1. I. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD IS NOT MEANT BY THE DAY OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.
Those who have not known the spiritual sense of the Word, have understood that everything in the visible world will be destroyed in the day of the Last Judgment; for it is said, that heaven and earth are then to perish, and that God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth. In this opinion they have also confirmed themselves because it is said, that all are then to rise from their graves, and that the good are then to be separated from the evil, with more to the same purport. But it is thus said in the sense of the letter of the Word, because the sense of the letter of the Word is natural, and in the ultimate of Divine order, where each and every part contains a spiritual sense within it. For which reason, he who comprehends the Word only according to the sense of the letter, may be led into various opinions, as indeed has been the case in the Christian world, where so many heresies have thus arisen, and every one of them is confirmed from the Word. But since no one has hitherto known, that in the whole and in every part of the Word there is a spiritual sense, nor even what the spiritual sense is, therefore they who have embraced this opinion concerning the Last Judgment are excusable. But still they may now know, that neither the visible heaven nor the habitable earth will perish, but that both will endure; and that by "the New Heaven and the New Earth" is meant a New Church, both in the heavens and on the earth. It is said a New Church in the heavens, for there is a church in the heavens, as well as on the earth; for there also is the Word, and likewise preachings, and Divine worship as on the earth; but with a difference, that there all things are in a more perfect state, because there they are not in the natural world, but in the spiritual; hence all there are spiritual men, and not natural as they were in the world. That it is so, may be seen in the work on Heaven, in a special article there, on the Conjunction of Heaven with man by the Word (n. 303-310); and on Divine Worship in Heaven (n. 221-227).