The New Earth
Finally, Satan and all who united with him have been destroyed. Now it is time to restore Planet Earth to the state of pristine beauty it was in when it was created.
“I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” Revelation 21:1. The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep before the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin. . . .
The earth originally given to man as his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of redemption. All that was lost by sin has been restored. “Thus says the Lord, . . . Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18. God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.” Psalm 37:29.
A fear of making the future inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon it as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father’s house. Those who accept the teachings of God’s word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet, “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.
In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called “a country.” Hebrews 11:14-16. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.
“My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.” “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; . . . My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 32:18; 60:18; 65:21, 22.
There, “the wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.” “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.” “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, . . . and a little child shall lead them.” “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” saith the Lord. Isaiah 35:1; 55:13; 11:6, 9.
Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. . . . for the former things have passed away.” “The inhabitant will not say, ‘I am sick’; the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.” Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24.
There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth, “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” “Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” Saith the Lord: “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” “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.” Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3. . . .
The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together “the whole family in heaven and earth” (Ephesians 3:15)—these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed.
There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body. . . .
And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.
“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’ ” Revelation 5:13.
The Great Controversy, p. 674-678
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All Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version, including those originally quoted by Ellen White from the King James Version.—Editors