time at which the renewing of the earth takes place is at the close of the
Millennial Age. The fire that
comes down and destroys the devil and his hosts, who are encamped against the
holy city, baptizes the earth and cleanses it from its impurities.
As John sees the fire fall, he sees the great white judgment throne set
up and One sitting on the throne. It
is from the presence of Him who sat upon that throne that the heaven and earth
flee away. John then goes on to speak of the judgment that takes place and its
results. As soon as he finishes
this description, he looks, and behold, he sees that the earth has not only
fled away, but that it has been made new.
So we see that the renewal of the earth takes place at the closing of
the Millennial Age, and just at the time the great white throne judgment is
set. Let us notice the picture of
the earth after it has been made new.
A new earth! What a
picture! We may think of it as
being brought back to its Edenic state. At
first the whole earth was an Eden. It
has been under the curse of sin so long!
Yet, according to the promises of God, the earth is to realize its
Edenic state again. At first it
brought forth all manner of fruit and trees and flowers that were beautiful
and useful. It was as beautiful
as the hand of God could make it. It
was dressed and decorated as, only God could dress and decorate it.
The most beautiful flower gardens of the ages since have not
been worthy to be compared with it. The
Hanging Gardens of Nebuchadnezzar, the scenery of the Alps, or even the
gardens of Ceylon, are only faint representations of the primeval beauty of
the earth. No doubt, it was
divided into squares and streets, and everything that could contribute to its
beauty and glory was to be found in the earth in its earliest state.
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
may expect all this to be repeated in the renewed earth.
How could we expect less? The
lack of these things today is on account of sin.
The renewing of the earth will do away with all the effects of sin upon
it. If not, the earth would not
properly be renewed. The baptism
of fire which the earth receives is sufficient to destroy completely every
effect of the fall upon the earth. A
glorious picture! These are not
imaginations of the mind, nor dreams of the fancies, but they, are eternal and
true promises of God. These are
the things which the coming of our Lord will bring.
No wonder Paul called the coming of our Lord “that blessed hope”
(Titus 2: 13). It is the hope of
the saints. It is the saints’
glorious possession. Many times
hath the Word declared that the saints shall inherit the earth.
This is a blessed promise, even though the earth should continue as it
now is; but now we see that this promise shall mean a great deal more because
the earth shall be a most glorious one. This
is only a faint description of the renewed earth.
Having taken this general view of the renewed earth, we are now
prepared to understand what “Redemption” means.
This word is very little understood.
It is often applied in numerous ways.
Paul says that Jesus Christ is made unto us “Wisdom, and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1: 30).
Jesus being made redemption unto us means the full redeeming of
ourselves from all the effects of the fall.
Jesus is made redemption to the whole world.
It is through the shedding of His blood on Calvary that this world
itself is to be redeemed. While
the renewing of the earth seems to be by fire, yet, we must remember that it
is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary that brings this about.
That sacrifice was finished when Jesus died on the cross; but
redemption is still largely future.
Redemption, in its broadest sense, includes the redeeming of everything
cursed by sin. It can only be
complete when the curse of sin is forever removed.
The renewing of the earth
the last work of redemption. When
the earth is renewed, the blessed state that I have been trying to describe
above is realized, then redemption will be full and complete.
us now come more into detail to the blessings of the renewed earth.
One of the first statements that John makes after he sees the earth in
its renewed state is, “There was no more sea” (Rev. 21: 1).
This is understood by some to mean that the sea will be literally
abolished. I do not so understand
it. It must mean the same as the
statements concerning heaven and earth. He
says that the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and so his meaning
here must be that the first sea passed away.
The meaning must be that the sea undergoes the same change as the
earth. The sea is now cursed by
sin just as the land. There are
storms that rage on the waters, the waters themselves are very dangerous in
many places, and those who sail upon their bosom are often swallowed by their
angry billows. The sea new!
For thus the meaning seems to be.
Not the sea annihilated, but made over anew.
Some say that there was no sea in the pristine condition of the world,
and hence will be none in the renewed earth. But
this is a mistake. The first
chapter of Genesis tells of the formation of the seas contemporaneously with
the formation of the dry land (Gen. 1: 9, 10).
So there was a sea from the beginning.
When Jesus comes down as a mighty angel during The Great Tribulation to
formally take possession of the world for His saints, He sets one foot
upon the sea as well as one upon the earth.
To set the foot upon anything indicates to take possession of it.
And thus Jesus formally claims as His own the sea as well as the land
(Rev. 10: 5). If Jesus should
thus claim the sea as His own, it indicates that the sea is not to be blotted
out of existence. So we may
view the picture as a new heaven, and a new earth, and a new sea.
Let us observe some of the negations that are asserted concerning this
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”— Rev. 21: 4.
Every tear wiped away! He
who dries them away is God. Human
hands are poor in removing tears. Earthly
powers are but failures in binding up broken hearts.
There are now tears of many kinds.
There are tears of misfortune and poverty; there are tears of bereaved
affection; there are tears of sympathy and mercy.
There are tears of persecuted innocence; there are tears of
disappointment and neglect; there are tears of longing for what can not now be
ours; there are tears of every kind imaginable.
It will be a blessed time. Every
tear of every kind shall be wiped away.
The next statement is; and “there shall be no more death.”
How horrid is death! It
has touched every one. It has
entered every circle. It has
blighted every home. The land is
covered with cities of the dead. Tombstones
greet us at every cross road. We
can scarcely open our eyes without seeing some sign of death.
Every newspaper we pick up has some accounts of death in it.
All around us, at all times, in all countries, in all conditions, death
prevails. Diseases may be
hindered at times by the use of drugs, and man may do something in helping
those who are sick, but no human remedy can triumph over death.
Rich and poor, small and great, bond and free, all alike must give way
under the hand of death. Yet,
there is coming a brighter day. Death
must be swallowed up in victory. He
must at last leave the earth a defeated foe.
When once the earth is renewed death is no more.
No more death‑bed scenes, no more caskets and hearses, no more
funeral processions; no more funerals preached; no more graves dug, no more of
these scenes which now so often greet the eye.
There shall be no more death.
Some think that this statement concerning death refers to heaven, but
this is a great mistake. The
statement is: “There shall be no more death.
There never was any death in heaven.
The language itself implies that it refers to a place where death has
been, but that it shall be there no more.
The next thing about it is that sorrow ceases. How can we picture the sorrows of this world? They abound on every hand. No path of life can be taken but that brings its sorrow and trouble. Let us go to any portion of the earth, and our sorrows will follow us as our shadows. There are sorrows that beset us during the day; and there are troubles that annoy our hearts at night. Sorrows of life! Cares! Cares of business life, cares of social life, cares of debts, cares of our friends, cares of our enemies, cares of every kind are upon us more or less all the while. Sorrow! Everywhere we look we see it. Sorrow over the dying, sorrow over the sick, sorrow over the distressed. In fact, there are mighty volumes of sorrow that flow like rivers through the hearts of men all over the world today. Yet there is coming a better day. There is to be a boundary line to all of this, over which line no sorrows can ever flow. It is the line that divides the present state of the earth from its renewed condition. When once the earth is renewed sorrow ceases. What a blessed thought! Hearts will no longer bleed in secret. There will be no blighting sorrow to kill the tender plants of human peace. Christ drank the cup of sorrow for the whole world, and when the earth is renewed that cup will be found empty. There shall be no more sorrow.
All crying shall be hushed. There
is no more common sound on earth than that of crying.
It is often without a proper cause; but there is always a heart from
which it is wrung. Every cry
means a heart break. Man comes
into this world crying, and goes out of it very much the same way, while his
whole life between is filled more or less with cries and sobs.
There is the cry of torn affection and blasted hopes, the cry of
suffering and death, the cry of weariness and disability, the cry of wrong,
oppression, want, harm and danger, the cry of pain and passion, the cry of
fear and strife—the cry of a thousand unnamed distresses—these all meet us
on every breeze. The cries come
from all classes and conditions of human life.
There is no nation, there is no state, there is no
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
that is entirely free from the sound of crying.
Yet, this state of affairs shall not continue forever.
We have the promise of a better day.
The statement is, all crying shall be done away.
This includes all. When
once the earth is made new crying ceases.
Think of a world with no crying in it!
It is true such a world the human race has not seen for a long time.
Yet, just such a world this will, some day be.
Pain shall be no more. This
is a wonderful promise. Just
think of the pain in the world today. Man
and beast are suffering on every hand.
Pain of many kinds take hold upon our bodies.
O, how racking are the torments that are brought about by pain!
Man suffers pain in every part of his body, and hardly a day goes by
but that every individual feels a pain of some kind.
Yet, this shall not always be. There
is a promise of a better day. When
once the earth is renewed all pain shall be taken away from every body.
What a blessed promise! There
shall be no more pain.
Thus, we have given you a brief description of the renewed earth.
When we have said what we can, and language fails us to say more, we
have only faintly painted to you the beauties and glories of that earth for
which we should all hope.