1. In this verse John mentioned "heaven and earth" in 2 senses. a. First, John said that he "saw a new heaven and a new earth" [a special place that will be inhabited in the future]. b. Second, John said that "the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" [the special place that we presently live in]. 2. In our lesson we are studying passages that teach us what we need to know about these 2 special places. 3. Let us begin by examining passages that teach us about . . .
I. THE FIRST HEAVEN AND THE FIRST EARTH
A. Its origin 1. God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning (Genesis 1:1). 2. God did this to provide man a dwelling place (Genesis 1:26-30). 3. At this point everything that God made was "very good" (Genesis 1:31). 4. According to Genesis 3, everything changed after Adam and Eve sinned when they transgressed God's will. B. Its destiny 1. When God talked to Noah after the flood in Genesis 8:22 He indicated that the earth will not last forever. 2. Jesus indicated that heaven and earth will pass away (Matthew 5:18; 24:35). 3. We read earlier in Revelation 21:1 that "the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" when John saw "a new heaven and a new earth." 4. We learn from 2 Peter 3:7, 10 how and when the heavens and the earth will be destroyed. 5. When Jesus returns the first heaven and the first earth will be burned up. C. Let us turn our attention to passages that teach us about . . .
II. THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
A. Its origin 1. God revealed through Isaiah that He would "create new heavens and a new earth" (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22). 2. Peter referred to God's promise of new heavens and a new earth, and he described them as a place where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). 3. Jesus has gone to this place to prepare it for His followers (John 14:2-3). 4. John gave a beautiful description of this place where God will dwell with His people (Revelation 21:3-4). B. Its destiny: God's people will reign "for ever and ever" (Revelation 22:1-5).
1. Looking forward to "the new heaven and the new earth" should affect the way we live now in "the first heaven and the first earth." 2. We should be diligent to have the Lord's approval (2 Peter 3:11-12, 14).