timeless limbo between the passing away of the sin-cursed creation, and the making of the new, Christ will sit upon His Great White Throne to judge all the lost souls of all the ages (Revelation 20:11-15).

Immediately afterward, God will make the new heaven and the new earth which He rules over from the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-2). This unstained creation does not groan under the curse of sin as the former (Romans 8:22-23). And God will dwell on this perfect creation with all the redeemed in their glorious bodies forever. And He will even share His rule over it with us (Rev 3;21)!

I hope this helps with what you were looking for.

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Interesting, so is this more of a dispensational view or futurist? I myself am a preterist

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I hesitate to identify it like that. For one thing, I think I have a nontraditional understanding of dispensationalism. I’d just say examine the verses, see if it makes sense, and take it for what it’s worth. Whether it’s consistent with one of the other views you’ve mentioned, perhaps someone else can tell you better than I.

Like I said, five Christians - seven opinions - this is a very popular and well substantiated one.

Absolutely, thanks for the input

@Alive_In_Christ this is a topic I studied quite a bit and it has been answered very clearly by @jlyons. I would like to share a couple of wonderful resources with you if you would like to do some further research.

This sermon series by Graham Chipps covers the kingdom very clearly. I downloaded it and listened to it a number of times to understand the central message of Christ.

Another fabulous resource is this book by N.T. Wright. It has been one of the most impactful books on my Christian walk and was recommended reading in the RZIM Core Module.

My current opinion on your questions, if I may, are the following:

  1. We are a spirit but have a soul and body. Our spirit and soul go to heaven when we die and our body remains on earth, where it decays.
  2. When we die we are in heaven waiting for Christ to bring us with him back to earth to establish the new heaven and new earth.
  3. I believe that our resurrected bodies will be on this earth and that the new heaven will come down. It is about the size of the entire continent of Europe. We will then work with Jesus to make all things new.

Now I am sure if you ask me this question a year from now, I may have a slightly different opinion :smiley:

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A clarification question - when you say it’s about the size of Europe, it was unclear whether you meant the new earth, the new heaven or the New Jerusalem. Are you meaning the New Jerusalem described as being 12,000 furlongs on each side in Revelation 21:16?

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@jlyons yes I am referring to the new heaven which comes down. About 2200 km squared I believe. :raised_hands:

I see - so you’re viewing the new heaven and the New Jerusalem as one and the same. Okay, thanks!

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Thanks for asking this question Adam. I too have been wondering about the different views that people have. :blush:
Thank you @brianlalor for the resource recommendations! They will be next on my list of things to read/listen to. You reminded me of our book recommendations and that I failed to copy those down when I was taking the core module. Oops. :woman_facepalming:t2:

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Yes very interesting, I see most of revelation complete. And the new heavens new earth and Jerusalem. Is the new covenant with Christ. We no longer have to go to the temple to pray and worship god. Jews and gentiles.