“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness. …
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.”
This passage is mirrored in Revelation 21:1-2 where it says:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
When I was young, I thought that “Heaven” was somewhere up on the clouds. I even remember a flight I took with my family to South Korea where I looked intently at the clouds from high above them to see if my suspicions were accurate.
Then, I came to realize how silly that notion was. But, I still just couldn’t quite fathom what Heaven would be like. Would it be “out there” somewhere? Would we be floating around with harps in our hands forever? Would it be a long, long, long worship service that would never end … because I’ve been in “worship services” like that here on earth!
It finally hit me that God had clearly told us, in many regards, what Heaven will be like. He did so in Isaiah 65 and Revelation 21-22. He was going to destroy the earth we now reside upon and everything in outer space with a consuming fire. Then, He would completely recreate a new earth with new heavens (the space below and above our present ozone layer).
The place that Jesus said He was going to prepare for us (John 14:1-3) is the New Jerusalem (at least that is my suspicion) that will come down to the New Earth. God will dwell with the saved on a brand new earth that has no sin and no curse. We will be free to live on a new earth and explore whatever we desire in outer space as everything that God created for us moves us to worship and praise Him!
When you come to realize that Heaven is the New Earth, it takes on a whole new meaning! (If you want to dig into this topic, an excellent book that I would heartily recommend is “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn.)