Life-Changing Themes from the Bible: All Will Be Well
Christopher D. Hudson
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
A final big idea that permeates Scripture is the promise of restoration. Over and over again, the Bible states that God will fix our fallen, broken world. When all is said and done, sin will be eradicated. Trouble and suffering will cease. Death will be no more. Life will finally be as God intended, forever and ever.
- In the Old Testament, God made promises (called agreements or covenants) with Abraham and Moses and David. In each case, God’s desire and intent was to bless his chosen people so that they might bless the nations. In a fallen world, Israel was meant to serve as exhibit A to a watching world of how glorious life can be when it is lived under God’s rule. The Promised Land served as a faint but tangible picture of heaven. It was “a good land” reported to be “flowing with milk and honey” (Leviticus 20:24; Deuteronomy 1:25). Most importantly, it was a gift from God. Unfortunately, the people of Israel struggled to trust and obey God. As a result, they brought much unnecessary sorrow on themselves. They were removed from the land for a time. But not even that could alter God’s good intent for his people. - The prophets constantly pointed to the future. Writing to their fellow citizens who were suffering under oppressive regimes (typically because of their own disobedience), men like Isaiah saw a day when the Lord would bring ultimate judgment on evil and reign in glory (Isaiah 24:21–22; 34; 46–47; 60–66). Isaiah wrote that on that day, God “will swallow up death forever” and “wipe away the tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). On that day, people will declare: “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9). - In the New Testament, God promises a future peace and eternal life for all people—not just the Israelites of the Old Testament. Christ speaks repeatedly of eternal life (Mark 10:30; John 4:14; 5:24; 6:47; 10:28; 17:2–3). He calls himself “the resurrection and the life” and pledges life after the end of this life to all who believe in him (John 11:25–26). Just before his own death, he tells his followers that he is going to his “Father’s house” to prepare a place for them, and he promises, “I will come back and take you to be with me” (John 14:1–4). - When Christ walks out of his grave on that first Easter morning, he acts as a kind of preview of coming attractions (“firstfruits,” 1 Corinthians 15:20). His resurrection shouts the truth that all those who are in Christ will live forever. What’s more, we will live in what the apostle John called “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).
WHY IS THIS BIBLICAL THEME SO IMPORTANT? God’s holiness means he will deal fully and finally with sin and its corrupting effects. God’s grace and mercy (demonstrated in Christ) mean that sinners can be forgiven. God’s goodness means our future is one of joy and peace, not fear. God’s power and sovereignty mean that he will restore all things. Christ’s resurrection is our sure hope. The risen Jesus gives eternal life to all who trust him. All the great themes of the Bible point forward to this one: a sure and certain future. He is “making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5).
This blog post has been adapted from my new book Self-Guided Tour of the Bible. You can learn more about it here.