Creating Heaven on Earth
We need to be taking care of this planet. It’s not a “green” thing. It’s not a liberal thing. It’s not a “tree-huggy” thing. It’s a Biblical thing.
Some people have the idea that this world is disposable. That when we die, none of the physical attributes of earth will be restored in Heaven. Some people think that we will just be spiritual beings floating around in the cosmos playing our harps and wearing diapers… really? I don’t think so.
In the ancient world, a lot of people, groups, philosophers and such had a prejudice against matter. They thought it was at least inferior if not altogether evil. They felt like the human being was a soul trapped in a body. The body was bad. And when they died, they were at last free of the physical confines of the body and could go to Heaven… or be reincarnated or whatever. They looked down on the physical world as being inferior compared to the spiritual world. This belief was so prevalent, even in the first century that John felt it important to remind everyone in I John that Jesus was indeed fully human because many people of the day were trying to act like Jesus (and/or God) could never lower themselves to become actual physical beings… like Jesus was really just a phantom of some kind.
But God loves this physical world. He created it. In Genesis I God created the world and he said it was good… and it was good. So what happened… what’s the matter with matter? All the matter on this earth has been corrupted. Take our bodies for instance. God loves our bodies. He created human beings and he said, “It is very good.” We may not love our bodies. As I get older I am finding more and more aches and pains. I used to know where they came from but now I don’t even try to figure it out. Some days my body just says “Today I just decided to ache.”
But it’s not just us. All of matter is corrupted. Even nature is all screwed up. We have animals devouring other animals. We have all kinds of diseases. Tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, famine, floods and on and on.
But it won’t always be that way.
When God brings the new Heaven on Earth, everything will be restored the way it was meant to be… the way it was in The Garden. Yes, that is right “Heaven on Earth”. That’s what is says in Revelation. “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Revelation 21:2 God is coming down here to live with us again. That is why he created us in the first place… so he could live here on earth with us.
And not only will the new Heaven on Earth be our home, it will be our Kingdom. And we will rule over the Earth with God as God had originally intended. In Genesis 1 it says, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”” In Revelation 5 it says, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
But what does it mean to rule over the Earth and the animals? Remember that everything in the Kingdom of God is upside down. It’s the upside down Kingdom. The whole book of Revelation is about how God subdued the world by using, not “Babylon power” or “power over” but by using “Lamb power” or “power under”. That is shown is Revelation with the “Secret of the scroll”. Everyone was crying because no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll. No one but the “Lamb” who had become worthy but self sacrifice and by “coming under” to conquer the evil one on Calvary. That is how we are to rule over the Earth… by sacrifice and by coming under the rulers and powers and dominions, not only in Heaven but if we are to live as Kingdom people now, we should be sacrificing for the Earth and the animals now instead of treating them as we do so much of the time. God created this Earth and the animals and he said they are good. Everything in the world is corrupted now but God is not giving up on his creation. He will restoring everything to it’s perfected state just as it was meant to be when he restores Heaven on Earth.