Nature itself will be refashioned to correspond with God’s original plan for this earth., “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” – Isa 51:3. “:…for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water:…” Isa 35:6,7. Burning deserts shall be no more; nor volcanic wastes, nor steaming jungles.
And what of the fierce animals that prey upon one another? “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. - Isa 11:6-9. With the results of sin removed, all nature will be at peace, as it was in the beginning. Neither men nor animals will threaten one another with destruction. Neither the fang nor the atom will be used to destroy.
Does all this sound too wonderful, too marvelous to believe? There is more – and all of it true!
Contrary to the view that is sometimes expressed, that life in the new earth will be characterized by idleness and unreality – that immortal souls will float on clouds and play harps – the bible pictures the new earth as a place where meaningful and challenging activity will occupy the redeemed. “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them;” declares Isaiah the prophet, “and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat:…mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” – Isa 65:21,22.
The activities that we now find pleasurable and satisfying – building, planting, designing, growing – will be continued in eternity. We will not be restricted to the pursuits mentioned by Isaiah, but the activities he mentions illustrate the reality of the future life. Heaven is a real place, made for real people, who engage in real occupations.
THE NEW JERUSALEM.
The capital of the new earth is called the Holy City, or New Jerusalem. This city now exists in Paradise and will be transferred to this earth when God makes all things new. (See Revelation 21:1,2. – 2 Peter 3:10-13.)
What a city that is! When John saw it in vision, he was so overwhelmed by its beauty that he burst out: …: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass,” “…: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” –Re 21:18,21.
The city was laid out in a square, surrounded by a jasper wall built upon twelve foundations. “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. … (verse 19). Twelve gates, each of pearl, led into the city, three on each side.
Other wonders caught John’s attention – “…a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” – Re 22:1; the tree of life (verse 2); and the throne of God! As the effulgent glory radiated from this dazzling spectacle, John found that language was altogether too feeble to describe the scene. He could only say that the light of the glorious city “…was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” – Re 21:11.