Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Revelation 21:1-5 (NIV)
A New Heaven and a New Earth
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Yesterday we learned of God’s promise that the Father and the Son will make their home with us, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. All of this looks forward to Eternity, when we meet God in person, forever. Notice how today’s reading (the most popular teaching about heaven) echoes what Jesus promised in John 14:23. Think about how when you’ve fallen in love, or have a new child in the family, even the things which haven’t changed seem different, because you have this vital new relationship which changes everything else. This is what is going on here: as God makes his home with us, everything becomes new.