After the Last Judgement and the old Heaven and old earth have been replaced by the new Heaven and new earth, will human beings continue to still be born or will the earth be filled with only the resurrected righteous (i.e. no one will die, no one else will be born)?
Heaven and earth are metaphors for the spiritual, immaterial world and physical, material world. The new Jerusalem is a metaphor for the community of Saints. It’s not a new planet with a great new city.
The destruction and remaking of the world is not a metaphor for anything; it is a description of the culmination of God’s plan of salvation. A historical event which has not yet happened.
Throughout the OT and NT, God repeatedly promises supernatural justice that will never end, with rewards for the good and punishment for the evil. All previous times of salvation and favor for Israel point to it, but they are not it. All Christian communities on Earth point to it, but we still die here. And yes, all deaths and losses point to the real end of the world.
We are all expected to serve God and His Kingdom as best we can. Like an embassy in a foreign land, our territory is supposed to be the Kingdom’s territory, and our lives should show forth God’s reign.
But He is the conquering Messiah. Not us.
He is the Stern Judge, Who will come to judge the living and the dead. What did you think that meant, if there will not be a day of resurrection and judgment?
Behold! He is coming back. In the twinkling of an eye, with the swiftness of lightning. Every eye will see Him.
That is no metaphor. We watch for Him, looking East, in accordance with the prophets. We bury our dead looking East, ready to rise again when He calls. We do not know the day or the hour, and we fear to be found sinning instead of doing His will. But we know that He will come.
It is not metaphorical. We will have new bodies; we will need someplace to walk our new bare feet around. :):)
As to procreation, Our LORD himself said that would not occur in the next life. The everlasting body (“spiritual body”, pneumatikon soma) holds not biological life, which must be reproduced, but endless life.
Yes, new bodies, like Christs resurrection body, in this universe.
Luke 24:36 “As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them”
…we must consider the verses prior to Apocalypse 21:1 (new Heaven and earth):
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]14 And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire.
Clearly there’s an order of things… the new Heaven and earth is post the Day Judgment–also demonstrated in the following verses:
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
…then we must consider what actually takes place at the Parousia (Second Coming):
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God: neither shall corruption possess incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed. 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality.
(1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
…so there will no longer be the same system… as for conception… here’s what Jesus Revealed about it:
29 And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.
(St. Matthew 22:29-30)
…as for living on earth forever… the passage is not quite clear… new Heaven and new earth seems to imply that in deed there’s a re-Creation… but note the following:
10 And he took me up in spirit to a great and high mountain: and he shewed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
22 And I saw no temple therein. For the Lord God Almighty is the temple thereof, and the Lamb. 23 And the city hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it. For the glory of God hath enlightened it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof. 24 And the nations shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates thereof shall not be shut by day: for there shall be no night there.
(Apocalypse 21:10, 22-25)
…does this means that God is abandoning Heaven or that earth will become part of Heaven akin to Jacob’s Ladder?
…so no Heaven and no hell and, I suppose, no Judgment either?
…no battle in Heaven and no battle against Christ’s Followers?
…and when St. Peter speaks of the melting elements and of Christ descending to Preach to the poor imprisoned souls, also just metaphors?
Yes, metaphors, not the physical sun, moon, stars
Revelation 12:1 “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”
Revelation 1:20 “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches”
The twelve stars are the twelve Apostles. The seven stars are the seven Church leaders in Asia Minor, that Jesus is addressing.