Second Sunday in Advent – Friday
Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. – Isaiah 65:17.
Thus God prophesies through the Prophet Isaiah. Heaven itself, paradise, the eternal abode of the saints in the presence of the Lord is here described as “new heavens and a new earth.” Similarly, Isaiah writes again by inspiration of the Holy Ghost: “As the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain” (Isaiah 66:22).
The Apostle Peter, after describing how the current heavens (sky and space) “shall pass away,” how “the elements shall melt with fervent heat,” how this world in which we live “shall be burned up,” and how everything “shall be dissolved,” goes on to say: “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:10-13).
Similarly, St. John writes: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away” (Revelation 21:1). The new heaven and earth are the abiding things which Christ will bring at His second coming, to give unto us – to His beloved Church – to all those who from the beginning of the world to the last hour have believed in Him. Then shall the former earth not be remembered, nor come into mind. This current world in which we now live, being thoroughly corrupted by sin, will be destroyed; and the new, wherein only righteousness dwells, shall continue for all eternity.
O what great things has our gracious God prepared for us!
PRAYER. – O my God, Thou hast prepared great and wondrous things for Thy believing children. Shall I see, and own, and enjoy, all these things – and forever? Indeed, Thou hast said it, and Thou – Faithful and Almighty One – wilt fulfill Thy Word. For Jesus’ sake, graciously grant me Thy help, O Lord, that I may always remain in Thy Church, in the company of those to whom Thou hast given these tremendous promises, that I, too, may bless Thine almighty grace in never-ending glory. Amen.
Jerusalem, thou city fair and high, would God I were in thee!
My longing heart fain, fain, to thee would fly; it will not stay with me.
Far over vale and mountain, far over field and plain;
it hastes to seek its Fountain, and leave this world of pain.
(Hymn 619. st. 1; TLH)