Lots of discussion these days as to whether we’ll go to heaven when we die or if heaven will come to us. Many theologians of our time are suggesting that the earth will not be destroyed as we used to read in Peter’s book but instead will have a face lift. The old earth and heavens will be redone, so to speak.
I’m not sure what we will need the heavens as we think of them for as there will be no lights in the sky. All the light will be furnished by the presence of God. It has always seemed odd to me that God would make an earth for man and then get tired of his own home and decide to spend the rest of eternity on earth. Is earth better than heaven? If so, then why did the people of God by faith look for a heavenly home instead of the earthly one they were leaving at death?
Those people said they were foreigners and strangers on earth. They didn’t want to live here. They longed for a better place, a better country. I don’t think the Hebrew writer is suggesting that they longed for a “redone” earth. In fact, he says, “they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one.” These people, according to the Holy Spirit who wrote the book of Hebrews, lived by faith and died in the hope of a heavenly home. Now, the theologians are telling us that they died not headed for a home in heaven but heaven will become earth. Redone of course.
Notice God’s reaction to their hope for a heavenly country. “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Please notice the use of the past tense. They wanted a home in heaven and God has one ready for them. Not redone or refurbished but totally new. New heavens and new earth but not of this world. Jesus is not coming back to live here, redone or not, he is coming back to take us home. Our new home, his home, in heaven. Not here on earth. Where the Father’s house is. His house is in heaven. He doesn’t live on earth. Check the scriptures. God has no use for material things and this earth is very materialist. Jesus left to prepare us a place in his Father’s house. If it were here, he could have stayed.
Everybody wants to build God a house on the earth except God. The prophet said, “The Lord is in his holy temple, let the earth keep quiet.” God is a spirit not a man and he lives in his kind of world, not man’s. When we die the earthly body will go back to earth but the spirit will belong to God. He will give it a home suitable for a spirit not a man.
I still like the words of the old song, “This earth is not my home, I’m just a passing through.”