Some people boast of not fearing death. Their boast is a fool’s hope. Without knowing God and obeying the gospel, all are lost and eternally separated from God (2 Thess 1:7–9). However, most people realize that death is the enemy (1 Cor 15:26). The wages of sin is death, and all have sinned (Rom 3:23; 6:23). 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 14:3).
God has 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). For this coming redemption of the body, Paul revealed how God will change the world setting free the creation from the bondage of decay (Rom 8:19–23). In other words, the new creation will be compatible to the glorified bodies of those resurrected to life.
Where will the faithful live after they are resurrected? No scripture says that the eternal dwelling is in Heaven. The Epistle to the Hebrews attests to the prophetic prediction that the world will perish and change (Heb 1:10–12). Hebrews describes Christ having power over “the world to come” (Heb 2:5–9). Abraham looked forward to receiving this heavenly country where is the city designed and built by God (Heb 11:10, 13–16; 12:22–29; Rev 21:2). God promised that the faithful will have “an entrance into the eternal kingdom” (2 Pet 1:11; cf. 2 Tim 4:18).
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 say this without a feal hope of a new heavens and new earth? Peter spoke of the real events of creation, the flood, and the coming destruction of the earth by fire (2 Pet 3:4–13). Peter attested that the creation of new heavens and new earth is a real event and not a symbolic figure of speech.
John revealed, “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 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 this world to come (Isa 65:19, 23; Rev 21:4).
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).