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Have you ever read the very last chapter of the Bible? If you’ve ever tried to read the Bible straight through or even the entire Book of Revelation, it wouldn’t be surprising if you stopped before the end. So much to think about and chew over in all that reading!
In chapter 22 of Revelation, St. John of Patmos wrote about the New Heaven and the New Earth. It was his vision of what life would entail when time has ended and God is fully in charge. Surprisingly, John wrote of a City, the New Jerusalem, a City on Earth! No view here of a heaven in the clouds. Listen to John: “The angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God. . . through the middle of the street of the City. On either side of the river is the Tree of Life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Here is a beautiful portrait of a renewed earth with crystal clear river water. And with trees bearing luscious fruit year round. And a special characteristic: the leaves of the trees can be used to heal all the disease and hurt and misuse the earth has acquired. What a good and healthy picture of earth and its restoration! What a hopeful vision! But why should we wait for that future? Let’s work with God to create it now!