Q. I was at a home Bible study the other night and the topic of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven came up. The leader of the study said the (new) Earth will be many times larger than it is now in order to accommodate this vast structure. I had never considered that option and always thought as you do that the city will be more like a satellite in orbit. Later I happened to read an article that suggested the same thing. It seemed strange to have never heard of this and then hear it twice within a week. What are your thoughts on this “larger earth” theory?
A. As far as I can tell, the “larger Earth” theory, as you call it, is just someone’s opinion and is without Scriptural support. It appears to have been developed because it’s obvious from its dimensions that the New Jerusalem won’t fit on the present day Earth. So, instead of realizing that the Bible never says the New Jerusalem will land on Earth, they postulate a new Earth big enough to support it.
They also fail to consider the convincing evidence from Matt. 24:29, Zechariah 14:6-7, and Rev. 21:2, 23-24, that the New Jerusalem will replace the Sun and therefore could not be located on Earth, no matter what size it is.
Matt. 24:29 tells us that immediately after the Great tribulation ends the sun will be darkened and the moon will no longer give its light. This appears to be a permanent situation. Zechariah 14:6-7 says on the day of the Lord’s return there will be no light. But when evening comes there will be light.
Rev. 21:2 says that after the Lord’s return, John saw the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven, but He never said anything about it coming to rest on Earth. Finally Rev. 21:23-24 says the nations (of earth) will walk by its light. The only way that can happen is if the New Jerusalem is not part of Earth, but somewhere above it, lighting its various parts as it spins on its axis.
Put this all together and it appears that the New Jerusalem will descend out of Heaven right after the Lord returns and will become Earth’s source of light.