PMW 2019-065 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Revelation 21 we read of the glorious new creation:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:1–2).
Revelation presents God’s divorce of his old covenant wife Israel in AD 70 (Rev 5 presents the divorce decree). In Rev 6-19 (with interludes and asides) we witness his adulterous wife’s capital punishment. Now in the two closing chapters, we are witnesses to his marriage to his new bride, the new covenant church of Jesus Christ. The new creation is an image of the new covenant. This new Jerusalem-bride is the “Jerusalem above” (Gal 4:26), the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22) to which all believers in Christ belong. Continue reading
PMW 2019-046 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The Scripture teaches that Christ arises from the dead in the same body in which he dies, though with certain super-added spiritual powers.1 His resurrection does not merely revivify a lifeless cadaver; but neither is it the creation of a new body. Just as he prophesies, the very body which dies also comes forth from the tomb (Jn 2:19, 22). As such, it miraculously attests the truth of his divine mission on earth (Jn 2:18–21; cp. Mt 12:39–41; 16:1–4; Lk 11:29.
This is why the tomb and burial clothing are empty: his physical body departs from them (Mt 28:6; Jn 20:4–11, 15). After the resurrection the Gospels show Christ in a material body that people can touch and handle (Lk 24:39), and which still has the wounds of the cross (Jn 20:27; cf. Rev 5:6). On other occasions he bids Mary Magdalene to quit clinging (haptomai) to him (Jn 20:17). Continue reading
Christianity affirms the material order. In creation God made the physical world (Gen. 1) and man with a tangible body (Gen. 2:7). In redemption God effects the incarnation of Christ (Heb. 2:14) and his physical resurrection (Luke 24:39). We should not be surprised, then, that even in the consummation we will once again inhabit physical bodies (John 5:28-29) in a material environment (2 Peter 3:13). God has created us as men, not angels. As redeemed vessels of mercy we will inherit a glorious, perfect, physical realm when God refashions the world in the new heavens and new earth.
We find the fullest explanation of the glory of the consummate new creation in Revelation 21-22. But we cannot simply leap to the closing chapters of the Bible and expect to understand it properly. Revelation is the capstone of prophecy, not the foundation stone. Without adequate preparation for interpreting it, it can become a stumbling stone. Continue reading
PMW 2019-001 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
If your watch is set correctly, you will notice that we are in a new year. Thus, I thought it appropriate to offer a study of the new creation as we close out the old year and begin a new one. This is the second in a series on the new creation in 2 Peter 3. In my previous article I began a consideration of 2 Peter 3 and Peter’s reference to the new heavens and new earth. I will conclude the study in this article. I recommend your reading the earlier article first. Continue reading
PMW 2018-104 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As we ring out the old year and ring in the new, it might be encouraging for us to consider the biblical concept of the new creation. The key passage presenting the consummate new heavens and new earth is found in 2 Peter 3. Unfortunately, this passage creates much confusion among interpreters. Continue reading
PMW 2018-030 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The Problem before Us
Many Revelation commentators argue that the new creation of Rev. 21–22 follows after the final judgment of Rev. 20:11–15. And it certainly is not unreasonable to hold that John’s statement that “the first heaven and the first earth passed away” (21:1) chronologically “follows on the heels of 20:11, where it is said that ‘heaven and earth fled away from the presence [of God], and no place was found for them’” (Beale 1039). This would suggest that ch 21 follows after the final judgment in 20:11–15. Continue reading
PMW 2018-029 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A reader has written to ask me about the implications of Matt. 5:17 for new creation theology. I thought our interaction might be helpful to PostmillennialWorldview readers.
“I have a question for you that has bothered me off and on. As a partial preterist, I defend the interpretation of “New heavens and Earth” as the figurative establishment of the New Covenant and the passing away of the old heavens and earth as the passing of the Old Covenant. But as a reluctant theonomist, this puts pressure on my understanding of Matt 5:17 (Jesus saying that the Law will not pass away until the heavens and earth pass away). Because that would seem to indicate then that the binding authority of the Mosaic Law DOES pass away with the Old Covenant if we maintain a consistent interpretation of the ‘heavens and earth’ metaphor as covenants. See what I mean? How do you understand this conundrum?”