PMT 2016-061 by J. Vaden Cavett
Gentry note: This article was originally published in The Covenant Quarterly and is used by permission of the author. We are in a political season which requires that we bring our faith to bear upon this important topic. This is part 3 of a three part series.
A Radically New Creation
Scripture doesn’t leave us wondering what things will be like when the earth is “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14).
In Isaiah 2, the Lord promises “that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-4) The Lord’s law will go forth, and the people shall give themselves willingly to the Lord in the day of his power (Psalm 110:3). Continue reading
PMT 2015-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Partick W. writes:
“One thing I’m a little confused about is the ultimate end of history. Does man remain on earth when Christ returns? After Christ has put all enemies under his feet and handed over the kingdom to the Father, does heaven and hell “merge” and man remains on earth for a lack of better words while Christ is present physically (assuming also still in some sense everywhere present because he’s God). I’m so confused as I feel like I always hear by and large from Christians is to just go to heaven and it seems many believe the present earth to be destroyed. Or is there something else beyond earth/heaven?”
Ken Gentry responds:
Basically, I believe that when we die now (in history) we go to heaven — as did the disciples, the thief on the cross, and Paul the apostle: Continue reading
PMT 2014-133 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my previous article I began a consideration of 2 Peter 3 and Peter’s reference to the new heavens and new earth. I will conclude the study in this article. I recommend your reading the earlier article (PMT 2014-132 first).
(2) Peter’s audience (including us!) should expect mockers who scoff at Christ’s promised second advent due to the long wait associated with it (2Pe 3:3–4, 9). This waiting continues to our very day, and thus is truly long. Despite the trials coming soon (2:9), Peter warns that it may be thousands of years before Christ’s return: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (3:8). This fits well with Christ’s “already/not yet” teaching elsewhere — as when he contrasts the short time until the destruction of Jerusalem (Mt 23:36; 24:34) with the long time until the second advent and the end of history (Mt 25:5, 14). Continue reading
PMT 2014-132 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The key passage presenting the consummate new heavens and new earth is found in 2 Peter 3. Unfortunately, this passage creates much confusion among interpreters. Some dispensationalists hold that it refers to the earthly millennium, while others argue that it speaks of the consummate new creation (e.g., John Walvoord). Some postmillennialists teach that it refers to the present era introduced by Jerusalem’s destruction (e.g., David Chilton), while others apply it to the consummate new heavens and new earth (e.g., Robert Dabney). Many amillennialists refer all new creation references in Scripture solely to the final consummate order, allowing this passage to control all others (e.g., Philip Hughes). Some hyper-preterists see the spiritual new creation occurring after a literal first century rapture at AD 70 (e.g., J. Stuart Russell).
A part of the problem with 2 Peter 3 lies in the fact that the passage employs terminology that sometimes designates the spiritual new creation and at other times the destruction of physical Jerusalem in AD 70. But similarity does not entail identity. This passage does not speak of either the present spiritual new creation (cf. Isa 65:17) or the future Jerusalem conflagration (as does Heb 12:25–29). It points instead to the consummate order which follows the resurrection and the final judgment. Note the following arguments. Continue reading
PMT 2014-020 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Revelation 21 we read of the glorious new creation:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:1–2).
As I have been arguing in this series of studies on Revelation, this prophetic book is presenting God’s divorce of his old covenant wife Israel in AD 70 (Rev 5 presents the divorce decree). In Rev 6-19 (with interludes and asides) we witness his adulterous wife’s capital punishment. Now in the two closing chapters, we are witnesses to his marriage to his new bride, the new covenant church of Jesus Christ. The new creation is an image of the new covenant. This new Jerusalem-bride is the “Jerusalem above” (Gal 4:26), the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22) to which all believers in Christ belong. Continue reading