Reading through the Bible together
The setting is the promise and hope of all Christians---eternal life in a perfect environment made possible by the saving, restoring and reconciling power of Jesus Christ. The new heaven and the new earth are the final prospects of God’s great plan of restoration to the New Eden. The great controversy will end and the original plan God had for Eden will be completely restored in the remade earth. The most fantastic part is that God will be with us----a second fulfillment of the promise of Immanuel-----“God with us.” Christ has been with us from the beginning, was with us as our Redeemer on earth, is now with us as our High Priest ministering in the heavenly most holy place and will be with us as our King and constant Companion. This is a reflection of Matthew 28:20 where God promises to always be with us.
A most reassuring promise is that every tear will be wiped away with sin and death no longer existing. God’s statement that “I make all things new” is the ultimate affirmation of the restoration. The realization of this is humanly incomprehensible. We can only accept it by faith and an understanding that God, who is the beginning and the end--who is eternal--has the power to accomplish all that is necessary to return the universe to its perfect state. The Spirit of Prophecy (MS 28, 1886) indicates, “This earth is the place of preparation for heaven. The time spent here is the Christian’s winter……But in the near future, when Christ comes, sorrow and sighing will be forever ended. Then will be the Christian’s summer. All trials will be over, and there will be no more sickness or death.”
It is only through the grace and merits of Jesus Christ, our precious Savior, that our names will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and we will have access to the New Jerusalem. Through His righteousness, both justification and sanctification, we will have a place within the Holy City with a “great and high wall with twelve gates.”
I’m so excited about God’s eternal plans for us. Most of all, I’m elated because the “Lamb is its light” and we will be in His presence forever!
Ted N C Wilson
President, Seventh-day Adventist Church
Silver Spring, MD