Modern movies are showcasing a variety of over-the-top depictions of the future status and appearance of Planet Earth. Many of these sci-fi innovations promote the infinite power of machines and the subservience of humans to them in a postapocalyptic reality. The plotline of this movie genre is the premise that artificial intelligence (AI) keeps increasing in power. In the future, AI could very well become dominant, dangerous, and an authoritarian ruler of the world. But have no fear, do not panic, because truth from the Word of God in Isaiah 65:17-24 and Revelation 21:1-5 negates Hollywood’s doomsday projections of the new earth.
In these passages are real facts and features of the new earth, vividly described from God’s perspective. And as Adventists, we believe and teach that the Garden of Eden, in all its splendor from the beginning before sin, will be fully restored. For example, the equality between male and female, peace between humans and animals, the true understanding of Sabbath and marriage, plus in-person visits from all members of the Godhead, will be restored in the new earth. Try to imagine what this will be like! Gone will be all aspects of sin, including racism, injustice, prejudice, violence. There’ll be no more pandemic, death, weeping, fighting, or lying. There’ll be no more mental maladies, promiscuity, prostitution, divorce, or depression; no homeless, poor, or people without land, for they will all inherit the earth without taxes. They will build homes, and plant and reap crops, without fear or worry about invaders to rob them or terrorists to kill them. There’ll be no more wars or rumors of war; no bombs, bullets, or devastating nuclear devices. All these things will be gone, and we will remember them no more!
Do you ever find yourself fascinated by books, magazines, and TV shows that depict the way the other half—the rich and famous of our world—lives? If so, you’re not alone. The Bible tells us that the queen of Sheba was so fascinated by stories of the wealth and wisdom of Solomon that she traveled hundreds of miles over very rocky roads to visit King Solomon, to test his wisdom, and to observe his luxurious lifestyle. This fascination continues today, but we’ve seen nothing yet; for through the prophet Isaiah the Lord reveals a lifestyle that we could never imagine, one that far surpasses those lifestyles depicted on television or in magazines. It’s not the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but of the saved and saints of God triumphant in the new earth.
So what are we to do? Remember the apostle Paul’s prescription for a healthy Christian life in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18? “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” There’s a time for quiet solemnity and celebration; but the response of recipients of God’s gift of salvation by grace through faith, His outpouring of mercy, and His promise of the new earth call us to rejoice.
Are you ready to rejoice? Havah Nagilah! Let us rejoice!