God created the earth to be man's home. Here Adam dwelt in that garden of delight which the Creator Himself had beautified. Though sin has marred God's work, yet the human race has not been abandoned by its Creator; nor His purpose for the earth set aside.
To this earth angels have come, with the message of redemption, and its hills and valleys have echoed their songs of rejoicing. Its soil has been trodden by the feet of the Son of God. And for more than six thousand years, in its forms of beauty and gifts for sustenance, the earth has borne witness of the Creator's love.
This same earth,freed from the curse of sin, is to be man's eternal home. Of the earth the Scripture says, that God "created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited." Isaiah 45:18. And "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever." Ecclesiastes 3:14.
So in the Sermon on the Mount the Saviour declared, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5.
So the psalmist long before had written, "The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Psalm 37:11.
With this agree the words of the Scripture, "The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth." They "shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever." Proverbs 11:31; Psalm 37:29.
The fires of the last day are to destroy "the heavens and the earth, which are now;"but there shall come forth "new heavens and a new earth." 2 Peter 3:7, 13. The heavens and the earth will be made new.
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9.
No human language can fully describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. We can not comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.
Yet we have glimpses of that land even now; for "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:10. Precious to our hearts are the pictures of that country which the Bible gives.
There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations.
There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths
prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God's people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.
"My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise." Isaiah 32:18; 60:18.
"They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant,and another eat: . . . mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." Isaiah 65:21, 22.
There, "the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree."Isaiah 35:1; 55:13.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; .. . and a little child shall lead them." "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain," saith the Lord. Isaiah 11:6, 9.
There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. "There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, . . . for the former things are passed away." "The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24.
There is the New Jerusalem, the capital of the glorified
new earth,"a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God." Her light is "like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." "The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24.
The Lord says,"I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people." "The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3.
In the earth made new, only righteousness shall dwell. "There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie." Revelation 21:27.
God's holy law will be honoured by all beneath the sun. Those who have proved themselves true to God by keeping His commandments, shall dwell with Him."In their mouth was found no guile." "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple." Revelation 14:5; 7:14, 15.