â€œFor here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.â€Â Â Â (Hebrews 13:14)
The phrase â€œthe new worldâ€ 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 â€œAmericaâ€ was named after him rather than Christopher Columbus, who had â€œdiscoveredâ€ some of the islands of the West Indies just a few years before. (Actually, some of the Norsemen and possibly others â€œdiscoveredâ€ this new world several centuries before either oneâ€”not to mention the American â€œIndiansâ€ who reached the continent much earlier than any of them.)
Columbus himself has many memorials named after him too, 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 â€œnew worldâ€ 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 received Godâ€™s promise long ago. â€œFor, behold, I create new heavens and a new earthâ€ (Isaiah 65:17). The New Testament prophet, John, actually described it as seen in a wonderful vision. â€œAnd I saw a new heaven and a new earth,â€ 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 â€œwe, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousnessâ€ (2 Peter 3:13). And all of us, who by faith have been made righteous in Christ, shall live there forever! HMM