Grand Climax — new heavens and new earth


Here is the climax for Peter. In keeping with God’s promise ‘we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness’ (2 Peter 3:13).

This same promise is the grand climax in Revelation. The verse immediately following the last reference to the lake of fire introduces the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 20:15; 21:1).

Chapter and verse divisions in Scripture did not exist in the original text. They were added much later so that passages could be easily referenced and found. Unfortunately, at times they do interrupt the flow of the text. Such is the case here. With this in mind, read Revelation 20:15; 21:1 again, and notice the abrupt and immediate transition from the cleansing of the lake of fire to the creation of the new earth. This exactly parallels the same transition found in 2 Peter 3:12, 13.

Revelation 20:15, 21:1
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
21:1 And ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth’: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…

The end of the lake of fire

Where is the ‘lake of fire,’ and what does it do?

The lake of fire occurs here. It cleanses the heavens and the earth. Wherever you and I are right now will be within the area cleansed by the lake of fire.

How long does the lake of fire last?

It last until the heavens and earth are cleansed, and the new heavens and the new earth replace the old.

2 Peter 3:7-13
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word, are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works in it shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 As we look for, and rush headlong toward the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless ‘we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness’.

Dying twice

The lost are never promised immortality, neither do they receive immortality. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The death that fully and completely constitutes the wages of sin is described clearly in Revelation 20:14, 15. It is called the second death because they all had already died once. They had either died at some point throughout history, or they died at Christ’s coming (at the beginning of the 1,000 years) where they died as a result of His consuming brightness. 2 Thessalonians 2:8

To be cast into the lake of fire is the second death.

Revelation 20:14, 15
14 … The lake of fire is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.