Divine Promises of a New World
FROM what source can a new world come? Is it to men that we should look in hope for a glorious new world? With mankind today threatened with nuclear annihilation, “no-world” state of devastation, how can one speak authoritatively of a new world? And could there really be something that is new?
Man can change only a few surface appearances of things, so that an inspired writer of many centuries ago looked at these things and concluded: “That which has come to be, that is what will come to be; and that which has been done, that is what will be done; and so there is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl. 1:9) Man studies nature to find discoveries that can be applied to this modern world, and the study of the animal creation—bats, owls, porpoises, moths, and so forth—often yields discoveries to improve man-made mechanisms. But this is nothing new; nature had the principles first. Since there is nothing new under the sun, who could promise something truly new?
A man of faith, Simon Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, put his trust in a promise of something really new; and about 1,900 years ago he wrote: “But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Pet. 3:13) To whose promise was the apostle Peter referring with such confidence, with such assurance that the promise could never fail and was worth waiting for? Not a man’s promise! Over seven centuries before the apostle Peter’s inspired declaration, the prophet Isaiah uttered and wrote down that promise; but he was merely quoting by inspiration the great Promiser, earth’s Creator, who himself said: “For here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. But exult, you people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating.”—Isa. 65:17, 18.
Though there is “nothing new under the sun,” this does not mean there could be nothing new above the sun. Man’s Creator, whose throne is far above our earth and sun, has promised: “I am creating new heavens and a new earth.” The Creator can indeed create new things that have to do with mankind on the earth.
Since the Promiser of these new things is also their Creator, he can authoritatively speak as if he were already carrying it out, although it was over twenty-six centuries in advance of our day that his promise through Isaiah was uttered.
And what a cause for rejoicing is the fact that this divine promise of a new world includes assurance that it will endure without end! Thus the promised new world will be for God’s unfading glory, and it will continue to glorify him forever, as he has declared: “‘For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making are standing before me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘so the offspring of you people and the name of you people will keep standing.’” (Isa. 66:22) These words, addressed to God’s people, the faithful followers of Jesus Christ, show that the new world will stand before Jehovah their Creator forever. Just so, too, he promises that the name of his people will stand before him. It shall not rot like the name of the wicked.
Did the Son of God, Jesus Christ, add his testimony to the divine promises of a glorious new world? Indeed he did! He preached a new-world kingdom! When before Pontius Pilate, Jesus declared: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” And why? Because God’s heavenly kingdom by Jesus Christ is the “new heavens” of the new world. So Jesus’ main teaching was this new-world kingdom, “the kingdom of the heavens.” When Jesus told his followers to pray to God, saying, “Let your kingdom come,” he wanted them to put their trust in God’s kingdom, which would make a new world possible. God’s kingdom, being established in heaven, means that the long-promised new world is at hand. Here, then, is the most momentous news that mankind could receive today! No wonder Jesus called it “good news,” so important that it must be preached in all the inhabited earth for “a witness to all the nations.”—John 18:36; Matt. 10:7; 6:10; 24:14.
Just as the new world has a “new heavens” so it has a “new earth.” Not a new planet earth, but, rather, righteous people who will live on earth in God’s new world, people from all nations who heed the promises of God, put their trust in them and live for that new world now. Today a new-earth society of people is rapidly growing amidst a dying corrupt old world. You may become part of this New World society.
All persons who honestly examine the Creator’s promises concerning the new world are led to put their trust in them, for they are absolutely reliable. Declaring the reliability of both the new world’s newness and its certainty of realization, the apostle John wrote: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away . . . I heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them.’ And the one seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Also, he says: ‘Write, because these words are faithful and true.’” (Rev. 21:1, 3, 5) Faithful indeed are the Creator’s promises of a righteous new world. Forever it will endure, to the blessing of all lovers of his kingdom by Jesus Christ.
What shall you do, now that we are face to face with this destiny-making time? Everyone must decide whether to work for the preservation of this wicked world, with certain disappointment in the end, or to serve the interests and prove oneself worthy of the promised new world with its endless joys.