Summary: #7 out of 2 Peter. In 2 Peter 10-13, Peter instructs the believer that a day is coming when Paradise Lost will be Regained.
PARADISE LOST…PARADISE REGAINED
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
As you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13 NIV).
In 1667 the English poet John Milton (1608-1674), published the first version of Paradise Lost. It consisted of over ten thousand lines of verse.
The epic poem chronicled the biblical story of the fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
Through the centuries, that poem has influenced a wide range of people; literary writers like Mary Shelley quoted it in her book Frankenstein; C. S. Lewis quotes it in his book The Great Divorce; John Steinbeck’s novel In Dubious Battle.
In music, Joseph Haydn’s opera was based on it; rap artist Eminem used it in his music video Rap God; heavy metal band Carnal Agony used it as the basis of their songs “Rebel’s Lament” and “Rebellion,” and Red Hot Chili Peppers have a music video that references it.
One of its most enduring quotes, “It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven,” which was uttered by Lucifer as he was cast into the pit, has found its way into film, theatre, video games and most importantly, television, where it was referenced by Captain Kirk after exiling Khan to Ceti Alpha V in the original episode “Space Seed.”
After being challenged that there needed to be a paradise found, Milton wrote Paradise Regained which, unfortunately didn’t enjoy the notoriety or fame of Paradise Lost.
Unfortunate indeed, particularly since Paradise Regained tells of how everything is set right.
Brethren, in 2 Peter 3, the Apostle Peter set the record straight by not only emphasizing the negative effects of paradise lost, but he asserted the reality of paradise regained in God’s creation of a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells.
Let’s read it again…
Now, let me set the stage for the understanding of this “new heaven and a new earth” (2 Pet. 3:13).
It begins in the Garden of Eden where God placed Adam and Eve. There they were to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). God gave them that Eden paradise as a world in which they would live and work. It was the realm where they would have daily communion and fellowship with God; walking and talking with Him in the “cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8).
Think about it; it was a world without sorrow, no disease, no death or crying or pain. It was something He had created for them and their families to enjoy…forever!
Just let that sink in…forever!
And how would they be able to do that? Genesis 3:22 says that by partaking of the “tree of life” that God had placed in the garden, they would “live forever.”
God originally created a heaven and earth wherein righteousness dwelt; where the wolf and the lamb lived together; where the cow and the bear grazed together; where no one was hurt or destroyed because the earth was full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:6f).
But then sin entered the world and paradise was lost. As part of man’s curse, the earth was cursed and subjected to futility and decay. It would from that point on produce thorns and thistles and Adam would have to eat bread by the sweat of his brow (Gen. 3:18). From that day forward the earth has groaned under the weight of sin, waiting for the day when God will release it from that curse and restore it to its paradise glory.
Now, I’m not making that up. That’s Romans 8…but I get ahead of myself. Before we get to that I want to remind us of the four times the phrase “new heavens and new earth” is used. It’s found twice in Isaiah. In Isaiah 65:17, prophesies, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.” In 66:22 he says, “For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “So your offspring and your name will endure.”