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13

Earth’s Makeover

Key References: Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:17-19; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21; 22:1-5; The Great Controversy, chap. 42, pp. 674-678; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 10, pp. 205-208;

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“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’ ” (Revelation 21:3-5).

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We will live with Jesus forever on the new earth.

Last week we learned about the terrible  final scenes of the great controversy. Satan, sin and sinners will be  finally destroyed. Then the earth will be re-created to be the home for God’s people. Let’s take a look at what life will be like in the earth made new.

After a complete elimination of sin and Satan, the people of God will finally have a permanent home. Although we will have lived here before, it will be very diff erent than the earth we once knew. Everything will be renewed, alive, and free from the consequences of sin.

The Bible provides a beautiful description of our home on the new earth.

In the center of the city we will see the throne of God, sparkling a brilliant sapphire blue (see Ezekiel 1:26; 10:1). From the base of the throne there will be a river of pure, clean water—“clear as crystal.” As we will walk along its meandering path, we will come to a unique and beautiful tree. From the bottom, it will look like two trees on either side of the river. When we will look up, however, we will see that the two trunks are joined and form, in actuality, one tree. We will be told that this tree has “twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month,” and that its leaves are “for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1, 2).

Jesus promised: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). In the Garden of Eden the access to the tree of life was conditional upon obedience to God. That is why Adam and Eve lost their access to the tree of life after they sinned. But in heaven the saved will have unrestricted access to the tree of life.

As we will pause underneath its shade, we will look out on the wide plains and the beautiful hills, and our hearts will go out in praise and adoration to God as we will exclaim, “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!” (Revelation 15:3). The air will be perfumed with flowers; the birds will be singing. “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat” (Isaiah 32:18; 65:21, 22).

Our hearts will be at peace. As we continue our journey, the Bible calls our attention to another wonderful characteristic of heaven. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, . . . and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). We will not be afraid of wild animals or of danger, because the spirit of God’s love will be in every one of them.

On the new earth there will be no need of the sun, moon, or stars, as there will be no night there. The light from God’s glory will outshine the light of the sun and of the moon. “They need no lamp, no light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light” (Revelation 22:5).

As we will walk outside of the city, we will look back to admire its construction. The walls will be strong and wide, made of pure jasper (see Revelation 21:11, 18). The foundation will look like a beautiful rainbow. Jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst are layered in dazzling color (see verses 19, 20). The 12 gates giving access to the city will be made of white pearl, a fitting symbol of the purity of those who live there.

The Bible guides our attention beyond the magnificent structure of the New Jerusalem to the beautiful landscape outside. We see our friends and family building homes, planting gardens, and enjoying each other’s company (see Isaiah 65:21).

We will have the opportunity to spend personal time with Jesus, talking with Him about anything that will preoccupy us. We will constantly learn, explore, and experience the beautiful things that God created throughout the universe. We will experience life in a whole new dimension.

One of the most wonderful things about the new earth is that each week all of God’s children will meet together and worship God on Sabbath. Can you imagine the wonderful sound of thousands and ten thousands of voices raised in praises to God? “ ‘And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 66:23).

The peace, harmony, and true love that will exist there will be superior to anything we have ever experienced. Ellen White, describing that time, says, “The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love” (The Great Controversy, p. 678).