Here is another interesting question from a friend:
Can God bring about everlasting life on Earth?
That is God's intention with the earth, life everlasting here. God and man living together forever. Things as they are now are not what will continue to be. All of creation is waiting for that Day when Jesus returns and restores not only those who have placed their faith in Him but the earth and this universe as well.
This is what the Bible says in Romans 8:19-22
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
When we die the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:7, "... and the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it."
Jesus says in John 3:14-16, "14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Sure people in Heaven will not die. But they will not stay in Heaven forever. Heaven, in a sense, will be brought to earth along with those dwelling there now. Revelation 21 tells us about this (as addressed in the part after the next part of this answer).
They then asked:
Is God Almighty (or all powerful)?
God created everything and so logically has all power since He is not a part of the creation itself. Time, space and matter all came into existence at the first instance of creation. If God created time, space and matter, He must not be bound by time, space and matter and is therefore infinite, all knowing and all powerful, hence, almighty.
Revelation 1:8 says, "8 'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'"
So if He is almighty and can have complete creative control over the universe, then He can certainly change this universe from one dissolving into decay (running out of usable energy) into one that is everlasting (sustained by His infinite presence).
Does the scripture say anything about that?
All scripture focuses on this. The entire story of the Bible is about God Almighty working to save and restore all of creation (that fell because of man's rebellion) through the redemption brought about by Christ's death and resurrection and full restoration for all creation revealed at His final return.
Jesus suffered and died on a cross and then rose from the dead almost 2000 years ago, proving that He is God and that He has authority over death. He has promised that those who die having repented and are trusting in Him will be raised from the dead as well, in new, perfect bodies and that we will live forever on the renewed earth with Him.
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
2 Peter 3:9-13
9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be on fire and be dissolved, and the elements will melt with the heat. 13 But based on His promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.
Again from my friend:
Why then is the shift to heavenly life?
The "shift to heavenly life" is only temporary as we know Heaven to be now. When our physical body dies our spirit returns to God. The Bible uses the phrase "fallen asleep" (1 Thessalonians 4:13) as a euphemism for death, describing the body's outward appearance. The spirit's departure from the body ends our existence on this earth. The physical part of us "sleeps" until the resurrection, while the spiritual part of us relocates to a conscious existence in Heaven.
Paul wrestled with his longing to consciously be with Christ in spirit or to remain in his body and continue the work for the gospel. He writes about this in Philippians 1:21-24:
"21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body."
Paul did stay around for awhile and taught more about repentance and faith that will secure anyone's place with Christ in Heaven when we die and on earth forever when He returns.
Look at this passage from the Old Testament...
Daniel 12:2-3 reads:
"2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."
And then in the New Testament...
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 reads:
"13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words."
And with Christ's return those who have placed their faith in Him will inhabit new, undying, everlasting bodies like His to live with Him forever on the earth.
1 Corinthians 15:41-50:
"41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 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 it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable."
All of this has focused on those going to Heaven or dying with faith in Christ. Another interesting question at this point is why do people go to Heaven anyway?
"It is appointed man once to die and after that to face the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
A very popular assumption is that if my good outweighs my bad then I should be OK when I get there. "I'm a pretty good person, and I think God is going to take that into consideration." But what would concern me is this: How good is good enough? Where is the line drawn to let me know if I really am OK?
The Bible gives a test for this goodness and it is called the 10 Commandments.
Do you think you have kept the 10 Commandments? Have you ever told a lie? Ever stolen something? Ever coveted? Ever lusted? Ever used God's name in vain? Ever disobeyed your parents? Has God always been first in your life?
I've broken all of them.
Standing before God, would He find you innocent or guilty of breaking His commands? He will find you guilty if you have broken even one. If guilty, would He send you to Heaven (reward) or hell (punishment)?
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23).
None of us can measure up to the standard of God's righteousness. You are guilty (and so am I) of sinning (breaking His laws) against God Himself, and, because you have a conscience, (con-with, science-knowledge) you have sinned "with knowledge." Isn't it true that every time you lied, stole, lusted, etc., that you knew it was wrong? I knew it every time.
Some more bad news though. You have actually angered God by your sin and are made an "enemy of God in your mind through your wicked works," (Colossians 1:21) This news scared me. If God is all powerful and was able to create the entire universe out of nothing, I know I certainly didn't want to be His enemy.
People go to hell because they have broken God's Laws and in order for God to be good He must be just and punish all lawbreakers (you, me and the whole world).
So that's the bad news.
The Good News is...even though we broke the law... Jesus (God in flesh) paid our fine.
The Bible tells us there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22) And so Jesus shed His for us on the cross... And we can trust Him and what He did because He rose from the dead. No one else has power over death.
In response to Him you should Repent: You as a fallen human are a rebel who must lay down his arms, which are sins, surrendering to God, saying you are sorry, realizing you have broken His law, and are ready to start life over again (being born-again)that is the only way out... This process of surrender is what God calls repentance. "Now he commands all people everywhere to repent..." (Acts 17:30) You must cry out to Him for mercy, turn away from your sins, and He will give you full pardon, for all sins past, present and future.
And place your Faith in Him: Be faithful to follow after Jesus and obey His commands. Read the Bible daily and do His will. "He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.." (1 John 1:9)
God does not want you, or anyone, to perish. He is rich in mercy and compassion, and has provided a way for you to be forgiven. He has invited you to come to Him for a FULL PARDON and receive the free gift of Eternal Life. You cannot earn it, and you don't deserve it, but God is offering it to you as proof of His love for you.