Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I often hear people talking about going to heaven but it seems more like we are destined for a new earth..

From my understanding in John's revelation, the afterlife consists of a new heavens and a new earth, and we end up on the new earth, where God dwells.

(Rev 21:1) 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.

(Rev 21:2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

(Rev 21:3) 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.

What did John mean when he said "new heaven" and "new earth" in this passage?

share|improve this question

closed as too broad by Affable Geek, Daи, David Stratton, Caleb Apr 1 at 8:57

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
What kind of believers? –  Anonymous Mar 24 at 23:46
    
@Anonymous the ones who's names are not blotted out the book of life and miss the great white throne judgement –  Nikos Mar 24 at 23:57
    
What makes you think that "The new heaven and the new earth" are literal? What makes you think they are different than heaven? –  Flimzy Mar 25 at 0:36
1  
@Flimzy I think the asker needs to state his or her own denomination. :) –  Anonymous Mar 25 at 1:18
    
Well, not necessarily their denomination, but the denomination from which they want an answer. But more generally, the question shows a huge lack of understanding. A much better question, IMO, would be "What is meant by a new heaven and new earth?" The question is worded as a trap... not as an opportunity to learn. –  Flimzy Mar 25 at 1:20
show 2 more comments

2 Answers 2

Because the Father is said to be in heaven, in the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9) and elsewhere. And in John 14:2 Jesus says:

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.

Thus it is rather reasonably assumed that Jesus went to prepare us a place in heaven itself.

Also Matthew's constant use of the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" plays a part in this, as probably does 1 Thess 4:17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

And because those who die before the New Jerusalem descends from the New Heaven to the New Earth in the book of Revelation, are probably in heaven in the meantime. In Revelation itself, John places Christian martyrs in heaven by stating they are "under the altar" in heaven. (Revelation 6:9)

Also, Jude 1:14 "...Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,...." but cometh from where? 2 Thess 1:7 "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,..." So that would indicate these ten thousands of saints are with him in heaven prior to his second coming.

share|improve this answer
    
Great answer! It remains to be seen how our time will be split up between the two domains :) –  Nikos Mar 25 at 0:00
    
another verse that is interesting is the beggar who ends up in paradise, which may or may not be heaven itself. –  Nikos Mar 25 at 0:08
    
Nowdays we are in a position that our forefathers were not, of going over the NT with a fine toothed comb. They were lucky if they even got the gospels or a gospel harmony in their mother tongue, much less the whole NT. So the fine distinctions between paradise and heaven, and so on, weren't on their minds like they might be ours. That's another possible answer. –  david brainerd Mar 25 at 0:10
    
there clearly a lot going on in heaven all the time, can you imagine what the new one will be like..? the current one seems pretty good don't you think :) –  Nikos Mar 25 at 0:12
add comment

The earth as we know it now will be destroyed.

2 Peter 3;7 But the heavens and earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. Matthew 24;37-43 As it was in the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be, For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all way; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

The destruction of the earth occurs at the day of the LORD. 2 Peter 3;10 But the day of the LORD will come as a theif in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Isaiah 65;17 For behold, I create a new heaven and new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Revelation 21;7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. Revelation 22;14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.