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The New Heaven and New Earth

According to Paul, creation waits “with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19) and “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (8:21). To understand Paul’s point, it is important to remember that this present world was never meant to exist forever. The first Adam was commissioned to finish his task in this world and then to rule in the world-to-come (Heb 2:5). Thus when creation groans (Rom 8:22) for something better, for “the glory” that is coming (8:18), creation is not seeking an improvement of its present existence but the attainment of its original destiny. It longs to give way before the new heaven and new earth spoken of in 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21.

David VanDrunen, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, 65.

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

2 Responses to The New Heaven and New Earth

  1. Right so far as it goes–yes, that is Paul’s point…but unless one is amillennial, we should expect some sort of relief for our own earth too, either by gradual and natural means (postmillennialism and the “realized” part of the eschatology of both historic and progressive dispensational premillennialism) and/or by sudden and supernatural means (traditional dispensational premillennialism and the unrealized aspect of the eschatology of historic and progressive dispensational premillennialism). As much as I appreciate VanDrunen, this is where I have to get off his wagon.

    Still, in terms of the church’s current mission, the traditional dispensationalist has MUCH more in common with VanDrunen-type amillennialism than with any of the other systems.

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