“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“
The book of Revelation now turns to its final subject – the eternal state. 21:1-22:6.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
With the words “I saw,” we catch the idea that John sees a new vision. The Millennium ends in chapter 20, and now John sees a new heaven and a new earth created (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:10-13).
This is not a renovation of the old earth but a new Earth entirely. The word “new” implies a totally new (stellar) heaven and Earth, not a renovation of those elements. The former elements “passed away.” The new heaven is not the abode of God but a new stellar heaven and new Earth. The word “new” carries the idea of new in quality in contrast to this present Earth.
John gives little specific detail about the uniqueness of this new creation. He provides no distinguishing features. This may be because there is no existing vocabulary to describe it.
God will completely destroy the present heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:13) because of the sin problem. After He does this, He will create the new heaven and a new earth. The new Earth will be different from the present Earth.
Also there was no more sea.
The new heaven and Earth have no sea. Water covers most of the present Earth, yet in that day, there will be no sea. John’s only additional feature about the new heaven and Earth is that there will be no sun or moon.
It is possible the reason John does not give any details about this new creation is that there are no analogies that he could use to describe it under our system of creation. I do not know what will happen to those who love to ski or fish on the weekend! This is bad news for those who love the sea or fishing. Even though there will be no sea, there will be a river in the eternal state (Re 22:1-2).
The new creation is not the same as the Millennium because there will be a sea in the Millennium (Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:9, 11; Ezekiel 47:8-20; 48:28; Zechariah 9:10; 14:8).
God will provide an inscrutable place for believers.
The present Earth and its heavens are marked for obliteration. God has marked the present heaven and Earth for the trash heap (Re 20:11; Matthew 24:35). The most constant thing we know is the Earth. The biggest thing we know is the cosmos. Both are headed for destruction (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13).
God will provide something better for the believer. The Christian has the future of “new” heaven and earth, where the curse of this present Earth is not found.
Why is there an new Earth? If we are all in heaven with Jesus, what is the new earth for?