ODJ: must see destinations

April 13, 2013 

READ: Romans 8:19-25 

Creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay (v.21).

The title of a 2010 special edition magazine read: “Heaven on Earth: The World’s Must See Destinations.” It contains stunning photography of places such as the Grand Canyon, Alaska’s Denali, Petra in Jordan and Rio de Janeiro. I’ve actually been fortunate enough to visit a few of them. But I have yet to see most of those scenic wonders.

This magazine caught my attention shortly after the death of my parents. Both my mum and dad went to be with Jesus in 2012. In the weeks and months following their deaths, I found myself grieving over all the ‘must see destinations’ my folks were never able to visit and enjoy in God’s vast and amazing world. The hope, however, of a renewed earth brought me great comfort.

I’m fully convinced that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins (1 Peter 3:18). He also forgave us so that we would join Him in His mission to reclaim, liberate and restore this physical world He created, which currently groans under the crushing weight of sin and decay (Romans 8:21-22).

When God finally comes back to dwell with us forever, He will fully and completely bring heaven to earth. All the broken effects of sin will be gone forever and Jesus will renew all things (Revelation 21:1-5), including the physical earth—reclaiming its original goodness (Genesis 1:31).

The profound implications of a renewed earth are too many to name here, but in the midst of grief I find much comfort in knowing that my parents (along with all of God’s forgiven and restored children) will have the rest of eternity to visit or revisit all of the ‘must see destinations’ the new heaven and earth will offer. —Jeff Olson

› 1 Kings 3:1-15

Read Genesis 1 and note the seven times God said that all He created was “good”.
What do you most look forward to in the new earth? How does your future hope in Jesus help you face difficulties in your life today?