ep. 70 | The New Heavens and the New Earth with Nancy Guthrie
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m chatting with Nancy Guthrie about the new heavens and the new earth! If you have ever wondered how the Bible’s story has always been headed towards glory and how that reality impacts our everyday, Nancy and I talk about that for the entire episode.
Y’all, Nancy is one of my modern-day heroes. So you’ll know her a little better, she teaches the Bible through numerous Bible study books, at her home church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, as well as at conferences around the country and internationally. She offers companionship and biblical insight to the grieving through Respite Retreats that she and her husband, David, host for couples who have faced the death of child through the GriefShare video series, and through books such as Holding on to Hope and Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow. Her newest book, Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything About Your Story released last month! She is also the host of the Help Me Teach the Bible podcast at The Gospel Coalition, which, by the way, is my favorite.
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
Why is it important that we study and learn the whole story of the Bible?
Why is it important to view our own stories in the context of the whole of Scripture?
Can you offer us an overview of the story of Scripture?
How will the new heavens and the new earth be even better than Eden?
How are the heavens and the new earth breaking into the here and now?
What caused this newness to flood into the world?
What is the significance of the Sabbath and rest in remembering God’s sufficiency? How do we start appointing the gift of the Sabbath in our lives?
How does taking hold of the glory of the future transform our sense of shame now?
What are some truths you’ve learned about the end of the ages that have changed the way you live?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who desires to grow in our understanding of the new heavens and the new earth?
What are your 3 simple joys?
Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?
“The whole Bible is not so much about what I’m supposed to do but about what Christ has done.”
“The trajectory is that yes, my soul goes into the presence of Christ when I die and my body goes into the ground. And so, the essence of hope that’s being presented in the Scriptures is not going to heaven when we die, but the essence of hope is resurrection. Why? Because then, we return to this earth, our souls return to this earth. Christ calls our bodies to this new, resurrection life from the grave.”
“On that day, not only are people resurrected, the earth that has been infiltrated with this curse, the curse will be gone for good. And so, the whole world, in a sense, is resurrected. And we will live in this New Heavens and the New Earth.”
“A lot of times we’ll hear that the story of the Bible can be captured in four words: creation, fall, redemption, restoration… So, I began to see that this is inadequate. We’re not simply headed towards the restoration that was in Eden. Because Eden, as good, as beautiful, as pristine as it was, when we read the story in Genesis 1-2 in Eden, it was just the beginning! It was filled with potential. If Adam and Eve obeyed, Eden wouldn’t have necessarily stayed the way that it was forever. If they obeyed, Eden would have gone from good to glorious!”
“Eden had limited boundaries at first and Adam and Eve were supposed to be fruitful and multiply. So, it was supposed to grow in population. And as it grew in population, and as they worked and kept the ground, then the boundaries of Eden would grow and grow and grow and they’d be filled with all of these image-bearers until the whole of the earth was this beautiful garden paradise filled with image bearers of God and image bearers who bore this greater glory that would become because of their obedience. But that’s not what happened. Adam and Eve didn’t obey. It’s like the story gets rerouted before it barely begins. This is one of those foundational things that helps us make sense of the Bible…Once we understand that aspect of Eden, that it would have become more glorious and more expansive, but the first Adam failed, that’s when we say, ‘okay, now, throughout the Bible we are waiting and watching for another Son, the Second Adam, and he will obey. He will face temptation in a garden, the garden of Gethsemane, he will face temptation in the wilderness, and he will obey. He will obey. He will be fruitful and multiply. He will exercise dominion. He will do all of those things that the first Adam was meant to do and he failed.’ So that even helps us understand what it means to be a Christian.”
“We are all borne as offspring of Adam. If we stay in Adam we are just going to die like he did. But if we take hold of Christ, the second Adam, then his life flows into ours, and his obedience becomes ours. He is going to be the one who actually leads all who are joined to him into the glorious life that Adam would have led us into if he obeyed. Understanding the Bible in this way compels us and helps us understand why it is so important to take hold of Christ by faith. He is the only one who is going to lead us into this glorious life that the first Adam failed to lead us into.”
“The world and even the Christian world really encourages us to be all about our story. However, what’s really important is that I get connected to this Story that works its way from Genesis to Revelation, because it is this Story that shapes everything about my story. So, my goal isn’t to own my story or to tell my story, but the aim of my life is to find myself in this Story!”
“In Jesus’ healing ministry, every person that he touched and healed, it was like he was giving a visible preview of what is coming when his kingdom comes to earth in all of its fullness.”
“We don’t have to be women who are covered in shame, but instead, what does the New Testament tell us? It tell us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. It tells us to clothe ourselves in humility... So, understanding these stories helps us to not only value what is to come in the New Heavens and the New Earth in full, but even, what we are experiencing in part right now by being joined to Christ in faith.”
“When you step into the New Heavens and the New Earth and you enter into this glorious marriage, you are not going to spend eternity thinking that you were cheated. That’s the kind of thing that it has the power to change in our here-and-now.”
“Seeing our lives in light of the Story means that we simply want to take one day in seven to turn our focus away from the world to remind ourselves of what Christ has done, what he is doing, and what is yet to come, this eternal Sabbath rest that Adam failed to lead us into but that the Second Adam will not fail to lead us into.”
“My hope is not set in trying to stay or look young in this life. My hope is set on immortality. The day is coming, to use Paul’s words, when I will rid myself of this tent and my body is going to go into the grave and my soul is going to go into the presence of Christ and then I’m going to return to him and he will call my body up from the grave and it’s going to be a glorious body. A body, Paul says in Philippians, that we will be like him. Glorious, like him. I don’t have such a desperate grabbing for keeping my youth here.. Because I am clothed with immortality forever!”
NANCY’S RESOURCES FOR THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH
Layne Tipton professor at Westminster
J.V. Fesko Westminster, CA
Saturating yourself in understanding the big story of the Bible
NANCY’S SIMPLE JOYS
Walking in the park by her house
Spending time with her family
Biblical Theology and tracing themes through the Bible
Infiltrating Women’s Bible study with Biblical theology
CONNECT WITH NANCY
How does understanding the new heavens and new earth change your today?
What are some ways you are viewing the new heavens and new earth inaccurately?
What excites you about the new heavens and the new earth?
What are you going to do or implement as a result of what you’ve learned this week?
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