Story of Hope


Chapter 15 - The New Beginning

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” Revelation 21:1. The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep the fearful consequences of sin before the saved. One reminder alone remains: our Redeemer will always carry the marks of His crucifixion. On His wounded head, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has done. SH 124.1

“O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come.” Micah 4:8. The kingdom forfeited by sin, Christ has regained, and the redeemed are to possess it with Him. “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.” Psalm 37:29. A fear of making the saints’ inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths that lead us to look on the new earth as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare places for them. Those who accept the teachings of God’s Word will not be completely ignorant about their heavenly home. And yet the apostle Paul declares, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who actually see it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God. SH 124.2

In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. (Hebrews 11:14-16.) There the great Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living water. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows on the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God raise their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, Gods people, who for so long have been pilgrims and wanderers, will find a home. SH 124.3

The New Jerusalem—There is the New Jerusalem, “having the glory of God,” her light “like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Revelation 21:11. Says the Lord, “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” Isaiah 65:19. “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3, 4. SH 125.1

In the city of God “there shall be no night.” No one will need or desire rest. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We will always feel the freshness of the morning, and will always be far from its close. “They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.” Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance that is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noon. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the holy city with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day. SH 125.2

“I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Revelation 21:22. The people of God are privileged to hold open fellowship with the Father and the Son. Now we “see in a mirror, dimly.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. We behold the image of God reflected, as in a mirror, in the works of nature and in His dealings with people, but then we will see Him face to face, without a dimming veil between. We will stand in His presence and gaze on the glory of His face. SH 125.3

There immortal minds will study with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There is no cruel, deceiving enemy to tempt us to forget God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. Acquiring knowledge will not tire the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest undertakings may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized, and still there will be new heights to climb, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to draw out the powers of mind and soul and body. SH 126.1

Arid as the years of eternity roll, they will bring richer and more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more people learn of God, the more they will admire His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed beat with a stronger devotion, and they sweep the golden harps with a firmer hand; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise. SH 126.2

“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’ ” Revelation 5:13. SH 126.3

Sin and sinners are no more. God’s entire universe is clean, and the great controversy is forever ended. SH 126.4