“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” – 2 Peter 3:13
As believers in Jesus and His teachings, we don’t live for this life. We are in this present world but not of it. We have a role to play in our covenant (which means partnership) with God while we are here but it is not our life, only our service and fellowship in His work, as we wait for our better life to come.
We are on a mission in this mission field called earth. If we look at it as such we will not so easily be caught up in the trivial things of this life. We won’t try to build heaven here, but rather “bring” heaven here. You see, we can look at the Garden of Eden as a place where heaven and earth met. Why? Because God and man walked together their in fellowship and the scriptures tell us that where God is, that is heaven, and where man in the flesh is that is earth. So where they both are is a merged space, a place where heaven touches earth and this can only happen were there is holiness.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” – Hebrews 12:14
Yet because that sin crept in in the garden, man fell from the perfection of what God had created. The place of fellowship where heaven and earth melded. Fast forward a few thousand years and a tabernacle (or dwelling place) was constructed. In this tent or temple God could dwell and if a priest was cleansed he could enter in for a short time and in this small space heaven and earth were merged once again!
Yet this space was very limited so fast forward a few thousand years again and God does a new thing that exceeds far beyond what anyone had imagined. He puts His Spirit into a new temple, the man Jesus! This temple lives and breathes and walks among men once again. A new space where heaven and earth are merged, and this time not confined to the small space of the Holy of Holies in the temple and only accessible by those who were ritualistically cleansed for a moment by the blood of lambs and goats. Now the temple was mobile!
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” – John 2:19-21
Then finally comes the crucifixion and in death does Jesus release His Spirit. The temple is demolished and the Spirit is freed from it. Then three days later, God rebuilds it and Jesus is resurrected! He tells his followers that He must return to the Father so that they can receive of His Spirit! Then on the day of Pentecost after much time in prayer, the Holy Spirit came and rested upon them like fire, just like it had come to the tabernacle or temple of old so many times before and they knew that in seeing this that it meant that they were now His new tent! His dwelling place among men! The place where heaven and earth met once again because Heaven is where God is!
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17:20-21
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Those who had received Him were then commissioned to go out and spread Him. To tell others of the good news that God now fellowshipped with men again! Yet does it not end there! Tell them also to prepare for more! Because one day Jesus will return to earth with a new home! He will be the temple once again and bring with Him New Jerusalem! The promised city! The one given to Abraham by covenant! The one that His descendant will rule the whole world from, and with Him all those who believed, followed, and were grafted into that promise!
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” – Galatians 3:16
In this please will we see a large space where heaven and earth are merged! A place where righteousness is because that only the righteous can get in! This place will effect the whole world as it spreads forth truth and purity and brings creation back into a state that hasn’t been seen since the garden of Eden! A new Earth and new heavens wherein dwelleth righteousness! Live for that moment. Believe for that promise. It is the core of the gospel message. And as we wait for it, let us remember that we too have a purpose in the earth, a part to play in the covenant partnership relationship that we are in with Him. To be His temporary temple by which He can interact with men. The very Embassies and Ambassadors of heaven, the merging. Until He comes again and brings the fullness of that great city New Jerusalem.
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
So why didn’t He just do that from the beginning? Because only righteousness can inter into it and He wants you there. So He tarries and gives His faithful ones a little more time to bring the truth of what He did for you to light. The good news that He made a way for you to take on His righteousness so that you too can inter into it. Because one day the old will all pass away and only the new will remain and all those who cling to the old will perish with it.
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3
So that knowing this, is He patient not being willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), because the first step to receiving His righteousness is to humble yourselves in repentance. To turn away from wickedness which is pride, rebellion, arrogance, and selfishness from which all suffering stems. Because that those things have no place in New Jerusalem, the final place where earth will merge with Heaven. A place of peace, righteousness, holiness, and fellowship with Jesus; where we will once again eat of the tree of life and drink of the waters of God freely with Him in paradise.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” – Isaiah 11:5-12
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:1-8
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;” – 2 Peter 3:14-15