After reading your book Heaven, I’m pretty convinced about the New Earth being our final forever home. However, when I try to share it with others, their brains explode. So, I have to tread softly. This may be a good example of a secondary issue. Do you agree or not?
If it’s a fellow believer who affirms the inspiration and authority of the Bible, you can take them to the passages in Scripture that clearly talk about the New Earth, our forever home (such as 2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21).
Randy offers these thoughts:
If being a “secondary issue” means it’s not essential to someone’s salvation, then it is certainly secondary. However, it is not secondary if by that we mean unimportant. Even if it makes people’s brains explode :), it is a very clear teaching of Scripture, though it is often not taught or understood in churches. This is because of many reasons I address in the book, including the vested interests Satan has in our failing to understand the full implications of not only this doctrine but also the inseparable doctrine of the resurrection, which is rightly regarded as of primary importance.
While the resurrection of Jesus is recognized as primary, the resurrection of God’s people often is misunderstood and underestimated. It is one of the main reasons people fail to do what Scripture says we should do: be “looking forward to a New Heavens and a New Earth, in which righteousness dwells.” When we think of Heaven in a vague and ethereal way, ignoring the promises of our own resurrections and the resurrection of the physical cosmos itself, we undermine the greatness of God’s full plan of redemption which includes not just human souls but also bodies, and the earth itself.
So, while understanding the New Earth certainly isn’t necessary for salvation, it is definitely a part of the good news that’s important for growing Christians to understand—we will spend eternity in resurrected bodies on a resurrected earth, with the Lord we love and all who love Him! You might find this article helpful as you talk with others.
Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.