By: Evangelist Donald Perkins
"The true message of the Eternal State is a practical one that produces a sound measure of hope for Christians as an anchor for their soul."
The New Heavens and the New Earth
"AND I saw a new Heaven and new Earth: For the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away:..." (Revelation 21:1)
When the prophet John received the prophecy of the book of Revelation, God was revealing to him the final destiny of man, sin, Satan and earth. I believe this is one main reason why Satan fights the study of Gods prophetic Word. It is because of this teaching that men can have hope for the future. In this study, we will journey through the Scripture to receive the plain and common sense teachings regarding our eternity with God.
The question is asked: Where is your salvation taking you?
Have you ever stopped and thought about the end of your salvation? Some Christians today have no hope past the present day. This attitude is wide spread throughout the church today. There is a danger in not understanding our future and putting all of ones hope in this present world, even as a Christian. Why? Because the Word of God teaches clearly that this present world is not our home! This present world has been contaminated by sin and because of Adams fall, sin has entered into the world.
"Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned". (Romans 5:12)
Everything under Adams domain became cursed and subjected to sin. (The earth, man, the animal kingdom...everything.)
"For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him(Adam) who hath subjected the same in hope". (Romans 8:20)
God wants us to have a proper view in light of this present, evil world. Jesus, while here, proclaimed that He nor Gods children were of this world.
"I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world". (John 17:14, 16)
The world Jesus is referring to is this present, evil world. As we will see further in this study, Jesus came to bring in a new world, a world without sin and the curse. If Christians today place all of their hope in this present system, they are putting it in a dieing world. The Scripture call those who do men most miserable.
"If in this life only (present evil world) we have hope in Christ, we are all men most miserable". (I Corinthians 15:19)
To place our hope in the present world alone is to sell ourselves short in receiving the total blessings that God has prepared for those who love Him.
Today, many have made the message of eternity a totally spiritual one and this is far from the truth as taught in the Bible. Some have taught that we are in eternity now, yet others claim that Christians will receive wings and silver slippers when they get to Heaven. The true message of the eternal state is a practical one that produces a sound measure of hope for Christians as an anchor for their soul.
The Earth Is Eternal:
Even though sin has entered the earth, the earth is eternal. When God made the earth, He made it to last forever. This world will never cease to exist as some would think.
The Earth is eternal:
"Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever." (Psalm 104:5)
"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever". (Ecclesiastes 1:4)
"Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth". (Psalm 119:90)
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease". (Genesis 8:22)
The earth was created to last for all eternity. When Adam sinned the earth was cursed, but God, in His omniscience, prepared a way to purge the world from sin.
The Promise Of A New World
Careful study of God's Word reveals many eternal promises for the righteous. God spoke of New Heavens and a New Earth, the Tree of Life, Continuing Cities, Kingdoms, Mansions and more. Let us examine some of these promises.
1.) "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for New Heavens and a New Earth, where in dwelleth righteousness". (II Peter 3:13)
2.) "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".
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also". (John 14:2,3)
3.) "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, not perceived by ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him". (Isaiah 64:4)
4.) "But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him".
"But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit: searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God". (I Corinthians 2:9, 10)
5.) "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: For He hath prepared for them a city". (Hebrews 11:13-16)
6.) "For here have we no Continuing city, But we seek one to come". (Hebrews 13:14)
7.) "Then shall the King say unto them on the right hand, come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world". (Matthew 25:34)
8.) "...but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father". (Matthew 20:23, Mark 10:40)
9.) "For as the New Heavens and New Earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain". (Isaiah 66:22)
10.) "For, Behold, I create New Heavens and a New Earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind". (Isaiah 65:17)
11.) "...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God". (Revelation 2:7)
12.) "Him that overcometh will I make a Pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon Him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of Heaven from my God..." (Revelation 3:12)
The Eternal State Outline
A.) The purpose of the eternal state:
Q. What is the reason for the eternal state?
B.) The preparation of the eternal state:
Q. How will the earth be cleansed of sin?
C.) The living conditions in the eternal state:
Q. What will life be like in the eternal state?
A.) The Purpose for the Eternal State
There is always a purpose behind everything God has ordained. The Word of God declares that God's Word will not return void, but will do what it was intended to accomplish.
"So shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it will not return unto me void. But it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it". (Isaiah 55:11)
God's purpose for the eternal state is to restore the earth to it's former glory. It will be restored to the glory that Adam and Eve once enjoyed in the Garden before their fall. When Adam fell, not only was man cursed, but the whole creation was affected. The beautiful rose bush became thorn infested. But God, the Father, had a plan in which He would redeem man. But not only man, He also included the earth and everything in it.
The Scripture teaches that the whole creation is waiting for it's change.
"For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God".
"Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God". (Romans 8:19, 20, 21)
The Scriptures above reveal that the whole creation in earnest expectation, was waiting for the born-again experience of men. The Scripture reveals, further, that the creation shall be delivered from it's bondage of corruption into this same liberty (or born-again) experience as the Sons of God.
In summary, the purpose of the eternal state is to totally restore man and the whole creation back to their original state before the fall. Thanks be to God for His glorious wisdom of redemption, in which He has included us.
B.) The Preparation of the Eternal State
God would not usher in a perfect age without first dealing with sin. We will examine what God has done, is doing, and will do to bring in a world where dwells nothing but righteousness and eternal bliss.
In J. Dwight Pentecost's book entitled, Things To Come, section seven, (The Preparation For The Eternal Kingdom), states:
"Between the termination of the earthly theocratic kingdom (The Millennial Kingdom) and the union of that kingdom with the eternal kingdom of God certain momentous events transpire, so that every vestige of rebellion shall be obliterated and God shall reign supreme".
1.) Jesus Christ, The Ultimate Preparation:
John the Baptist declared one day, while in the Jordan river, God's prophetic answer of who would one day take away sin.
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world". (John 1:29)
Other Scriptures that testify to this fact:
1.) "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father". (Galatians 1:4)
2.) "...When He (Jesus) had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right of the majesty on high". (Hebrews 1:3)
3.) "And He (Jesus) is the propitiation (Mercyseat) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world". (I John 2:2)
4.) "For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him". (II Corinthians 5:21)
5.) "Therefore as by the offense of one (Adam), judgement come upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus) the free gift came upon all men unto justification to life". (Romans 5:12-21)
The Scripture above reveals that Jesus is the ultimate preparation in God's prophetic dealings. Jesus died on the cross, shedding His precious blood, paying the price that would reconcile man with God again. And not only man, but God's total creation.
The Crown of Thorns
Not only did Jesus receive bruises for our sins, but He also bore in His body the piercing holes of the crown of thorns. Many have missed a powerful truth here: the crown of thorns was the price He paid for the earth on the cross. When God judged Adam and Eve, He also condemned the earth. He cursed the ground and caused thorns and thistles to come forth.
"...Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thysake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life".
"Thorns also and Thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field". (Genesis 3:17,18)
"Andwhen they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head,..." (Matthew 27:29)
At Calvary's cross, Jesus redeemed man and earth through His precious blood. Jesus's sacrifice as the Lamb of God was truly God's first line of defense in His quest to restore creation.
2.) The Purging of Unredeemed Men:
Nearing the close of God's prophetic plan, God will begin to purge the earth of the ungodly. This will begin at the close of the Great Tribulation Period and during the Battle of Armageddon. At the close of this period, Jesus will come back and dethrone the Anti-Christ and his False Prophet. These two men will cast into the Lake of Fire.
"Andthe beast (Anti-Christ) was taken, and with the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image, these both (Anti-Christ and False Prophet) were cast alive into a Lake of Fire burning with brimstone". (Revelation 19:20)
The next purging will occur at the close of 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. At the close of this reign, those men who rebelled in their hearts against Christ's rule, will be deceived by Satan. And they will revolt against the city of God and will meet their end.
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison".
"And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea".
"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and the fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them". (Revelation 20:7-9)
The final purging of unredeemed men will take place at the last resurrection. This event will occur just before the Great White Throne Judgement. At this time, God will resurrect all of the ungodly from their graves. This is known as the Resurrection of Damnation, (John 5:28, 29). This last resurrection is mentioned in the book of Revelation, chapter 20: 11-15. Here, the ungodly will be resurrected to face the judgement of God. All who are judged here will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire and will enter the eternal damnation.
3.) The Purging of Satan:
Satan will be purged from God's system and cast into the Lake of Fire to be burned and tormented forever. Note the following Scripture.
"And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of Fire and brimstone, where the Beast (Anti-Christ) and False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever". (Revelation 20:10)
4.) The Purging of Death:
The Scripture declare that the last enemy to be destroyed by Christ Jesus will be death. Death will not enter the New World, but will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be judged forever.
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death". (I Corinthians 15:26)
"And death and Hell (hades or sheol) were cast into the lake of Fire. This is the Second death". (Revelation 20:14)
5.) The Earth's Purging:
Before the New Earth and Heavens, God will cleanse planet earth of all it's contaminations. The Scripture declare that the fire of God will burn all the works of the Earth.
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the Heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the Earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up".
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and Godliness".
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the Heavens being on Fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for New Heavens and a New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness". (II Peter 3:10-13)
The fire of God will purge planet earth of all of it's contaminations. Everything that sin has touched will be burned from earth. After the fire of God has purged earth and the smoke clears, God will reveal a brand New Earth and Heavens: a world that will be free from sin and curse, a world without sin and Satan.
In summary, before God can usher in a New World, He will first deal with the sin problem. After He has judged fallen man, Satan, fallen angels, sin and this contaminated earth, we will experience a new world and a new life with God.