Could the destruction of the universe actually be simply its redemption and renewal?

Email Received:

You have indicated that you believe in the ultimate annihilation of this universe, at the end of the Millennium. I have heard it suggested that the destruction of the universe is not an annihilation but, rather, a work of redemption and renewal. Along with this is the belief that the earth can become "new" in the same way that a believer becomes new. What do you think?

Tedís Response:

Anything is possible. I have heard many explain how believers become new because they have died to sin (Romans 6:2). Our old selves have been "crucified" with Jesus (6:6). Since we continue to be in the same physical bodies, the "dying to sin" concept may mean that our old selves simply are revived in renewed forms.

However, even in our renewed forms, we still continue to sin, although maybe not as much as before. That is, there still is something within us that has not "died to sin." Only after believers have been transformed into spiritual, imperishable, immortal bodies (1  Corinthians 15:44,53) will they never sin again.

This will be because our old bodies will have been removed like old garments and tossed out, permanentlyónot "washed" and "cleaned" and put back on. Our glorified bodies will be brand new, untarnished "clothes" or "heavenly dwellings" (2 Corinthians 5:1-4), in which we will reside for eternity.

Similarly, I am inclined to believe that this entire universe (present heavens and earth) literally will wear out and and perish and, like an old garment, be "tossed out" (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12), not renewed in some way. The act of redemption that works through this process is the redemption of the elect fallen believers who will become brand new while this creation is still in place.

Furthermore, these believers will continue on, in those new forms, into the brand new Creation to come. A few more details about this can be found in the old and new Creations section of Part 2 of my Creation commentary.

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