Question 144


What will the new heaven* and the new earth be like?


In the new heaven and the new earth we will be with God. We will never sin. We will never die. There will be no more curse. There will be no more sadness and no more pain. We will never be guilty, afraid or ashamed. We will know the joy that comes from God.

The scripture* tells us that after Jesus returns, heaven and earth will pass away.[1] Then, the Lord* Jesus* will make everything new.[2] He will replace heaven and earth with a new heaven and a new earth. Isaiah* says that the new heaven and new earth will go on and on and the people there will be full of joy. Peter* says that only what is right and good will be there.[3]


In this new place, God will build a great city. John* calls it ‘the Holy* City’, the New Jerusalem* that comes down out of heaven from God. God the Father, Jesus the Lamb,* and the Holy Spirit* will live there.[4] The city will have streets and gates, and they will be beautiful and strong. And there will be angels* at each of the gates.


The people that Jesus has rescued will fill the city.[5] There will be so many people that no one can tell how many there are. There will be people there from every nation and every family and every language. And they will all sing and give thanks to God.


Those who have trusted Jesus will live in this new heaven and new earth forever. We will have new bodies that are like Jesus’ body after he rose from death. In those bodies we will be able to see and feel and enjoy all of the things God has made for us there. The tree of life will grow in the new city and we can eat from it. And we can drink from a river there that will be as clear as glass.[6]


In heaven, we will worship God. We will enjoy all of the other people who are there. And we will have work to do. Work that will please God and will please us.


We know the most about the new heaven and earth from John. God let John see the new city and he wrote about it in the book of Revelation.* What John remembered most about that place was what was not there. In the new heaven and earth, no one will ever be sick, and no one will ever suffer. No one will ever die because there is no death there. No one will weep or be sad ever again, for God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.


The curse that God put upon the earth will be gone and the world will be just like God made it to be. There will be no broken things there.[7] All sin will be gone and no evil* can ever enter there. And we will no longer have any desire to do wrong. Our hearts* will be clean and we will be able to love God with all of our heart and mind and strength. We will never feel fear or shame or guilt.* We will be like Jesus and we will see him as he is.[8]


Although this new heaven and new earth will not come until Jesus returns, we are already citizens of this New Jerusalem. And some day, we will live in this most perfect place God has promised to us. Then, God will make his home with us. We will be his people. And God himself will be with us and be our God. And we will see his face.[9]


The new heavens and new earth are the end of the story God tells us in the Bible.* Jesus does all that he promised to do. He has put all of his enemies under his feet. And Jesus will fix everything that was broken. He will put the world back to be what God made it to be in the beginning. He will have kept all of the promises that he made to Abraham* and to David.* But the new heaven and the new earth are not the end of the story. It is the beginning of a new story, a story that will go on and on forever.

[1] Mark 13:31
[2] Revelation 21:5
[3] Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13
[4] Revelation 21:22
[5] Revelation 22:3
[6] Revelation 22:1-3
[7] Revelation 21:1-4; Revelation 21:3-5
[8] 1 John 3:2
[9] Revelation 22:1-4