The Lord’s Prayer Says “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven.” What Do You Think It Means to Bring Heaven to Earth?
One day, God’s new center of government will be the New Earth. This will be the ultimate answer to the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, KJV). God’s will shall be done on the New Earth as it now is in Heaven. Indeed, the New Earth shall be a part of Heaven, for the veil between the worlds, first torn apart by the Cross and Christ’s resurrection, will be permanently removed. There will be no barrier between Earth and Heaven, or between mankind and God.
See also “The Old Testament Hope for a New Earth” (from Heaven, chapter 14):
The “country of their own” spoken of in Hebrews 11 is a real country, with a real capital city, the New Jerusalem. It is an actual place where these “aliens and strangers on earth” will ultimately live in actual bodies. If the promises God made to them were promises regarding Earth (and they were), then the heavenly “country of their own” must ultimately include Earth. The fulfillment of these prophecies requires exactly what Scripture elsewhere promises—a resurrection of God’s people and God’s Earth.
What thrilled these expectant believers was not that God would rule in Heaven—he already did. Their hope was that one day he would rule on Earth, removing sin, death, suffering, poverty, and heartache. They believed the Messiah would come and bring Heaven to Earth. He would make God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
The hope of the ancient Israelites was not only for their distant offspring but also for themselves. They longed for God’s rule on Earth, not just for a hundred years or a thousand, but forever.
It’s commonly taught that the Old Testament concept of Heaven is stunted. However, though it’s certainly true that very little is said about the intermediate Heaven, where believers go when they die, the Old Testament actually says a great deal about the eternal Heaven. (We saw some of it in Isaiah 60 and other passages, and there’s a lot more.) Unfortunately, we often don’t realize it. Why? Because when we read passages about a future earthly kingdom, we assume they don’t refer to Heaven. But because God will dwell with his people on the New Earth, these Scripture passages do refer to Heaven.
“But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. . . . The earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19). Just as Adam was made from the dust of the earth, we will be remade from the dust to which we returned at death. God’s people are not looking for deliverance from Earth, but deliverance on Earth. That’s exactly what we will find after our bodily resurrection.