Are the new heavens and new earth been already made or will it be created in the future?
This is a question that leaves me wondering whether an answer one way or another will make any difference in how you and I must live our lives on this earth.
In the Old Testament, the phrase "new heavens and a new earth" was used to state that there would be a complete change. It was used symbolically, such as describing Israel's return from captivity, or the change in the law that came with the Messiah.
"But I am the LORD your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared-The LORD of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, 'You are My people.'" (Isaiah 51:16)
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy" (Isaiah 65:17).
"For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD, "So shall your descendants and your name remain" (Isaiah 66:22).
But these phrases are quoted in the New Testament with a new twist. The physical world, we learn is not meant to last forever. "You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail" (Hebrews 1:10-12). They will be destroyed. "But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. ... But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (II Peter 3:7, 10-12). Thus, when this age ends, there will be another complete change, but that change will include the removal of the current world, literally.
But that change doesn't mean we will be without a home. Jesus told his disciples, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3). Thus, we look forward to a new home. "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (II Peter 3:13). The same thought is echoed in Revelation: "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea" (Revelation 21:1). The sea was symbolic of the separation distance between God and man. In our new home, there will no longer be a separation between God and man because sin will be done away with (Isaiah 59:1-2).
The point in all of this is not when the new home is created but the fact that it will be there waiting for us at the proper time. If God can create an entire universe in six days, He will have no difficulty creating a home for us at the appropriate time.