The New World

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

The phrase “the new world” as applied to the two American continents is believed to have been coined by the explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who claimed to have been the first to sight the actual mainland. This is believed to be the chief reason why America was named after him rather than Christopher Columbus, who had “discovered” some of the islands of the West Indies just a few years before. (Actually, some of the Norsemen and possibly others discovered this new world several centuries before either one—not to mention the American “Indians,” who reached the continent much earlier than any of them.)

Columbus himself has many memorials named after him, of course. Think of the many cities named Columbus or Columbia, as well as the great Columbia River. Even America itself has been called Columbia in a number of songs and poems.

But was not a new world to God! It has been here all along, and we are thankful to be a part of it today.

There is a real new world coming, however! The Old Testament prophet Isaiah received God’s promise long ago. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). The New Testament prophet John actually described it as seen in a wonderful vision. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” he said, and then described some of its beauties (see Revelation 21:1).

But the apostle Peter transmitted the most wonderful news of all about this new world when he wrote that “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). And all of us who by faith have been made righteous in Christ shall live there forever! HMM

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