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Our Most Destructive Assumption About Heaven

The present earth, even under sin and curse, teems with clues about the New Earth: mountains, water, trees, people, and cities. Along with other passages, Revelation 21–22 depicts life on the New Earth in familiar ways. We will eat, drink, work, play, worship, discover, invent, and travel in a sinless world like — yet even better than — the one God made for Adam and Eve. The word nations suggests resurrected civilizations, cultures with distinctive ethnic traits (Revelation 21:2426). Multiple New Earth passages mention animals (Isaiah 11:6–965:25). What can the rest of “the whole creation” in Romans 8:19–22 be but animals, which along with humans groan and await the resurrection when the earth that fell on our coattails will rise on them?

Settling for Less Than a Redeemed Earth

Jesus promised his disciples a “renewal of all things” (Matthew 19:28, NIV), which the ESV renders “the new world.” Peter preached that Christ won’t return “until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets” (Acts 3:21). With the Lord we love, believers will embark on the ultimate adventure. A magnificent New Earth awaits our exploration and governance, to God’s glory. Jesus will be the cosmic center; joy will be the air we breathe.

Christians are vulnerable to attractive false teachings. Ironically, the true biblical teachings about the new body and New Earth are far more robust and appealing than the false Christoplatonic view of Heaven. Let’s teach our children and our churches what is absolutely true and profoundly attractive.

Does the thought of experiencing a resurrected world appeal to you? Does it ignite your imagination to realize we will live happily ever after on a planet without sin and suffering? Is this part of the good news you share with others? Let’s never settle for less than the full breadth of God’s promised salvation — eternal life with God’s people on a redeemed earth governed by the King of kings, whom we will joyfully worship and serve forever.

This article about heaven originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (www.epm.org), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God’s Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He is a New York Times best-selling author of over fifty books, including Heaven (over one million sold), The Treasure Principle (over two million sold), If God Is Good, Happiness, and the award-winning novel Safely Home. His books sold exceed ten million copies and have been translated into over seventy languages.