When God states he will create a new heaven, what exactly is he meaning? There are three types of heavens referred to in scripture. The first is the atmosphere (Is 55:10), the second is outer space where the stars and galaxies reside (Dt 4:19), the third (also called heaven of heavens) is where the omnipresent God’s presence is perfectly displayed (2Ch 6:18; Ps 11:4; 2Co 12:2). It is possible that God creates an entirely new universe, but since the first heaven is tightly bound to the earth, saying “new heaven and earth” likely means the earth and its atmosphere.
So, who will actually enter the Eternal State? There are two main groups. First, those who were part of the 1st resurrection will enter. These include those resurrected or transformed at the Rapture, Old Testament saints, and Tribulation saints (and who had been serving/ruling with Christ during the Millennium). They all will continue to serve/rule with Christ throughout eternity. The second group are those who accepted Christ as Savior during the Millennium. These will not be transformed into a body like Christ, but into a body like Adam and Eve had at the beginning. They will eat of the Tree of Life and drink of the River of Life to sustain their eternal state. They may be able to have children since Adam and Eve were able to have children. While this is not explicitly stated or explained in scripture, it may likely be implied since “nations” still exist during the Eternal State (Rv 21:24, 26; 22:2).
What will people do for an eternity? Because of the large number of people, there will be the need for a lot of administration. Who is specifically identified? The Bride (New Testament Saints, i.e., the Church) will assist in administration and offer eternal testimony to God’s attributes of grace and love. (Rv 2:26-27; 3:21; 20:6). The Resurrected Saints (Old Testament and Tribulation) are identified as friends and attendants of the Bridegroom (Mt 25:1, 10). They will rule over Israel and the nations. Israel itself will be the head of the nations and be God’s witness helping the nations worship the Lord (Jr 31:36; 33:17-26). Then there are kings & nations identified. Administered by kings, the nations will carry on activities and productions throughout eternity, and bring the glory and honor they find in their daily tasks and discoveries back to God for display when they visit the new Jerusalem (Rv 21:24-26).
These are the people identified, but what will they actually do. Let’s explore that next time.
Not So Easy a Transition
Eternal State Continued