A New Heaven And Earth
There is a future time when the present universe will be destroyed and all that we see will exist no more. There are no less than ten current theories for how and when the universe will end.1 The one that appears to make the most sense, based upon the text of the Bible that also describes the end, is the “Big Rip.”
Scientists state that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate. Eventually, this expansion will be so great, that the entire universe will be ripped apart and cease to exist. The estimated time for when this will occur is about 16 billion years from now. By this time, all of the stars in the universe will have burned through their available fuel and cease to shine. The estimated time remaining for our planet is about five billion years, when our sun burns out and ceases to shine.
The Bible is very specific in describing the manner in which the universe will cease to exist:
…the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. …the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire… 2 Peter 3:10-13
This description by Peter is very similar to the theory of the “Big Rip” that many scientists use to explain a possible end to the present universe.
The prophecies that concern the Messiah describe His return to earth for a second time, a kingdom He will establish for one thousand years, the final banishment of all evil, the destruction of the present earth and universe, the creation of a new earth and universe. Here Isaiah writes that the Messiah will create new heavens and a new earth.
Old Testament Prediction:
Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Revelation 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
He Makes All Things New
In the context of Isaiah chapter 65 where the prophet is describing the Messiah, Isaiah writes, in verse 17, that He shall create new heavens and a new earth. John writes, in the Book of Revelation, that Jesus will destroy the old universe and create new heavens and earth at the conclusion of the His one thousand-year reign. In comparing these two verses of scripture, we see that Isaiah and John are both speaking of the same person—Jesus Christ.
Peter describes the timelessness of eternity from God’s perspective:
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
As we experience the passage of 2,000 years—for God, who dwells in eternity, there is no passage of time. A day and a thousand years are the same to God. We must wait for events to transpire over the course of time, while God has already experienced all events that will ever take place.
Time is irrelevant with God, while He understands that time is extremely relevant to human beings. God does not sit and wait for time to pass as a human being does. The passage of a billion years is but a moment to God. However, these long expanses of time, in the human experience, adds a great deal of meaning to our lives. This is particularly meaningful when we consider that God could have created the universe in an instant; but it is also possible that He chose to do so over billions of years, requiring Him to be actively involved in preparing the universe for us, with constant care and control.
Those who object to God creating the universe over billions of years must answer the question: Why did God take six days, if He could have done it instantly? It seems that the reason for this insistence why God made the universe very quickly is due to the belief that God does not need to take a long time to do anything. He has the power to bring things into existence instantaneously. If this were always true, then we would not observe God taking long periods of time to accomplish His will, in the narrative of the Bible. In fact, what we find is that God very often uses a great expanse of time to accomplish His will in human life.
Jesus is called the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth,” yet He did not arrive on the earth as the Messiah until some 4,000 years after Adam’s creation.
In the mind of God, Jesus was the Savior of all the descendants of Adam, before He made the universe or Adam. Jesus volunteered to be our Savior, knowing that Adam would sin against God and all of his future descendants would also be lost. God waited for 4,000 years before sending Jesus, to allow the natural process of time to permit all the events necessary to occur first, before Jesus would come to earth as a human being to die for the sins of the world.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law…
- God promised Abram a son, but it took a long process of time before Isaac was born.
- God told Noah that a great flood would destroy the earth, but He allowed a long process of time before this judgement arrived.
- God called the nation of Israel to be the spokesman for the Messiah, to reveal Him to the world, yet Israel was in slavery in Egypt for 400 years.
- Jesus promised that He would return to earth for His church, 2,000 years ago. God has chosen to wait, for the purpose of allowing people enough time to repent of their sins and receive Jesus as their Savior.
If God did, in fact, create the universe billions of years ago and, at the present time, all the scientific evidence certainly confirms this possibility, this would mean that God’s creation of all that exists is even more amazing than we first thought. The Bible is clear that God did not set the universe into motion and allow it to evolve, but He was actively involved in every picosecond of its existence. In order for the universe to expand in a manner that would allow life to exist on earth, God would have to be involved in every tiny detail of its development. This would require great precision as well as tremendous loving care.
The expansion of gases in the first picoseconds of the universe had to be specifically controlled to exact a precise outcome.
The rate of expansion for the early universe was just right:2 If the energy expansion in that first picosecond was slightly larger, then the gravitational forces necessary to form stars and planets would not have taken place. If the expansion of energy was slightly smaller, the universe would have collapsed back onto itself. If the initial expansion of energy was greater than the capacity of gravitational forces to pull all of this matter back together, and eventually form galaxies and stars—life, many billions of years later, would not have been possible. Mathematical physicists have calculated that, at the first picosecond of the universe, the expansion of energy and gravitational forces differed by less than 1 part in a million, billion, or 1015.3
The amount of weak nuclear force was just right: The ratio of protons and neutrons was perfect to allow helium to form that would be needed for the formation of stars later.
The amount of strong nuclear forces was just right: This allowed helium to burn precisely slow enough so that elements could form.
The ratio of gravity to electromagnetism are balanced precisely: If the ratio between gravity and electromagnetism was increased by only 1 in 1040, only very small stars would have formed. If the ratio were decreased by the same amount, only very large stars would have formed. In order for life to be possible, there must be both large and small stars present in the universe. Large stars produce the elements needed for life; small stars burn the precise rate required to sustain life on a planet such as earth.4
The gravitational force at the beginning of the universe was perfect:5 If gravity was any stronger at the early formation of the universe, then all stellar matter would bind stronger, and stars would use their nuclear fuel at a drastically increased rate, making life impossible on a planet such as earth. If gravity was any weaker, matter would not have likely clumped together to form much larger structures that would later become stars.
The universe has the precise balance of matter and anti-matter: Russian Physicist Andrei Sakharov—who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975—first showed, in 1967, that matter and antimatter in the universe are not evenly balanced.6 Had they been evenly distributed, the only remaining energy left in the universe would have been photons—making the universe, as we know it, impossible. Because matter is slightly greater than antimatter, about 1 part in 1 billion, all of the stars and planets in the universe as well as all life on earth can exist.
The precise amount of carbon was formed in stars early in the universe:7 Every human being is made from carbon. This carbon was made in a star that was formed before our solar system came into being. Every carbon nucleus contains six protons and six neutrons, and they are made from three nuclei of helium constructed in a star.
So that life might be possible, carbon must be scattered into space in the form of dust during the explosion of a star, and then formed into second or third generation star systems that will develop planets from this dust.8 The Solar System in which the earth is located is one of these third-generation star systems.
Astrophysicists Edwin Salpeter and Fred Hoyle discovered that this process of forming carbon only works by a very unique feature: during a mode of resonance with finely-tuned energy. If any part of this feature was changed even minutely, say less than one percent in either direction, then no carbon would exist in the universe to make life possible.
“A super intellect has monkeyed with physics as well as chemistry and biology to make this possible. In his opinion; “there are no “blind forces in nature worth talking about.”9
How Did God Do It?
A Creation is the most logical and reasonable explanation for how the universe came into existence. Theoretical Physicists, who describe the universe emerging from nothing for no reason, with no purpose, have left us without an adequate explanation for the origin of the Cosmos. Everything cannot come from nothing; this is no answer for the origin of the universe, and most people are not satisfied with this explanation. The best answer for where everything came from and why we are here is that God loves us and has made us for a purpose.
The fact that Genesis Chapter 1 describes a creation from nonexistent materials is very interesting. Scientists today admit that before the universe began, there was no matter, no space, no time—nothing.
“We have very good evidence that there was a Big Bang, so the universe as we know it almost certainly started some 14 billion years ago. But was that the absolute beginning, or was there something before it?” asks Alexander Vilenkin, a cosmologist at Tufts University near Boston. It seems like the kind of question that can never be truly answered because every time someone proposes a solution, someone else can keep asking the annoying question: What happened before that?” The universe had a distinct beginning …before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.”10 —Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin
There is no example anywhere in the universe where anything of complexity came into existence by itself. All things of intricacy occur by the conception, design, and engineering of intelligent beings. These complex objects are carefully and methodically designed and built for a specific purpose. The earth exists as a unique dwelling for advanced life forms, by a narrow and specific system of conditions, that came into being by design—not by chance.
Luck or Providence?
According to many scientists, all of the requirements for life that have existed since the beginning of the universe are simply lucky breaks, that took place as the result of random occurrences. When we carefully examine what is required to allow for human life on the earth, we are stunned by how many important elements had to come together, over billions of years, in order to make life possible.
Described as “fine-tuning,” what has actually taken place is elegant engineering, with extreme precision. The Creator of the universe has ordered specific events, so that one planet could support life in a remote corner of the universe.11
Why A Universe At All?
One of the baffling questions in the study of the initial moments of the Big Bang is why we have a universe clearly designed for life instead of one that would make life impossible. Given the parameters that were present during the first moments of the universe, a vastly different result would be expected. The fine-tuning of the universe, which existed at the beginning of the Big Bang, was so essential for life, that even the basic element of carbon of which all human beings are made would not exist, had the universe began by any other process.
“It has been frequently argued that there are many curious coincidences in the relations between the constants of Nature upon which life on Earth seems to depend…One of the most striking of such apparent coincidences was revealed with William Fowler’s confirmation of Fred Hoyle’s remarkable prediction of the existence of a particular energy level of carbon which, had it not existed, would have meant that the production of heavy elements in stars would not have been able to proceed beyond carbon, leaving the planets devoid of nitrogen, oxygen, chlorine, sodium, sulphur, and numerous other elements.”12 —Roger Penrose
This indicates that all of the “coincidences” in the origin of the universe were actually designed, engineered, and constructed in the precise manner necessary for life on earth, much later.
Jesus’ Promise Of His Return And The Dimension Of Time
For us here on earth, it has been a very long time since Jesus promised to return some 2,000 years. For God, as the passage of a thousand years is like a day, it has only been two days since Jesus made this statement.
John 14:3 (Jesus’ promise) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
When men begin to consider the passage of time in earth terms, they often state that it has been too long since Jesus promised to return—“He is not going to return”—forgetting the patience and long-suffering of the Lord.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
We might wonder why the Lord has not returned to make right all of the injustices this earth and her people have endured. When we see children and the helpless victimized and hurt, we cry out: “How long, O Lord?” I remember when I first gave my heart to Jesus in 1975, I really expected the Lord to return very soon. If the Lord had come when I expected Him, then many millions of people would have never had the opportunity to find out how wonderful Jesus is, and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Thank the Lord that He is so very patient, and suffers long in waiting for us.
The reason behind the long delay of Jesus’ return is understood by the Lord’s great patience. It is not the will of God that a single person would be lost. Therefore, He gives us as much time as possible, so that those who have yet to receive Jesus as their Savior will have time to decide. From an eternal perspective, 2,000 years is but a brief moment. It is only in the dimension of linear time that it appears so long since Jesus returned to heaven 2,000 years ago.
After God has allowed sufficient time for all those who will come to Jesus and be saved, He will then conclude this present age. Peter wrote that this earth and the universe itself that we live in is going to pass away with a great noise. All of the elements of the universe will melt with a fervent heat, and everything on the earth will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:10-13 …But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
The Lord asks an important question: “Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”
In other words, since everything on the earth will someday be consumed by fire, why are we so infatuated with the material things that will soon pass away? Instead, we should be living lives of purity and holiness as we wait for the return of Jesus for His church.
Isaiah’s prophecy of a new heaven and a new earth will be one of the final acts of the Messiah in completing His redemption of all things.
When the Lord originally conceived the universe and then spoke it into existence, the angels were already alive and were there to witness the birth of the cosmos.
Job 38:4-7 (Speaking to Job) “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars (the angels) sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
This is an incredible description of the first moment of creation, when the universe exploded into being. The angels, called the morning stars and the sons of God, all sang together and shouted for joy at the moment a tiny particle of infinitely-dense matter exploded, and the universe began. Could we possibly imagine how glorious and magnificent it would be to witness the birth of the universe? To be present when time began and space first expanded—giving birth to stars, galaxies, and eventually solar systems with planets and moons.
Revelation 21:21 (above) speaks of the creation of a new heaven and earth after the one thousand-year reign of Jesus on the earth. There is every indication that all those who are redeemed by the Lord will have the opportunity to witness this new creation, when the Lord speaks the cosmos into existence once again. Perhaps we will all sing together, with the angels, in great shouts of joy, as they did upon the creation of the first heaven and earth.
For in-depth information on the age of the universe and how God made the earth ready for human habitation, see the book, “A Universe From God,” by Robert Clifton Robinson, at Amazon.
Isaiah 65:17 describes a future event, when the Messiah will create new heavens and a new earth…
Imagine for just a moment what we will see when this takes place: The moment of destruction, when the Lord causes the entire universe to collapse in a massive heat death; followed by the creation of a brand-new universe, with stars, planets, galaxies, and many features that are inconceivable to us at the present time. It is very likely that the Lord will allow us to observe firsthand as He speaks the present universe out of existence, and then turns to us and says, “Watch this!”
“Universe be!” and brand-new heavens and earth appeared; and the Lord saw it, and said: “It is very good.”
1 Source: Listverse, “10 Theories On How The Universe Will End.” http://listverse.com/2014/04/11/10-theories-on-how-the-universe-will-end/
2 Davies, Paul. Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life. Great Britain: The Penguin Press, 2006.
3 1. Hoyle, Fred. “The Universe: Some Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science (1981): 12.
2. Polkinghorne, John. “The Anthropic Principle and the Science and Religion Debate (PDF).” Faraday Papers, no. 4 (2007).
4 Davies, Paul. 1983. God and the New Physics. London, J M Dent & Sons
5 1. Hoyle, Fred. “The Universe: Some Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science (1981): 12.
2. Polkinghorne, John. “The Anthropic Principle and the Science and Religion Debate (PDF).” Faraday Papers, no. 4 (2007).
6 The birth of the field of baryogene- sis and the idea that the matter excess could be explained by micro- scopic physics came in 1967. In that year Andrei Sakharov listed three conditions necessary for an explanation of the baryon asymmetry. In so doing, he laid the foundation for all future attempts to explain the mat- ter excess of the Universe. Sakharov pointed out that in or- der to produce a baryon excess where none existed before there first must be processes that change the bary- on number. Such baryon-number- violating processes have not yet been observed. Second, the laws of nature must be biased so that a matter excess results and not an antimatter excess. Third, and less obvious, the baryon-number-violating processes must be out of thermal equilibrium. Otherwise, in equilibrium, these processes would even the amounts of baryons and antibaryons and nullify the baryon number. Providing these three ingredients—baryon- number violation, matter-biased laws, and thermal nonequilibrium— is the starting point for any attempt to explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe. Source: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/beamline/26/1/26-1-sather.pdf
7 Hoyle, Fred. “The Universe: Some Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science (1981): 12.
8 Whittet, D. C. B. (2003). Dust in the Galactic Environment. CRC Press. pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-7503-0624-6.
9 Hoyle, F. 1982. Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20. P. 16
11 Davies, Paul. 1983. God and the New Physics. London, J M Dent & Sons
12 Ibid, page 171
Categories: Jesus is God, Origin of the Universe, Physical Constants, Robert Clifton Robinson, Ruler of the Universe, Salvation through Jesus, Science and the Bible, The earth is the Lord's, The Existence of God