Where will we spend an eternity?

Q. Where will we spend eternity? The Kingdom will be handed over to the Father after the saved are raised to met Jesus in the sky. The Earth will melt away. There is to be a new heaven and a new Earth. Why the new earth? Why the new heaven? Please correct my misunderstandings?

Our question comes from:

2 Pet. 3:13
13* But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

The Kingdom will be handed over to the Father = 1 Cor. 15:24

The saved are raised to met Jesus in the sky. = 1 Thess 4:16

The Earth will melt away = 2 Pet 3:10

There is probably no easy answers to these questions. And you may not be satisfied with the one’s I offer you.

The book of Revelation, in highly symbolic language, which is certainly not to be understood literally, pictures eternity in a beautiful place in God’s presence. The exact nature of that “place” is not revealed to us. This, though not very satisfying, is probably the best answer I can give you. We are going to be in God’s presence in eternity. The “where” or the “how” I cannot offer, because it is not revealed in Scripture.

There are several views offered by theologians. One is that the “earth” as we now know it will be destroyed, meaning that everything that “man” has done to the earth (cities, highways, pollution) will be removed, and that the original nature of the earth as created by God will be restored. “Heaven” will be much like earth without the problems of evil men, Satan, natural disasters, weeds, wild animals, disease, or even pesky insects.

Others believe that a completely “new earth” will be created by God. Still others reject the idea of an “earthly” heaven for man’s eternal existence, but tell us that since we are going to be “spirit” beings we will have no need of a “physical” place for our existence at all. Some say that our eternal abode in “heaven” is a spiritual existence without physical considerations at all.

This we do know. Heaven is represented in the Scriptures as the abode of God. Earth is the abode of men. Earth is NEVER referred to in the Scriptures as a place in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, in some sense, earth must be “re-done” to make it a fit place for those who are righteous to dwell in it. A “new Heaven” will come into existence because there will no longer be a “separation” between God and man. The expression “A new Heaven and a new earth” simply represent a “new order” of things, in which God and His righteousness rules in both realms.

The most important thing to keep in mind, in my opinion, is that we will be in God’s presence, wherever, and however that is to take place. It will be a place of comfort, and certainly a place of beauty. And if it turns out to be a lot like earth without all of the problems we face here, that will be okay with me too.

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