Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and He pronounced that everything was very good (Genesis 1:31). Yet mankind sinned, marring God’s creation. The world was “good” no longer. From Genesis 3 through Revelation 20, the earth and everyone in it experiences sin and death (Romans 5:12). Yet something will change after the great white throne judgment. After sin is eternally judged, God promises a new heaven and a new earth where suffering, pain, sin, and death cease for all eternity. This future creation gives believers hope and affects our lives on earth as we eagerly await for this promise to be fulfilled:
Behold I make all things new
In Revelation 21, John recounts seeing the new heaven and new earth. He sees a magnificent Holy City, where God dwells among His people. It is here that God promises to wipe every tear from His people’s eyes. There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. Finally, all creation will be free from the reign and effects of sin. After observing all this, John sees Jesus seated on the throne declaring, “Behold I make all things new.”
When someone trusts in God for salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells in that person, making them a new creation:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17).
The believer is no longer bound by sin; we become new creations, able to please God and live in His ways.
St Paul the Apostle sums up our newness well:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
No longer do we live for ourselves, but we live for the One who is life.
A transformation occurs in those who surrender to God, and of them it can also be said, “Behold I make all things new.”
Becoming a new creation affects the way we live. God’s Word reminds us to put off our former, sinful ways of life:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Instead of living in sin and for ourselves, we are called to “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator”.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Regeneration happens at salvation, but sanctification continues as we grow in faith and in His likeness.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18).
Some ways we grow are through studying God’s Word, praying, having fellowship with other believers, and suffering. “Behold I make all things new” is a statement that affects the way we live when we trust Christ for salvation.
Decay, destruction, death, and evil are all part of our lives on this earth. Yet Jesus’ declaration, “Behold I make all things new,” affords the hope that one day we will be free from the consequences and effects of sin and will live with Him in a new heaven and earth. This truth makes us live with eager expectation, seeking to know Him more, become more like Him, and make Him known. Our hopeful future is what changes how we live as we await Jesus’ making all things new.
This is a picture of the church prepared and beautified for her husband, Jesus Christ. When God makes all things new, he makes the church—the people of God—spiritually and morally beautiful for his Son.