Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … Revelation 21:1-2

Here we see the city Abraham waited for, believed for and knew was coming, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). And what an amazing City it will be. It’s described as being “decorated with every kind of precious stone,” with gold so common that streets are paved with it (verse 19, 21). The Holy City comes down out of heaven indicating that God’s people will live on a new earth rather than in heaven.

We also see the fulfilment of God’s promise: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31). John describes this pictorially, “earth and sky fled from his (God’s) presence” (Revelation 20:11). Such is God’s power that the old heaven and earth simply dissolve.

While discussing these events Peter asks the question, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” and his answer is “you ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God … we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:11-13).

The world is moving towards a culmination. Since the earth, as we know it isn’t permanent, we would do well not to get overly attached to it. We can take comfort in the thought of a new heaven, a new earth, and a Holy City which reminds us how temporal this world is and motivates us towards living God-honouring lives.