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The New Creation: On earth as in heaven
This chapter is really challenging about what will happen to the earth, whether it will be completely destroyed when Jesus returns to the earth. And about the concept of 'new heaven and new earth', that the term 'new' has more to do with renewal and recycling then something completely new being created.
A great statement was made that the bible is purposely vague about what the 'new heaven and new earth' will look like, because it is not something that we need to know about. That we need to focus on our relationship with God in the here and now, not living in a time yet to come. Afterall, God is allowed to have some surprises in store for us.
1. How has this chapter challenged your understanding of the 'the end times' and the future of the earth? List any unanswered questions you still have, and (using the further resources section or in discussion with others) try and resolve these.....whilst recognising that the bible does not give neat answers to all our questions!
Probably in the way that the earth isn't going to be completely destroyed infact it will be 'renewed' and 'restored' to the way God intended it to be before the entrance of sin into the world. I think that I do have questions, mostly about timing and the recent events of the world. But I don't think that they could be reconcile these questions because I have a feeling that these questions fall into the 'don't need to know' category.
2. If the kingdom of God is both 'now' and 'not yet', what signs of God's kingdom can you trace in your experience, and in the world around?
Not sure how to answer this question......I hear and see on the TV all the events that do seem to signify 'creation groaning' and there is also the great beauty that I see in the natural world that does give us a great glimpse of the beauty of God. And I do think that that our relationship that we can have with god through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was the first step of the coming of the 'new heaven and new earth'.
3. Read some of the biblical passage that describe the new creation (such as Hosea 2:16-23; Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:17-25), and then try to write your own description of a world where harmony exists between God, people and the rest of creation.
No more death, no more toiling for no reward, where you can play with lions and snakes and enjoy their company without fear of harm, no more pain or tears of sorrow, just pure joy.