All things new: heaven, earth, and the restoration of everything you love
New York Times bestselling author John Eldredge offers readers a breathtaking look into God’s promise for a new heaven and a new earth. This revolutionary book about our future is based on the simple idea that, according to the Bible, heaven is not our eternal home--the New Earth is. As Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew, the next chapter of our story begins with "the renewal of all things," by which he means the earth we love in all its beauty, our own selves, and the things that make for a rich life: music, art, food, laughter and all that we hold dear. Everything shall be renewed "when the world is made new."
More than anything else, how you envision your future shapes your current experience. If you knew that God was going to restore your life and everything you love any day; if you believed a great and glorious goodness was coming to you--not in a vague heaven but right here on this earth--you would have a hope to see you through anything, an anchor for your soul, "an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God" (Hebrews 6:19).
Most Christians (most people for that matter) fail to look forward to their future because their view of heaven is vague, religious, and frankly boring. Hope begins when we understand that for the believer nothing is lost. Heaven is not a life in the clouds; it is not endless harp-strumming or worship-singing. Rather, the life we long for, the paradise Adam and Eve knew, is precisely the life that is coming to us. And that life is coming soon.
It seems that this slice of escatology isn't written about or preached about frequently these days, which makes this book feel somewhat fresh and new. However the idea of The Restoration of All Things is a foundational doctrine for my husband's church, which has embraced this doctrine since the mid-1800's. In my own church, I haven't run across anyone being aware of the idea.
The idea of the Restoration of All Things, of course, comes straight out of the Bible.
Eldredge opens the book just after any questions might be raised as to who, exactly, gets to live on earth eternally. By doing so, he handily skirts the need to deal with inevitable controversy over the judgment day and hell.
I assume that Eldredge is a Universalist, meaning that he believes all people will be saved and live eternally on earth. There are scriptures to support that. I wish he would've cited them.
The scriptures he cites about the Restoration of All Things include but are not limited to the following:
Isa 51: 11
Isa 60: 5, 17-20
Isa 65: 17-19
Rev 21: 1-5
II Pet 3: 5-7
I Cor 3: 13-15
Acts 3: 19-21
Mark 3: 1-6
Not far into the book, he gets long-winded and boring. Frankly, my imagination is strong enough to imagine for myself what a restored earth might be like. I didn't need to read that all of the pets I've owned will be restored and reunited with me and, of course, all of my loved ones.
For people who lack the imagination (if there are any), he's speculated in great detail about how things will (or might) be ... not sure when ... after Christ's millennial reign?
I don't believe he answered that question, either. He makes no claims to being a Biblical scholar or a theologian, so maybe that's simply asking too much.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.