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Renewal of the World / New Heaven and New Earth


RENEWAL OF THE WORLD

Jesus predicted a renewal of all things at his second coming in glory (Mt 19:28). Through Isaiah, God had promised “the new heavens and the new earth” for the devoted people of Israel (Isa 66:22). After Pentecost, when Peter addressed the people at Solomon’s Portico in the Temple, he spoke of the upcoming “times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old” (Acts 3:21). Peter wrote of the renewed world thus: “The heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:12-13).

According to Paul, our spiritual renewal or “new age” is a rebirth through baptism in the Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5) that makes us heirs of eternal life (Tit 3:7). Jesus mentions a renewal at his second coming with the establishment of his kingdom. John documented his vision in Patmos: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away’” (Rev 21:1-4). Thus, there is a rebirth at the time of baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, as Jesus told Nicodemus (Jn 3:5) and another one with the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgement.


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