0 votes
by (3.2k points)
The Protestant Pulpit teaches that the reward of the Saved is to be wafted to Heaven upon death, there to live forever after.  And, primarily on the basis of II\,Peter 3:7--13 and Revelation 21:1, the Protestant Pulpit claims that the Heavens (which is to say, the Universe) and the Earth are to be destroyed and replaced with new Heavens and a new Earth.  Now, if the destiny of the Saved is everlasting residence in Heaven, of what function is the supposed new Heavens and new Earth?  Who is going to live on the New Earth?

1 Answer

+1 vote
by (200 points)
What a nice line of reasoning by you. So often this is not done when it comes to Gods word ,tradition is often accepted as truth even if their are other scriptures that contradict that tradition or belief.

Three things normally happens:

1.Sometimes traditional thinking is right and in harmony with the Bible.
2.Sometimes when something is to be taken symbolically or illustrative it is taken literal.
3.Sometimes personal feeling are involved, more that what's right or wrong.

In your case its more of the second one.

Rev 21:1and 2 Peter 3:10, if taken literally this would not only mean the destruction of the present Earth and a making of a new Earth but a destruction of the present Heaven and a making of a new Heaven (why would God destroy the old Heavens, what have the Heavens done to bring Gods wrath) not only this but it would be destroyed by fire (if literal).

Of what benefit would it be to mankind to know the earth would not be destroyed by water, and God providing a covenant rainbow as a sign for mankind but then allow/cause the earth to be destroyed this time by fire. That would be similar to a man attempting to rob you and he has a knife in his hand and promises you he would not stab you, but later he pulls out a gun and shoots you. This would not make sense this would be noting more that a cruel joke Gen 9:11-13.

That would even be more true if it were the God of the Universe.

Not only did God put the rainbow covenant in force but he added, as long as the earth continues their would be seed sewing, harvesting (people did the seed sewing and harvesting) and summer and winter, day and night which would never cease.

Gen 8:22  says  “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

But how long will the earth endure and how long will people inhabit this earth according to the bible?

NIV Ecclesiastes 1:4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

NIV    Psalms 37:29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

TPT - The Passive Translation - Ecclesiastes 1:4    The faithful lovers of God will inherit the earth and enjoy every promise of God’s care, dwelling in peace forever.

These scriptures show that the earth and those who listen to God will be here forever.

So according to the bible how long does God promise that the earth would last and the righteous would inhabited the earth? Forever.

How can this be if Rev 21:1and 2 Peter 3:10  mentioned earlier say the Heaven and Earth will be destroyed by fire and the scriptures above show the earth and mankind will be here forever ?

Jesus disciples ask him at Mt 13:10-13 In The Passion Translation

 "10 Then his disciples approached Jesus and asked, “Why do you always speak to people in these hard-to-understand parables?”11 He explained, “You’ve been given the intimate experience of insight into the hidden truths and mysteries of the realm of heaven’s kingdom, but they have not. 12 For everyone who listens with an open heart will receive progressively more revelation[b] until he has more than enough. But those who don’t listen with an open, teachable heart, even the understanding that they think they have will be taken from them.

Notice the parables/illustrations are "hard to understand, but not all will understand these hidden truth/mysteries.

Many times the word "Earth" in the Bible is used in an Illustrative way for people. Notice Gen 11:1 - NASB    "Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words."

Yes before the confusion of tongues at Babel, all the earth or people on the earth spoke one language.
This is the illustrative way in which the word earth is used. Another example can be found at Psalms 96:1.

Consider, for example, how “earth” and “heavens” are used in the book of Isaiah:

 Isa 34:1,5 New English Translation

verse1  Come near, you nations, and listen! Pay attention, you people! The earth and everything it contains must listen, the world and everything that lives in it.

verse 5 He says, “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers. Look, it now descends on Edom, on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”

Notice in verse 1 when speaking of people it says "The earth and everything it contains must listen..."The literal earth can't listen or hear but the people can.

Notice in Verse 5  "Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers.
This is the only translation that I found  that made it so simple by saying "heavenly powers" most say "My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens.

So what God was making known to Edom as a nation was that because she treated Israel so bad, God would destroy her (ELEVATED STATE).

Because the heavens represent that which is elevated above (like governments/kingdoms or kings)  and Edom was such a nation that used her power in the bad way God would eliminate her existence.

Even the nation of Israel because of her disobedience to God had her heavens destroyed, rock and agitated by Babylon but he did not allow her to stay destroyed her destruction and slavery lasted for 70 years.

New English Translation

Lamentations 2:1 "Alas! The Lord has covered Daughter Zion with his anger. He has thrown down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; he did not protect his temple when he displayed his anger."

God had elevated Israel and made her a Great nation, she was in a way in the heavens but once he allow Babylon to destroy and enslave the nation she would in an illustrative way brought down to earth.

I will explain next about the new heavens and new earth and what that means for mankind. I will share with you who the bible says will live on the new earth and who is going to heaven.
 
I will stop here and in the next coupled of days continue.

Sincerely Willie
by (3.2k points)
edited by
In posing the question, some of the points which I hoped eventually to bring out are:

(1) "Heavens" represents government; "Earth" represents social order or society.

(2) The New Heavens is the government imposed by the Lord God; the government is a monarchy in which Christ Jesus rules as King.  The New Earth is the resulting social order, which is characterized by justice, peace, and prosperity.

(3) In the Kingdom of God, the resurrected Justified hold offices of authority.  On the one hand, the Resurrection is a process of birth by which the Justified are born into the Family of God as Sons.  These Sons are the sole citizens of the Kingdom.  On the other hand, the Resurrection is a transformation in which the corruptible mortal being of the Natural Realm is transformed into an incorruptible immortal being of the Spirit Realm.  In this context, the concept of corruptibility has no moral connotation; rather, it has to do with disease, injury, or other impairment of function; the Resurrected shall enjoy health, strength, perfect bodily function, and soundness of mind, for ever.

(4) Subsequent to the Resurrection, mortal life continues on the Earth, with an endless sequence of generations.  In each generation, the cycle of birth, play, work, reproduction, and death is repeated.  Contrary to the claims of many teachers, death is inherent to the Natural Realm, and is a matter of design, rather than the consequence of a supposed curse.  However, under the governance of Heaven, the environment of the Earth shall be cleansed and shall remain free of pollution.  Practices which today degrade the environment shall not be tolerated.  The result is great longevity, with lifespans on the order  of a thousand years; this is seen in Isaiah 65:17-25.

RLH
Welcome to Study Bible Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.
...