Are you longing for eternity now? The Bible’s revelation of the new earth provides enough concrete details to excite our imaginations.4 What God describes far exceeds pictures of floating cherubs, feathery wings, or encompassing light. Eternal life is truly life—overflowing with new experiences, inner fulfillment, and guiltless enjoyment. We do not lose anything good that we have now: we gain so much more.
Cloud surfing? Harp strumming? Singing in an everlasting worship service? Melting into nothing in the celestial light of God? Is this how we will be enjoying eternity?
Some guesses about our eternal activities are nebulous, and others cross the border into the ridiculous. None of these pictures inspires me to anticipate eternity with joy. George Orwell observed, “The Christian Heaven, as usually portrayed, would attract nobody. Almost all Christian writers dealing with Heaven either say frankly that it is indescribable or conjure up a vague picture of gold, precious stones, and the endless singing of hymns.”1 If you are not excited about the prospect of eternity with God, maybe you’ve got the wrong picture in your mind. What will God’s people be doing in eternity?
We are going to eat in eternity. At the very least, we will eat from the tree of life. God promises believers: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). The tree of life grows in the New Jerusalem in the new earth where believers will live forever (Revelation 21:2).
In His glorified body, Jesus ate and drank (Luke 24:42–43). Since our glorified bodies are like His, we too will be able to eat and drink in eternity. Furthermore, just before the Second Coming of Christ, we will sit and eat with Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb as He foretold at the Last Supper (Revelation 19:6–9; Luke 22:15–18). We will not enter a tasteless eternity. Fruit and feasts await us in the new earth.
Enjoying Homes and Land
According to Matthew 19:28–30, Jesus promises that those who give up houses and lands in this life will inherit them in eternity. If you like having a garden or growing your own food, you can do it in the new earth.2 With the curse removed, think of how easy and fruitful your efforts will be!
Also, in Matthew 19:28–30, Jesus promises close family relationships in eternity. We will see our saved relatives again (1 Thessalonians 4:13–14). Those without saved relatives or who in this life lacked healthy family relationships will experience them in eternity. Biblical accounts indicate that we will recognize those we knew from this life just as Jesus’ friends recognized Him after His resurrection. The new earth will include perfect community and society as God originally intended.
Enjoying International Differences
Surprisingly, in the new earth, God will not abolish ethnic and national differences (Revelation 21:24, 26; 22:3). Yes, in Jesus Christ, we are all equal regardless of ethnicity, gender, or social status (Galatians 3:28).