Jesus came in the flesh and overcame death when He resurrected from the dead (Heb 2:14–18). Christ has given hope and promised to prepare a place for the faithful to come with Him (John 14:2–3). God promised that the faithful will have “an entrance into the eternal kingdom” (2 Pet 1:11). Paul described this hope as God’s “heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim 4:18). The kingdom that is the church will continue into eternal life.
Resurrection on the Last Day
God promised to resurrect the faithful to glorified bodies like Christ (Phil 3:20–21). The faithful will resurrect as Christ rose from the dead (Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 6:14; 2 Cor 4:14). Jesus resurrected as flesh and bones, yet He also was glorified having put on immortality (Luke 24:39; 1 Cor 15:20–22, 53). The redeemed bodies of the faithful will resurrect to immortality, glory, power, and spiritual life (1 Cor 15:42–44). For the coming redemption of the body, Paul revealed that God will set the creation free from the bondage of decay (Rom 8:19–23). The new creation will be compatible to the glorified bodies of those resurrected to life.
The New Heavens and New Earth
The apostle Peter declared, “according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13). How can any Christian like Peter declare this without a real hope? Peter spoke of the real events of the Creation, the Flood, and the coming destruction of the earth by fire (2 Pet 3:4–13). Peter attested that the creation of the new heavens and new earth is a real event and not a symbolic figure of speech.
The Epistle to the Hebrews attests to the prophetic prediction that the world will perish and yet change (Heb 1:10–12). The writer of Hebrews referred to this as “the world to come” where Christ has power over that new world (Heb 2:5–9). Furthermore, Abraham looked forward to receiving this heavenly country where God has designed and built the city, “the new Jerusalem,” for the redeemed (Heb 11:10, 13–16; 12:22–29; Rev 21:2).
The Scriptures describe the reality of the new heavens and new earth. In Revelation, John reported, “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” (Rev 21:1–2). By Isaiah the prophet, God promised, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (Isa 65:17). God revealed that the man who died at a hundred will be a young man in this place, but the sinners who died at one hundred will be accursed (Isa 65:20). God described how the saved will build houses and plant vineyards in this eternal paradise (Isa 65:21–22). Sorrow will cease and death will be no more in the world to come (Isa 65:19, 23; Rev 21:4).
The One Hope
The resurrection of the body and freedom of creation to glory is the Christian hope (Rom 8:18–25). Paul revealed, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom 8:24–25).