“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
Nevertheless we, according to His promise
“According to” means norm or standard. Christians have a promise, according to the norm of God’s promise. God promised something more than the “day of God,” where He will judge the world. He promised a new earth and heaven.
God promised that we would gain a new earth and new heavens. We hold Him to His promises like we would hold an insurance company that makes a promise to pay up when we need it. He will faithfully discharge His contract to us.
look for new heavens and a new earth
The words “look for” mean to watch toward, to look for, expect. Christians anticipate new heavens and a new earth. This new creation will not be like this creation because of its corruption, failure, pain, and problems.
Christians will experience “new heavens and a new earth.” This present cosmos will evaporate, and a new cosmos will take its place. That cosmos will not be like this place, for it will be “new.” The Greek word for “new” here means fresh. It is not yet used but will always remain new. It seems like no one ever bumps into our old car. If we buy a new vehicle, it seems that someone always puts a dent in it the first week we buy it. In the new place, we will never have a “bump” in our car. There will be no rust, wear, or scrapes in heaven. We will never have to buy a new car because it will always be pristine (the latest and best model!).
Is 65:17, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
Is 66:22, “‘ For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the Lord,
‘So shall your descendants and your name remain.'”
Re 21:1-4, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And 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. 4’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.'”
in which righteousness dwells
“Righteousness” does not dwell down here. Anything but! We look forward to the day it will visit here. On that day, we will not lock our cars or homes. There will be no police or army there. We will not worry about some wild man launching a gas attack or nuclear launch.
The word “dwell” means to dwell permanently. It carries the idea to live at home. God permanently dwells at home there. Each Christian will live in the eternal state and be entirely at home with God.
“Righteousness” dwells there because God lives there. Righteousness is there because the personification of righteousness is there. The new heavens and the new earth will be characterized by righteousness that corresponds with who God is. Heaven will be one long experience with that which characterizes God, the righteousness of His essence. God is just, righteous, and true. We can count on Him to be true to who He is.
We believe God will keep His promises according to the norm of His faithfulness to keep those promises.
There is no “righteousness” on earth at this time. This is the devil’s domain (Eph 2:1-3). We do not get justice here. We will gain our justice there.
Righteousness will permeate every aspect of life in this new home. We can relax entirely in the new situation. We will not have any concern about someone undermining us. We can completely relax with people there. No one will carry vindictiveness, implacability, hostility, jealousy, resentment, or sour grapes. We will have a perfect rapport with people. Our relationships will be full and complete.
Christians have a wonderful future. God made this promise to us. We hold Him to His promise.
We are headed for home. Would you like to go along as well?