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Page 591

together until now" (Romans 8:21-22). "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21a).

Most Reformed views interpret the "new" heaven and earth to be "new" in the sense of being totally "renewed." All sin with its traces and consequences, shall be burned and rolled away, the earth shall be totally cleansed by fire. The "new," renewed earth shall be so thoroughly cleansed and renewed that the remembrance of the old (the sinful world) shall never again come to mind. All sinful elements shall be dissolved and only righteousness shall dwell in the renewed earth. The first sinful earth will have passed away and there will be no more restless sea -a picture of the restless, unsettled state of sinful mankind. All shall be perfectly peaceful and restful on the new earth.

The following reasons favor the renewal interpretation over that of a complete annihilation of the old creation and another creation of a totally different heaven and earth.

1. God's redemption victory -If God would annihilate the present heavens and earth, Satan would be successful in destroying God's work. God, however, will completely restore His original creation in a totally sinless state. No trace of sin shall be observed in the new heaven or earth. God's victory of restoration over Satan's work of destruction shall be eternally witnessed.

2. The comparison of the saints' new bodies and new earth -The saints' resurrected bodies will be "new" in many respects, yet they will be the same bodies. In the same manner, the restored earth shall be "new" and yet be the same earth.

3.The Greek word "new" -In verses such as II Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1 that speak of a "new heaven and earth," the word "new" is the Greek word "kainos," not "neos." "Kainos" means "new in nature or quality," or "renewed." "Neos" is the Greek word meaning "new in origin."

4."New" in the sense of "renewed" does not contradict the verses which speak about restoration -Romans 8 testifies of the entire creation groaning and travailing in pain, waiting for its deliverance from the bondage and corruption of sin. Other verses


How does the following statement reflect God's complete redemption of the earth: "On the new earth, born-again people will live in born-again bodies on a born-again earth"?



 

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

-II Peter 3:13

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

-Revelation 21:1

 

 

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

-II Peter 3:6-7

 
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