June 28, 2014

Paradise Regained

Isaiah 65:17-25

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
—Isaiah 65:17


In today’s verses the Lord gives us a descriptive preview of what life on the new earth will be like when Jesus comes again.

Isaiah’s picture of what is in store for us will come as a com-plete surprise to some. The American writer Mark Twain, who did not believe in life after death, caricatured the life to come as one of the most boring things imaginable. According to Isaiah 65, he and others who think that way could not be more wrong.

The new heavens and new earth will be filled with joy. Instead of being boring, it will be a delight. None of the ugliness of sin will be remembered. Never again will there be the sound of crying. People will go on living and be able to “enjoy the work of their hands.” They “will be a people blessed by the LORD.”

As a married couple, my wife and I have lived in seven differ-ent homes. Each time we moved out, someone else moved in. At every place we lived I planted trees, only to leave them behind for someone else to enjoy. On the new earth we’ll build houses and live in them. We’ll plant trees and enjoy them when they are full grown. And animal lovers can take heart: every animal God made will live there in peace. Most important, we will live in the presence of and in communion with God in a way we can barely imagine. Paradise lost will be paradise regained!

Lord, thank you for giving us a glimpse of things to come. Please come soon. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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