Bible Question:

What do you mean by “heaven”?

At the end of the study about the kingdom parables (Parables of the Kingdom), it was stated that “the wicked of all the ages will be sent to the Lake of Fire for eternity. However, the righteous will enter God's eternal heaven and live with Him forever. ” Isn't God going to establish a new heaven and a new earth. Won't we live on the new earth?

Bible Answer:

The term “heaven” is commonly used for the current heaven and the new one. For example, the apostle Paul talked about living in heaven.

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. (NASB) 2 Cor. 5:1-3

Yet, it is true that the current heaven and earth will be destroyed some day and disappear (Rev. 20:11). Then God will make a new earth and a new heaven. That is the message of Rev. 21:1-2.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (NASB) Rev. 21:1-2

The passage tells us that there will also be a new Jerusalem. It will descend from above (“the heavens”) and will be located on the new earth. Those who have trusted Jesus Christ to forgive their sins will live in the new Jerusalem which is on the new earth. Rev. 21:10-22:5 describes the city. Here we discover that the city of Jerusalem does not have a temple inside because God lives in the city (Rev. 21:22).

I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (NASB) Rev. 21:22

This means that heaven will exist on the new earth, and we will live in heaven with God on the new earth (Rev. 21:23-22:5). For more details about the city, we refer you to the study called, “Finally Together!” This means that the expression “new heaven” refers to a new sky and solar system. The new earth will be heaven for us because God will reside there. Our eternal future is not being an angel sitting on a cloud playing a harp. The greatest joy of all will be to see God.

Conclusion:

Those who believe in Jesus Christ will live with God eternally in the new Jerusalem, which is on the new earth.

Reference Links:

Parables of the Kingdom
Finally Together!