January 1, 2002 By Dr. Hugh Ross
Why didn’t God create a different kind of cosmos for humanity—one elegant and beautiful in its design yet without the hard choices, pain, and suffering produced by evil? God does, in fact, promise a radically different, perfectly wonderful home for humanity after His final judgment against evil (referred to in Revelation as The Great White Throne Judgment).1 So why didn’t He make the universe “perfect” in the first place? […]
Because of Satan’s rebellion, and because free will must be real for love to be real, the potential for sin necessarily existed in Eden. That potential alone made Eden an insecure environment and, therefore, an imperfect one. The “new heavens and new earth” described in Revelation 21 and 22 remain perfectly secure, because no possibility for sin exists there. This transcendent reward awaits Christ’s followers (see the “New Laws for the New Creation”sidebar). …
Job 38:7 states that the angels watched as God laid down the foundations of the Earth. Therefore, Satan likely existed at the time when Earth was formed some 4.6 to 3.9 billion years ago.3 His rebellion against God could have occurred either before or after this event. …
According to Revelation 20-21, the replacement of the laws of physics (see sidebar, “New Laws for the New Creation”) occurs at that moment when evil is finally and permanently eliminated (the Great White Throne Judgment). …
The second law of thermodynamics guarantees that whatever a man organizes, whatever he designs, and whatever information he accumulates becomes increasingly disordered. However, sin speeds up the breakdown. For example, if a man abuses his tools, they become less productive and wear out faster, leading him to experience more pain and more work when he uses them. If he abuses his animals, his employees, or a woman who might become his spouse, their response to the abuse causes him more work, less pleasure, and more pain. …
While paradise may seem wonderful compared to this sin-marred universe, it utterly pales in comparison to the future home provided by God for all who choose the redemption from sin Christ makes available through His death and resurrection.
The Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and subsequent journey to the Promised Land offers a helpful analogy. Paradise (Eden) may be likened to Egypt at Moses’ time. Humanity’s journey through life’s trials and temptations resembles Israel’s wilderness (Sinai) wanderings. The new creation is roughly analogous to the land of promise (Canaan). Just as the Israelites struggled to imagine and anticipate the blessings of the Promised Land, people everywhere struggle to imagine and anticipate the rewards of the new creation.
The Israelites grumbled about their suffering in the wilderness and yearned to return to Egypt. People today complain about the training and discipline of this life and long for a return to Eden. Egypt was a land of plenty but also a land of slavery. Eden surely seems idyllic, but it holds humanity captive to electromagnetism, gravity, etc. During the aging process, individuals observe that joints and muscles gradually lose the battle against gravity. Skin and other cells break down under long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
On a spiritual level, perpetual insecurity plagued Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. At every moment they were capable of the willful choice that would shatter their unique oneness with the Creator. In the new creation, everyone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ will forever enjoy perfect security. People will live safely beyond the severe testing of their free will, the testing faced in God’s first creation. It is past. No tougher test can confront them.
Adam and Eve and all humankind had to be confined to a single time dimension, one that can neither be stopped nor reversed so as to limit the fallout from their sin, including the number of people damaged by it. All who enter the new creation will be free from such time restrictions. The time confinement that limits each individual to just a few close relationships will be lifted.
Jesus often refers to believers in the new creation with singular nouns and pronouns.16Those who join Him in the new creation are called His bride, and He says that all who live there will be one as He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one. The aspect of the oneness of God is illustrated in that the Father, Son, and Spirit are in continuous communication and fellowship with one another.17
For humans to experience this type of oneness, each person will be granted continuous communication and fellowship with one another. It appears somehow that all individuals will possess the capacity to communicate and relate simultaneously, intimately, and harmoniously with billions of others.
Our current dimensional limits (and sinful nature) make such communication and fellowship impossible. And yet for now, such limits are essential. One time dimension (in which time can neither be halted nor reversed) currently confines the impact of humans’ sin to only a limited number of people for a limited time. (In the equivalent of two time dimensions or more, a person’s sin could simultaneously impact billions of other people in an undiminished manner for an unlimited period of time.) With the new heavenly capacity for knowing and being known, loving and being loved by all other human beings simultaneously, the need for marriage and the nuclear family will be fully satisfied.
Whether God grants the capacity for continuous simultaneous communication and intimate fellowship with all other believers through the equivalent of two time dimensions or some other dimensional or transdimensional means is not revealed. However, we can know that with the elimination of sin, shame, embarrassment, and physical, mental, and spiritual defects, intimacy becomes safe and enjoyable in a manner impossible in this creation. The risk of being hurt or damaged in relationships will be gone forever.
People will no longer need to focus relationship resources on only one marriage partner, one nuclear and extended family, and a few dozen friends. Continuous enjoyment of all other members of the heavenly family provides something far superior to the pleasures of the very best of earthly relationships, including marriage.18 All this, and much more, awaits.
One day God will release humankind from the “playpen” of this universe with all of its restrictive dimensions and physics. He will usher those who worship Him into a new creation replete with physics and dimensions or transdimensions that permit ultimately satisfying relationships with Him and with one another. We will be rewarded to a degree far beyond what anyone can yet think or imagine.19 Until that time, each person can thank God for the discipline of physics.
Sidebar: New Laws for the New Creation
Revelation 21 declares that the law of decay (i.e., the second law of thermodynamics) will no longer exist in the new creation. The apostle John records that death, mourning, crying, and pain—four consequences of the decay law—will have no place in the new creation.1 In the new creation, people will apparently consume without incurring cost, further evidence of decay’s absence.
The description of a new Jerusalem suggests the absence of gravity (as we know it) in the new creation. This “city” (or structure) measures roughly 1500 miles long by 1500 miles wide by 1500 miles high, and it has corners.2 Thus, the New Jerusalem’s shape (a cube or pyramid) violates the law of gravity. Gravity forces any body larger than about 150 miles across into a spherical shape.
With electromagnetic radiation, light casts shadows and eclipses. In the new creation hot bodies such as the sun and the stars, the primary sources of light in the present universe, will no longer exist.3 Light will pervade all of the new creation, but not electromagnetic light, for there will be no darkness, no shadows.
The limitations of the space-time manifold of the universe are lifted in the new creation. Relationships are nonlinear (see subhead, Better Than Eden, and the paragraphs that follow). Nor will people be geographically limited as they are in the present universe. Physics and space will no longer confine individuals to the environs of one tiny planet. The common yearning to be in more than one place at a time as well as to be unrestricted by time will be fulfilled.
- Revelation 21-22, The Holy Bible; Hugh Ross, Beyond the Cosmos, 2d ed. (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1999), 217-228.
- Anthony Hoekema, The Bible and the Future (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1979, 1991), 274-87; Finis Jennings Dake, God’s Plan for Man: Revealing God’s Perfect Plan for All Creation(Lawrenceville, GA: Dake Bible Sales, 1977), 972-1000; David Chilton, Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1985); Kenneth L. Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), 275-306; Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection (Nashville, TN: Word Publishing, 2000), 85-92; Doug Phillips, “An Urgent Appeal to Pastors,” Back To Genesis, No. 119, November 1998, p. c.; Henry M. Morris, “The Coming Big Bang,” Back To Genesis, No. 101, May 1997, p. c.; Henry M. Morris, “The Finished Works of God,” Back To Genesis, No. 136, April 2000, p. b.
- Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1998), 30-36, 39-42.
- Genesis 2:15-17, The Holy Bible; Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 2d ed.(Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1995), 111-21.
- R. Kippenhahn and A. Weigert, Stellar Structure and Evolution (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1994), 64-76, 118-136, 248-70; Martin Schwarzschild, Stellar Structure and Evolution of the Stars(New York: Dover Publications, 1958), 30-44.
- Jeremiah 33:25, The Holy Bible.
- Romans 8:18-22, The Holy Bible.
- Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose
- “Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A 314 (1970), 529-48.
- Genesis 1:1, 1:11-12, 1:14-16, 1:20-28, 4:2-4,15:5, Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 48:13, 51:13; Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15; Zechariah 12:1; The Holy Bible.
- Lawrence M. Krauss and Glenn D. Starkman, “Life, the Universe, and Nothing: Life and Death in an Ever-Expanding Universe,” Astrophysical Journal 531 (2000), 22-30; Hugh Ross, “Can Science Test a ‘God-Created-It’ Origins Model? Yes!” Facts for Faith 2 (Q2 2000), 46; Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, 43-44.
- James F. Crow, “The Odds of Losing at Genetic Roulette,” Nature 397 (1999), 293-94; Adam Eyre-Walker and Peter D. Keightley, “High Genomic Deleterious Mutation Rates in Hominids,” Nature397 (1999), 344-47.
- Hugh Ross, “Aliens From Another World?” Facts for Faith 6 (Q2 2001), 24-32.
- Hugh Ross, “Can Science Test a ‘God-Created-It’ Origins Model? Yes!” 40-47, 55-58.
- Revelation 5:11, The Holy Bible.
- 1 Corinthians 2:9, The Holy Bible.
- Revelation 21:9, The Holy Bible.
- Revelation 22:12-17, The Holy Bible.
- Revelation 21:4, The Holy Bible.
- Revelation 21:16, 17, NIV.
- Revelation 22:5, The Holy Bible.