The Home Planet
by: Steven Bouma-Prediger
Many Christians in America seem to think that when Jesus comes again the earth will be destroyed. After true believers are raptured off the planet, they believe, the earth will be burned up to nothing. “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through.” But is this view of the future found in Scripture? It may be popular, but is it true?
A closer look reveals that this escapist theology is not biblical. For example, God’s good future presented to us in the last chapters of Revelation is a vision of the redemption of the earth. Creation is purified and renewed, not destroyed. The holy city, the new Jerusalem, comes down to earth; we don’t go up to it. God is making all things new, not all new things. In the Greek used throughout these verses, new means “renewed” (kainos) not “absolutely new” (neos). Renewal, repair, restoration. This vision from John is earthy and earthly. This is our home planet, and God’s home is among humans on a heavenly earth.
Eschatology shapes our ethics—what we believe about the future shapes how we act in the present. So if the Bible’s final vision is true, then we must strive to take care of our home planet. We are God’s earthkeepers. May we with humility do what we are called to do.