“Man is not saved in abstraction from creation, but in the midst of a creation that looks forward to redemption. Indeed, our renewal is tied to the eschatological renewal of the creation. We cannot separate our present spiritual regeneration from cosmic regeneration because our present restoration to life is the first stage in the eschatological restoration of all creation to its proper vitality and relationship to God” (276).
“God’s judgment in the flood did not annihilate the creation, nor did God create an alternative universe. Noah’s world was destroyed insofar as it was cleansed and purified of its corruption. God’s creation survived the flood as a purified world, redeemed from the corruption that pervaded it. In like manner, we should envision the eschatological fire of 2 Peter 3 not as demolishing the current creation, but as the refiner’s fire burning up the dross so that the purity of God’s original creation can once again be revealed” (280).
“Anthony Hoekema writes: ‘It is we who shall be raised, and it is we who shall always be with the Lord. Those raised with Christ will not be a totally new set of human beings but the people of God who have lived on the earth. By way of analogy, we would expect that the new earth will not be totally different from the present earth but will be the present earth wondrously renewed’” (288).
“And Scripture speaks its word about the intermediate state, as Hoekema points out, in hints, whispers, and murmurs. But the key to the intermediate state–however that reality is envisioned–is that it is intermediate. The heavenly existence of the dead is temporary, for it is one that awaits the resurrection of the body and the restoration of creation. When the intermediate state is seen as ultimate, however, the resurrection fails to exercise its intended function” (294).
“This earth is not our home until Jesus comes, brings heaven with him, and makes all things new” (302).