Will the earth be repaired or destroyed?

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. We are near the end of our sermon series Jesus in Every Genre, where we’ve looked at all the different genres of the Old Testament and shown how really all of them are about Jesus or point to Jesus. This last week we talked about the return, Old Testament Israelites return to the land, but it’s after being in exile, but it’s just foreshadowing the return to our home, our true home with God that we lost so long ago when we left the Garden, when we went into exile from the Garden. We finally get to return home and be with God forever and ever in an uncorrupted land with uncorrupted hearts, be uninterrupted in our relationship with Him forever and ever in a world where there is no strife or crime or distress or evil or suffering whatsoever. So in the course of the message, we talked about how our efforts to kind of rebuild what is broken, to end corruption, to work for the goodness of the world, to get the junk out of the world, to get the junk out of our lives, that

none of that is in vain, because God is ultimately the team that wins.

And he is going to bring goodness out of this darkness when he remakes the world. And so we can work with joy that we are part of the winning team and that our efforts are not in vain. So the question this week has to do with the end of time when we really return with God. And the question is, is the world simply repaired? Like it’s just going to get better and better and better, kind of on a continuous improvement scale until we arrive of where God wants us to be?

Or is the current world destroyed in a new world made that is uncorrupted and we get to live in this new world with the old one being destroyed. And these are two branches of what we call eschatology end of times theology.

You could find scriptural warrant for both on the continuous improvement scale. Yes, there’s lots of scriptures about wars and rumors of wars increasing, but that’s not the end. Keep waiting. And so it seems like maybe that’s saying the world’s just getting worse and worse and worse. But the people who would believe that we’re just on this continuous improvement scale would look around and say, look, Jesus said take the gospel to the whole world and the end won’t come until the gospel has gone to the whole world.

And we know that when people receive the gospel, start putting Jesus at the center of their lives, that junk starts getting out of their lives. It’s probably happened to you, it’s happened to me. Might happened in your family if your family was divergent from the Lord and then comes back into kind of alignment with Him. There’s a lot more stability in your family then so as the gospel goes out all over the world, there’ll be these little pockets of goodness everywhere. And if people are spreading the gospel everywhere around them, then it’s going to get better and better and better on the other side.

When people say this world’s just totally going to be destroyed and a completely different new world is going to be made, you look at verses like two Peter three, that this world’s going to dissolve, the fire is going to kind of burn everything away. Or I saw new heavens and new earth coming out of the sky, and the old has gone, the new has come. So it seems like a conclusion, an ending, and then something new being made. And so which one is it? And does our work really matter if God is going to make a new earth?

The answer is, I think you can combine those two ideas, really. I think there’s a definite end and a definite restart, but also in the midst of that can be a continuous improvement. And how I would look at that, perhaps this is just one kind of theory. We can’t draw too many definitive conclusions about the end of time, but just one theory, okay, is it’s very similar to what happens as us, as believers?

Our bodies, our physical bodies, will have a definite end and a definite restart. They will be remade, they will be totally new. And at the same time, our bodies will be us, right? I mean, Jesus glorified body, it’s still Jesus. Paul talks about one corinthians 15.

It’s like a seed that’s planted in the ground, and unless it dies, it can’t sprout and have this new life as the image. And so on the one hand, you could say it is totally new, and on the other hand, you could say it is still what it was when it was a seed. It’s just transformed. It’s gone through a death, it’s gone through a rebirth. It’s new in terms of getting junk out of our lives or fire burning that off.

One Corinthians three talks about that, right, that we’re refined as like in a furnace. The day will reveal what our works are. It’s going to burn away everything that didn’t have the foundation of Jesus, but what’s left is still us. And so this newness came out of the oldness or is connected to it. That’s the way it works with Christian believers.

And you could see with the different parts of scripture that speak about the end of the world, a new world coming, fire burning things away, and yet progression of goodness and wholeness as the gospel spreads around the world, you can see all of that happening to the world because it’s happening to us. We’re having a progression towards Christ, right? We continue to sin because Christ’s seed remains in us. One john three nine. Right.

Holiness has come into us, so we’re being transformed over here, and we’re increasing in our sanctification. Praise God. So that’s us. That’s our bodies. And yet there still is this definite end and a definite restart where it’s totally new and yet also connected back to what is old.

So will the earth be repaired? Kind of. Will the earth be completely destroyed and the new one started? Kind of. I think you can put two of those together and get a more complete biblical picture that lines up with what God is doing with at least one part of creation, which is our bodies.

So why wouldn’t he do a similar thing with all of creation? Again, just one thought on that question and appreciate sending it in. Hope it’s helpful and we will see you next time.