What Do Seventh-day Adventists Believe about the New Earth?

Seventh-day Adventists believe that after the Second Coming of Christ, this very earth will be cleansed by fire, then restored back to its original Eden-like perfection.

This will crown the plan of redemption of humanity after the Fall. The Bible refers to it as the New Heaven and the New Earth (Revelation 21:1). It will be home to the redeemed, where they will live with God for eternity.

This post will cover:

Let’s look at the Adventist understanding of this wonderful promise. We’ll start by reading the denomination’s official statement of core belief on the subject of the new Earth:

“On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence.

For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away.

The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever.

Amen.”

What does the Bible say about a New Heaven and New Earth?

Both in the Old Testament and New Testament, there are references to the New Earth. They are statements of prophecy and of hope in God as the ultimate victor.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17, NKJV).

“‘For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘So shall your descendants and your name remain’” (Isaiah 66:2, NKJV).

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, NKJV).

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1, NKJV).

Indeed, a time is coming when there will exist a new heaven and a new earth. And the good news is that the new earth is not going to be filled with sin, suffering, and death as this “first earth” which we live in now.

We have this promise because of what Jesus has done to save us.

Why do we need a New Heaven and New Earth?

It would be hard to argue that something isn’t terribly wrong with the world we’re living in now. Its main problem is called sin.

But where did sin come from?

In the beginning, God created a perfect earth. An earth without sin and death and suffering. This was a world that He himself had called “very good” when He finished creating it (Genesis 1:31).

The story of how this “very good world” came about is found in the first two chapters of the Bible Genesis 1-2).

However, everything changed from Genesis 3 onward, when our first “parents” sinned.

Even the nature of human beings changed.

So most of the rest of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, depicts the world as we know it—a place of suffering, death, violence, war, depravity, and so forth.

The first humans desired to “be like God,” but in the manner of “knowing both good and evil” (Genesis 3:2-5). So that’s exactly what they got.

And with the mixture of good and evil all jumbled up in one world populated by beings with free will, things got bad. So bad that at one point, God had to destroy almost all life on earth with a flood.

For the safety of those who still believed in Him, He cleansed the earth.

“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them’” (Genesis 6:5-7, NKJV).

With only Noah and his family as surviving humans, God started over again with them (Genesis 8:18).

And though He gave humanity a second chance after the flood, they still corrupted themselves again.

Even centuries later, the apostle Paul said:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit;
The poison of asps is under their lips;
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Destruction and misery are in their ways;
And the way of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-18)

Girl standing in midst of destruction, bloodshed & misery as Paul describes in Romans 3:10-18 of results of humanity's fallBloodshed? Misery? Destruction? Sounds a lot like the world today. And most of its history.

But just as the opening chapters of the Bible in Genesis depicted the world without sin or suffering, the Bible’s closing chapters speak of an equally perfect world.

Revelation 21 and 22 shows God re-creating this earth from the ravages that thousands of years of sin has made it.

And this new earth is going to be the eternal home of those who have been saved by Jesus.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, 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. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:1-4, NKJV).

There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying?

In other words, the promise of “eternal life” or “everlasting life” mentioned in the New Testament isn’t about life happening on the earth as it is now (Matthew 19:29; Luke 18:30; John 6:54; 10:28; 17:3; Romans 5:21; 1 Timothy 1:16).

Who’d want that, anyway? To live forever in a world of suffering, sickness, and death?

Fortunately, these texts are talking about the time when “the first heaven and the first earth” will have passed away (Revelation 21:1).

And in their place, there’ll be the New Jerusalem that will come down to the new earth. This is where God and His people will dwell together in a whole new existence—one that we can barely imagine now.

How could we?

After all, we have known only a world of sorrow, tears, pain, and death. It has been that way since the fall.

Imagine a world without any of these things.

And because of Jesus this new earth is coming—whether we can imagine it or not!

When will the New Earth be made?

Portrait of a lion with 2 eagle's wings on the Ishtar gate of Babylon as we study 2nd angel's message in Revelation 14After all worldly kingdoms are done and gone, God’s redeemed saints from all ages will “receive the kingdom.”

That is, they’ll receive God’s eternal kingdom which exists “forever and ever.”

This eternal kingdom is the new heavens and the new earth, which come at the end of this “first heaven” and first earth.”

In the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel, the prophet had an amazing vision about four great beasts that arose upon the earth.

And one after another they fell, until a great judgment in heaven which brought an end to it all (Daniel 7:1-16).

What was the vision about?

The explanation was that: “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (Daniel 7:17, 18).

When will that end come?

Over and over, the Bible has promised that Jesus Christ would come back to earth.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3; 1Thessalonians 4:16; Acts 1: 9-11; Revelation 1:7).

At the second coming of Jesus, the dead in Christ are resurrected and taken to heaven for a thousand years (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:4).

This one thousand year period is known as the Millennium.

When these thousand years are over, the lost are forever destroyed by fire from God.

Through this destruction of sin and sinners, God’s justice that has long been lacking will be finally administered (Revelation 20:9).

Peter the apostle gives us a powerful explanation of what happens—and when it happens.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 2:10-12, NKJV).

Here is the end of this heaven and this earth. And it happens after Christ returns, and after the Millennium.

That’s when everything on this evil, sin-laden “first earth” will be destroyed.

And what comes —after the destruction of the old heaven and earth?

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, NKJV).

A new heaven, a new earth. The old heavens and the old earth are destroyed, and in their place are the new ones—the eternal home of the redeemed.

Didn’t Jesus say “the meek . . . shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)?

Yes, they’ll inherit it.

Not the old, decaying one but the new heaven and the new earth, “in which righteousness dwells” (Isaiah 51:6).

After the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the end of sin, the new heavens and the new earth are created. And then Jesus will say, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5, NKJV).

What will the New Earth be like?

The fact that it is called a new heaven and a new earth reveals some kind of continuity with the old heaven and the old earth. But there will be big differences.

Differences so big we can hardly understand them now.

In fact, the new heaven and new earth are simply a restoration of what God had created to begin with.

God had originally made this world perfect. But this perfection included free will.

Unfortunately, humans violated that freedom and brought sin, death, and suffering here. And this is the reality we all know so well. Life where we now constantly have to choose between good and evil, every day.

3 friends laughing as we are reminded of new Jerusalem, where there will be no more sorrow, crying & pain (Revelation 21:1-4)The good news is that even before this world was created, God had put in place a plan of salvation. Because He knew what might happen (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2).

This meant that Jesus would come to this earth and bear in Himself the sins of the whole world.

This was the only way that we could have the promise of eternal life—the life that we were supposed to have had from the start were it not for the fall.

So in a sense, the new heavens and the new earth are just a restoration to what we were originally supposed to have had from the beginning. Yet it’s going to be so different from what we know now.

Again, look at this description of what we’re promised in the new Earth:

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
Also there was no more sea.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, 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. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:1-4, NKJV).

All sorrow, crying, and pain will pass away.

In our sinful, fallen state now it’s hard to imagine. But that’s just how the world was supposed to have been from the start. But again, God is restoring our world to what it was originally supposed to be.

The New Jerusalem will descend on the New Earth

As we’ve seen in the above verses, the “new Jerusalem” is central to the set up of the new earth..

And just as God dwelled among His people in the old Jerusalem, He will do the same in the new one. But this time, it will be in a radically new existence.

Revelation 21:10-22:5 gives a startling picture of what this city will be like. Just a few clips . . .

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” (Revelation 21:10, 11, NKJV).

“The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald” (Revelation 21:18, 19, NKJV).

“The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of a pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21, NKJV).

“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:3-5, NKJV).

However hard all this may be to grasp now, what’s important to remember is that this is a real place, with real people.

It will not be some ethereal realm where we float around without physical bodies.

The first heaven and first earth were physical places. And the new ones will be as well. A new heaven, a new earth, with people made new with new immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53-55).

How will the redeemed deal with realizing some people they knew aren’t there?

Not everyone will be in the New Jerusalem or in the New Earth.

Though the death of Jesus was sufficient to cover each and everyone’s sins, some people will reject it and thus have to face the consequences of their actions.

They’ll be punished with eternal destruction at the end of the Millennium by fire together with Satan.

That’s why the Bible records that “the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8, NKJV).

Books as millennial judgment provides an opportunity for those in heaven to look into God's dealings with those who are lostBut the redeemed will have had a chance to go over the records of all who will be lost during the Millenium (Revelation 20:4).

They’ll see how God dealt with them, and how they refused to accept God’s love and mercy (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

Then they’ll acknowledge:

“Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested” (Revelation 15:3, 4, NKJV).

Though some of their loved ones will be lost, they’ll be able to say:

“Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments” (Revelation 16:7, NKJV).

But even after knowing how just and fair God is, and how deserving of punishment the lost are—is it not still going to hurt?

Of course it will hurt. But the Bible says that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NKJV).

Even though they’re in the new earth and with resurrected bodies, they’ll still have tears over the lost who won’t make it there.

Upon seeing what they’ve been given in Jesus, they’ll mourn over the lost, who will not share in this eternal gift.

So yes, there will be tears in the New Earth at first. But after that, there will be “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.”

Woman beholding the cross as the Bible says in Romans 5:8 "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us"The time of mourning will pass, and the saved will live forever with Jesus. The same Jesus who came down to this first earth of sin, then suffered and died for them so they could live with Him forever. Live with Him in this new earth, which is free from sin, suffering and death.

In fact, the only reminder of the old earth will be the marks on Jesus’ hands, His feet, and His side. The marks of the scars that He got when He was nailed on the cross, and when He was pierced (John 19:34; Mark 15:24-26; Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 13:6).

“One reminder alone remains: our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of his crucifixion. Upon his wounded head, upon his side, his hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought . . . And the tokens of his humiliation are his highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth his praise, and declare his power.”1

With this constant reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice, the cross of Christ will be the song of the redeemed through all eternity.

They’ll marvel that the Maker of all worlds should lay aside His glory, and humiliate himself because of His love to man. This thought will surely excite the wonder and adoration of the universe.

The saved will look upon their Redeemer, and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in His countenance. As they behold His eternal throne, they’ll break into singing:

“Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by his own most precious blood!” (Revelation 5:9, NKJV).

And they’ll give all the glory to God saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12, NKJV)

Eternal life in the New Earth is the ultimate reward of the redeemed.

Here, the plan of salvation is crowned with the restoration of God’s image in man, and perfection in all His creation. And best of all, the saints will get to live with God, and commune with Jesus face to face there.

This is our brightest hope as we live in this world. We can look beyond the here and now to that fair land and be inspired to be faithful as we walk with Him by faith now. That way, we can be assured that we’ll be among those who will inherit that beautiful land.

[1] Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 874

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