Section 9: The End Times
Week 4: The New Heaven and the New Earth
Day 2: The Renewal of the Earth
2 Peter 3:3-14
We noted earlier that eternity will share the same fundamental physical/material structure as the current universe. That is not to say there won’t be significant differences though. Sin corrupted the original creation. But God intends to renew/restore it. The most dramatic picture of that process comes from Peter:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:9-13).
Because the picture Peter paints is so dramatic, some theologians argue it involves the complete destruction of the current universe and the creation of a new one. Others believe the present creation will simply be purified and renewed. Either way, the point remains the same: every trace of sin will be removed and God’s creation will be restored to glory.
Review Rom. 8:19-23, Rev. 21-22.
How will the renewed earth be different from the present one? What excites you most about the prospect of living on a renewed earth? Do you think it makes a difference whether the current earth is completely destroyed? Why/Why not?