“And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.’” —Revelation 21:2–3 NLT
One day, Cathe was driving with our youngest son, Jonathan, who was then age 3. She was talking about the Rapture and how we would be caught up to heaven. The more she talked, the quieter Jonathan got. Finally, he blurted out, “Mom, I don’t want to go to Heaven! I don’t want to leave this beautiful world that God made!” It’s hard for a 3-year-old to wrap his mind around heaven.
Sometimes Christians say, “When I die I will be with the Lord forever in Heaven!” While it is true that when a believer dies they go to Heaven, it is not true that we stay there forever. Because one day, Heaven is going to come to Earth.
My friend Randy Alcorn, in his book Heaven writes, “We won’t go to Heaven and leave Earth behind. Rather, God will bring Heaven and Earth together into the same dimension, with no wall of separation, no armed angels to guard Heaven’s perfection from sinful mankind.”
God is not going to abandon His creation; He’s going to restore it! Have you ever seen a perfectly restored classic car? (Guys especially see this as a thing of beauty.) Well, God is into restoration too—restoration of lives, bodies, and even our planet!
God’s perfect plan is to “bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Ephesians 1:10 NIV).
Jesus will make Earth into Heaven and Heaven into Earth. Just as the wall that separates God and mankind is torn down in Jesus, so too the wall that separates Heaven and Earth will forever be demolished.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!