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Will we really go to heaven but it's only until the new Earth comes as described in Revelation (when we're to return to Earth)?

Revelation 21:1-2 NIV

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

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I recommend John MacArthur's "The Glory of Heaven." –  unregistered-matthew7.7 Sep 13 '12 at 8:03
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

No, you've confused the issue because you aren't familiar with the vocabulary involved.

The "new heaven and new earth" referenced here IS the "heaven" of generic terminology. Pop-culture Christianity likes to think of this as some separate place where everybody is floating on clouds, but this imagery is not the picture painted by Scripture. The language of Scripture is much more tangible, but also more complicated and we don't fully understand yet how all the pieces actually fit together. There are several major views on that cover the mechanical details and timeline heaven, but none of them really matter for the point of your question.

What Revelation is describing here is "heaven". Even though it sometimes uses the terminology "earth", it is a "new earth" and should be understood in the context of a complete salvation of creation itself, whether a new space or a complete reforging of the existing creation.

The way this fits into different eschatologies and views of heaven differs a little, but it is generally accepted that the existing "heavens and earth" does not refer to some ethereal other place and this universe but rather is a single unit referring to our physical universe. This includes space (heavens) and the planet we live on. When referring to "a new heavens and a new earth" this is an all new creation of everything including some sort of physical place.

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This is well explained and very interesting. Could you provide some resources for further reading? –  E1Suave Sep 14 '12 at 0:22
    
@E1Suave: I'm having a hard time thinking of how to reference this. I specifically answered with a 10,000 mile overview of the issue. And specific references I give are likely (actually guaranteed) to be from a very specific perspective and deal in details that cloud the issue rather than clarify it. If you really want details about how to interpret the various references to heaven, you're going to have to pick a perspective to read from. –  Caleb Sep 15 '12 at 10:32
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