The Final Hope
The final hope of Christians is not to be spared the suffering that all people experience in the fallen world. It is to participate in the abundant life promised when the world is fully redeemed upon Christ’s return. In the new earth there will be plenty for all. No one will lack provision. Justice will reign. Wealth will be experienced by all, without harm to anyone or anything. We will not suffer a lack of provision ourselves. We will not enrich ourselves at others’ expense. All will be as God always intended it to be.
Isaiah prophesies about that time:
I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind…. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat…They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity….I will extend prosperity to her [Jerusalem] like a river, and the wealth of nations like an overflowing stream. (Isaiah 65:17, 21-23; 66:12)
John too foretells the prosperity of the New Jerusalem. God’s provision is so extravagant that the gates of the city will be pearls, the foundations jewels, and the streets gold (Revelation 21:19-21). If the vision sounds a bit fantastical, perhaps it means that God’s generosity is literally unimaginable to us, accustomed as we are to scarcity.