Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The New Creation

The beginning of Psalm 148 calls on the angels and the Sabaoth, the sun, moon, and stars, the heavens, to praise the Lord. Then it says why:

For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.

At the end of the world, come Judgment Day, the world will be destroyed by fire. God will make a new heaven and a new earth. I always thought that meant God was going to destroy it all and start over.

But now I'm wondering.

We believe in the resurrection of the body. We don't believe in a "do-over." WE will be in heaven with our bodies. We won't be different people, with different bodies. We will be our own selves, albeit with resurrected bodies that have been made gloriously free from the effects of sin.

Paul tells us (Romans 8) that the whole creation is yearning with eager expectation for the end of the world, for Judgment Day when the Christians will be revealed, when the world will be made new. Does that mean the sun and moon and stars are not going to be obliterated any more than people will be? Does that mean they too will be freed from the curse and made new? Are the rocks and the stars and mountains going to be like the people, where it's not a "scratch that, let's start over" but a perfecting and remake of what God already created?

1 comment:

  1. At the very least, that's how the early church saw it. Irenaeus talks about this a lot, especially when writing against the gnostics. He wanted them to understand that the creation is not evil and wicked, but good, because God made it and God redeemed through Christ. So the whole creation will not be destroyed, but rather made perfect through the same act that has redeemed us. This is all a pale shadow of how he actually writes about it (which is absolutely amazing), but you've at least got another church theologian who "wondered" the same thing. :) Actually, more than one. ;) For what it's worth, I think you're right, too.