God's Word For You is a free Bible Study site committed to bringing you studies firmly grounded in the Bible – the Word of God. Holding a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective this site affirms that God has provided in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of salvation in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace.



© Rosemary Bardsley 2024

In some ways, the world we live in is incredible, awe-inspiring. People spend thousands of dollars travelling to view the world’s spectacular scenery. We value and delight in various aspects of the world’s flora and fauna - animals, birds, butterflies, flowers, fruit, and so on. We marvel at the intricate design in all living things and at the size and immensity of the universe.

But in other ways, the world is dark and dangerous, threatening, not delightful: natural disasters, hazardous terrain, wild water, poisonous plants, ferocious animals and deadly insects and bacteria, and people who hurt us, who destroy us, even with such a small thing as a spoken word or a judging look – all of these and more intrude and colour our lives.

This is not the way God created the world. And it is not going to be forever.  In God’s good creation:

  • There was no fear
  • There was no sin
  • There was no suffering
  • There was no separation
  • There was no death.

But this all changed with our human rebellion against God in Genesis 3.

In strict justice God could have rightly terminated humans then. But even then, and at all points since, God, our good God, had his end plan in mind. Beyond the sin, beyond the separation, beyond the suffering, beyond the despair and degradation, there is endless and unadulterated joy and peace and glory. From the perspective of eternity, our sin and our suffering are but for a moment. Compared with the perfection of the new heaven and the new earth, our suffering – which tempts us to question the goodness of God – is less than nothing. 

In the new heaven and new earth the peace, joy and freedom of Genesis 1 and 2 will be permanently restored. There will be no evil left, and no possibility of evil ever returning. There will be no Genesis 2:17 threat of sin and death hovering over us because death itself will be banished.

This new heaven and new earth follow immediately after the final execution of God’s justice, which we noted in the previous study. The ultimate Day of Judgement, the ultimate Day of the Lord, is the necessary precursor of the ultimate liberation. At that time not only all evil, but the evil one, will be destroyed forever.


Death entered the world in Genesis 3, just as God has said it would (Genesis 2:17). While spiritual death (separation from God, the source of life) was immediate, physical death was not; but pain and suffering entered at that time (Genesis 3:7 – 24), colouring human life with sadness and eventually bringing us to physical death. Since that time physical death stares every one of us in the face.

But God promises to those who believe in him, that even now in the context of physical death we can enjoy that quality of spiritual life that is eternal – that begins now and continues for ever, despite the suffering and beyond the physical death.

What do these verses say about the transfer from ‘death’ to ‘life’ or ‘eternal life’ that is ours in Christ Jesus?

John 3:16

John 3:36

John 5:24

John 11:25, 26

Ephesians 2:1 – 6

1John 5:11 – 13, 20

This ‘life’ that replaces spiritual ‘death’ becomes ours at the instant we acknowledge/receive Jesus Christ: he is the life that he gives. To receive him is to receive life. This is attested in his ‘I AM’ claims:

I am the bread of life – John 6:35.

I am the light – ‘the light of life’ – John 8:12.

I am the good shepherd, the gate, who has come to give life – John 10:7 – 10, 28.

I am ‘the resurrection and the life – John 11:25.

I am ‘the life’, the only way to the Father – John 14:6.

I am ‘the vine’ in whom alone you live – John 15:3.

If we have received Jesus Christ we have, in him, received eternal life. This ‘eternal life’ is the permanent reversal of Genesis 3 – restoring us to a living, vital relationship with God. It cannot be shaken. It cannot be taken away. It persists beyond death into eternity.

So we read of the new heaven and new earth:

Of ‘the water of life’ is freely given – Revelation 21:6.

 That that exclusion from ‘the tree of life’ (Genesis 3:24), has been removed (Revelation 22:1 – 2).

And that, just as the Temple curtain, with its prohibitive cherubim, was ripped away the moment Christ died (Matthew 27:51), similarly here, in the new heaven/new earth (Revelation 21, 22), no mention is made of the ‘four living creatures’ who guarded God’s throne in previous chapters of Revelation. And, we are told, there is no more sea, that is, no more separation from God.

Check these verses for teaching about our unimpeded access to God, our life continually in his presence, forever:

Revelation 21:3

Revelation 21:7

Revelation 21:22

Revelation 22:3, 4


Although our relationship with God is instantly restored when we receive Jesus Christ, and we are thus spiritually redeemed, we still live in the era of sin and suffering – our bodies still get sick and eventually die. Because of this the New Testament speaks of an aspect of the fall that is yet to be reversed – the subjection to decay that is part and parcel of our present world. Paul expresses this clearly in Romans 8:18 - 23 where he teaches that:

The creation itself is currently groaning in the agony of its bondage to decay.

That we also, who are already spiritually saved, ‘groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies’.

Although Paul teaches that we already have redemption through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), also says that there is a final redemption that will occur at the end of the age/beginning of the new heaven/earth.

What do these verses say about that?

Ephesians 1:14

Ephesians 4:30

In the healing miracles of Jesus we were given a temporal and micro glimpse of the permanent macro reality of the eternal kingdom: that in that kingdom, in the new heaven and new earth, there is no such thing as physical pain and physical death, ever. There, the curse of Genesis 3 is nowhere to be found. It has ended: all the suffering that entered human lives then – the physical pain, the emotional pain, the relational pain, the mental anguish – they are all permanently banished, never to be experienced again.

Revelation 21:4 – ‘He will wipe away 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.’

Revelation 22:3 – No longer will there be any curse.

Or, as Isaiah put it graphically:

‘The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox...

They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain’ – Isaiah 65:25.

Read 1Corinthians 15:35 – 58. What did you learn about our bodies in the new heaven/earth?







The concept of having bodies that are imperishable, glorious and spiritual is beyond our understanding. Some of us may have at times thought our bodies were ‘glorious’, but we are all well aware that our present perceived ‘glory’ is very temporary. Note also, that the concept that our new body will be ‘spiritual’ is not contrasted with ‘physical’, but with ‘natural’. By ‘natural’ Paul means our body born by natural means. By ‘spiritual’ Paul means that the new, resurrection body is a (physical) body that is created/recreated by God, so that the subjection to decay and death which characterises our present body inherited through many generations from Adam and Eve, will not characterize our new body. Just as the restored, resurrection body of Jesus Christ, although physical, was not ‘natural’, no longer subject to decay or death.

The change will be instantaneous at the return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. (See 1Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 for additional information.)


Similarly instantaneous will be our moral transformation. At present, we cannot imagine a life in which there was no sin, in which we ourselves never even think of doing something we shouldn’t, and in which nobody ever hurt us or disrespected us or our property. We cannot imagine life without feelings of regret, shame and guilt.

Life in the new heaven and new earth will not be a mere extension or repeat of the life we now know. Nor will it contain any possibility of sin, like the world of Genesis 1 and 2 did. There is no prohibitive command in the new world  – no ‘do not eat for when you do you will die’, because in that new world there is no death, none at all. Death exists only because of sin; where there is no death, there is no sin, no rejection of God and his word.

Consider these verses. How do they communicate the absence of sin and death in the new world?

Revelation 21:4

Revelation 21:8

Revelation 21:27

On the surface, these verses would seem to exclude every one of us.  But other verses give us additional truth at two different levels.

There are verses that assure us that all who have acknowledged Jesus Christ are clothed with his righteousness:

Isaiah 61:10 – ‘he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.’

Revelation 3:4 – ‘they will walk with me dressed in white...’

Revelation 6:11 – ‘each of them was given a white robe...’

Revelation 7:9, 14 – ‘they were wearing white robes ...they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’.

These speak of the righteousness of Christ which is credited to those who believe in him. They assure us of God’s acceptance of us; they assure us that God has acquitted us of all guilt because Christ took the blame for us. But they still leave us with the knowledge that we ourselves continue to sin.

When Christ returns, when we see him as he really is, then, even while he transforms our bodies, he also instantly transforms us, he instantly removes all sin from our hearts, minds and souls:

1John 3:2 – ‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.’

At that time, when we see him in all his glory, all the lies and deceptions of the evil one will be proved false, all our inadequate and twisted concepts of who he is will be exposed.

‘Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully...’ – 1Corinthians 13:12.

And with that perfect seeing of Christ, that perfect vision of Christ, the Lord of awesome power and indescribable glory, the utter inappropriateness, the sheer foolishness, of sin will be exposed. Sin will lose its attraction. Sin, even the temptation to sin, will be dissolved by the presence of the power and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ: and we shall be like him. We shall then, face to face with him, fully reflect his glory. We shall be, at last, what we were created to be (Genesis 1:26). There, in that new heaven and new earth – ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ – Habakkuk 2:14. There we, the Church, the Bride of Christ, the Holy City, will ‘shine with the glory of God’ – Revelation 21:11.


The goodness of God in the new heavens and new earth cannot be contained in this brief study. God, and what he has done for us in Christ his Son, is too big for that. But let us take hold of the reality of what is before us, and run with patient endurance the life of faith that is ours today, absolutely confident of the future that is ours in Christ Jesus, planned for us, and given to us in him before time began – 2Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2.

To study this aspect of the goodness of God further, look at these studies: The Restoration and The New Heaven and New Earth.