In biblical creationist discussions and presentations we often talk about the restoration of the Universe back to its original perfect uncursed state that it had before the Creator destroyed the perfect paradise. That Curse was put on all creation and we see that the removal of the Curse is an integral part of understanding the message of the Bible, especially the gospel.
It was because of Adam’s original sin that the Universe was cursed and altered in a way that brought forth all types of imperfections in all living creatures, resulting in sickness, disease, mutations, death, violence and the many sins of mankind.
The usual image used to illustrate this is to show that sin caused the world to be corrupted but later God will remove the Curse and restore the perfect paradise of His original creation. See illustration below.
The usual scripture we cite is Romans 8:21,22:
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [deadly decay] into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails [suffers] in pain together until now. (KJVER)
From that it is quite clear that the Apostle Paul is referring to the state of humans when the word “creature” is used. It is translated from the Greek word κτίσις (ktisis), which has the meaning of “original formation”. Thus the Lord is telling us that He will deliver from corruption His created creatures which were not originally subject to the Curse, but are now. This includes all those originally created life-forms. It won’t include any man created chimeras, made via genetic manipulations.
In the verse 22 the Apostle writes the whole creation groans and suffers. Many YEC biblical creationists apply that to the whole Universe. So when the Curse is lifted they argue that God wipes out all the stars and creates a new Universe. This is based on the idea of the creation of a new heaven (interpreted to mean the whole starry heavens) and a new earth as described in verses like Revelation 21:1.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (KJVER)
I have argued that I believe the restoration is real enough but that it is a renovation or a refurbishment of the planet Earth with all the saved and of course the atmospheric heavens around it. Read Do the heavens literally pass away or don’t they?
Reading the whole chapter of Romans 8 we see it is mostly about the renovation of man through salvation in Christ; about man’s spiritual redemption. Of course man is more than just a soul, so it makes sense to understand it in a physical sense too.
I have also argued that at some point in the future of the Universe, and I mean the whole Universe, the Creator will reverse entropy increasing to produce a stable and eternally existing, non-decaying, Universe. Read Our eternal Universe. This article has also been published in the Journal of Creation Vol. 30(3):104-109, 2016. The next issue of the journal will have two Letters to the Editor arguing against my thesis of an eternal Universe with my responses to them. If you don’t subscribe you can buy a subscription now and even get access to the electronic version.
Now let’s read the next verse in Romans 8.
Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body. (KJVER)
It is quite clear that the adoption is spiritual, yet Paul refers to “the redemption of our body.” The word “redemption” is translated from the Greek word ἀπολύτρωσις (apolutrosis), which has the meaning of “ransom in full” or simply “salvation”. But when the ransom was paid Christ redeemed us and He promised to make mansions in heaven (John 14) for us to live in. So the sense is also of the body which God has promised to rejuvenate or make some new type of body for us (1 Corinthians 15:40-44, 51-53) like Jesus had after His resurrection.
Now I speculate. Could it be that when God raises the dead, resurrects our bodies, and restores the earth to its former glory, after Christ’s second coming that that is the same moment that He reverses entropy in the Universe, making the Universe isentropic (no further change; constant; no decay)? This will be done in the same manner that He did to the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-4:17) that did not burn away until God removed His sustaining power. This way God would be making the Universe eternal for the eternal creatures He forms in the new heaven and new earth.
This does not necessarily mean God stops processes that require decay but that He reverses their effects, with His sustaining power, the same way He did with the burning bush. So in this sense Romans 8:21,22 applies to the whole Universe. All creatures on Earth (there are no others elsewhere), the physical environment of the Earth as well as the rest of the cosmos are “groaning and travailing”, some literally and some metaphorically. Then when Christ returns His glorious presence has the effect of undoing the effects of the Curse.
Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [the heavenly city, new Jerusalem]; and His servants shall serve him:
Revelation 21:4,5 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.
Definitely something to look forward to.