One Wednesday evening as I was preparing music for Sunday morning, I came across these lyrics in the beautiful contemporary arrangement of Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone):
"The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine,
But God who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine."
After reading through these lyrics a couple of times I could not bring myself into agreement with the message that it portrays, for the lyrics portray a day when the "earth" will be destroyed completely and created again! However, in contrast to that perspective I imagine a day when the earth will be radically transformed (dramatically renewed) instead of destroyed.
For example, someone can metaphorically describe earth like a piece of glass that has been divinely shattered into millions of pieces by sin, yet through Christ all creation will be and is being dramatically renewed (put back together) so that we remember not the "old" way of life but we enjoy fellowship in the "new" way of life with God throughout all eternity.
Paul argues this thought for our resurrected bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:35-44 saying:
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of [k]something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown [l]a perishable body, it is raised [m]an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
In this respect I do not see the earth being destroyed; however, I see the earth being drastically renewed from that which is in the present, for example: as a kernel or a seed differs from a full-grown plant, thus "new" is something renewed in a radical form.