This is part of an ongoing republication of Vilas Deane’s Vi the Bible Guy series from the original Southview website. Three questions and three answers will get put up each Wednesday morning, so be sure to check back!
Q16: Who will live on the new earth?
The quick answer: I’ll be there, and if you know Jesus as your Savior, you will also be there. Now for more detail: When we talk about eternity, we are talking about the new heaven and the new earth. What does the future hold? This is the sequence: We need to get to the end of this current “Age of Grace.” Then we who know the Lord will be taken to heaven in the Rapture or we will be raised from the dead at the time of the Rapture (1 Thess 4:13-18). We will be in heaven then for the 7 years of Tribulation. Then we come back to earth at the Second Coming with Christ (Rev 19:11-16). This will be followed by the Millennium, a 1000-year rule of Christ on this earth, and we will be here with him. It is at the end of the Millennium that Christ creates the new heaven and the new earth and also the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven (Rev 21:1-2). It is interesting to see in this passage that there will be no oceans in the new earth.
God originally wanted man to dwell on the earth, and that is where he created man. It seems reasonable to believe that after Christ had judged sin and all the earth, creating a new one, that he would have man to dwell there. The new earth is the Eternal Kingdom of God. Read about it in Rev 21:1 – 22:5. The new earth will be the eternal dwelling place of God and God’s people. The church will be there. Believing Israel will be there to see the fulfillment of the covenant promises made to them thousands of years earlier. They will see there an eternal dynasty, kingdom, throne and blessing. We see in Rev 21:3-4 that redeemed people will see God’s glory and begin to know the Lord as never before. There will be a quality of fellowship with the Lord that we cannot presently imagine. I think that we could call it “Heaven.”
Maybe you are one who thought that we would be some other place for eternity. Let me remind you of what Paul taught near the end of that Rapture passage:(1 Thess 4:19) “…And so we will be with the Lord forever.” We will spend eternity with Him. So where will He be? The following passages tell us that He will be in the new earth and the new Jerusalem:Rev 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Rev 21:22 – I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Rev 22:3 – No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
So, our God and the Lamb (Jesus) will be in the new earth and the new Jerusalem, and we will be there with Him.
Q17: What was Jesus saying on the cross when He said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”(Matt 27:46 and Mark 15:34)
It is certainly the case that God approved of the work of Jesus. Jesus had led a sinless, perfect, pure life. He was innocent of sin. He had done nothing to forfeit the favor of God. Yet God had laid on him the sin of the entire human race. 2 Cor 5:21 says “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Gal 3:13 tells us: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” So, Jesus felt the curse, the weight of our sin as he hung on the cross. He felt the loneliness and abandonment that sin always produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours. Previously, He had experienced unbroken, intimate fellowship with God, His Father. But, on the cross, He experienced the result of sin laid on Him – separation from God.He experienced the separation from God for which we were eternally destined. In Isaiah 53:4-6 we read: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In Habakkuk we learn that God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil. This is what Jesus was feeling as He hung on the cross:rejection, abandoned, loneliness. Yet He did it for you and me.Jesus loves us – John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Q18: What does the Bible say about gambling?
(The following was copied from www.gotquestions.org)
(Many comments are extracted from www.gotanswers.org here.) The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to “get rich quick” (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches.
What is wrong with gambling? People waste money on all sorts of activities. Gambling is no more or less of a waste of money than seeing a movie (in many cases), eating an unnecessarily expensive meal, or purchasing a worthless item. At the same time, the fact that money is wasted on other things does not justify gambling. Money should not be wasted. Excess money should be saved for future needs or given to the Lord’s work, not gambled away.
What would the Bible say about casinos and lotteries? Casinos use all sorts of marketing schemes to entice gamblers to risk as much money as possible. They often offer inexpensive or even free alcohol, which encourages drunkenness, and thereby a decreased ability to make wise decisions. Everything in a casino is perfectly rigged for taking money in large sums and giving nothing in return, except for fleeting and empty pleasures. Lotteries attempt to portray themselves as a way to fund education and/or social programs. However, studies show that lottery participants are usually those who can least afford to be spending money on lottery tickets. The allure of “getting rich quick” is too great a temptation to resist for those who are desperate. The chances of winning are infinitesimal, which results in many peoples’ lives being ruined.
Can lotto/lottery proceeds please God? Many people claim to be playing the lottery or gambling so that they can give the money to the church or to some other good cause. While this may be a good motive, reality is that few use gambling winnings for godly purposes. Studies show that the vast majority of lottery winners are in an even worse financial situation a few years after winning a jackpot than they were before. Few, if any, truly give the money to a good cause. Further, God does not need our money to fund His mission in the world. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” God is sovereign and will provide for the needs of the church through honest means. Would God be honored by receiving donated drug money or money stolen in a bank robbery? Of course not. Neither does God need or want money that was “stolen” from the poor in the temptation for riches.
First Timothy 6:10 tells us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Cor 10:23 – “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial.“Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive.I would think that this applies to gambling.