Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement fresco, housed in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo

he End

What is the ultimate end of the universe?

In the far, far future, according to some modern astronomers and cosmologists, the universe will eventually expand so much it will reach maximum entropy, resulting in a “big freeze.”

The Bible also describes the end of creation. According to it, the present world will be made new. In the future, those who follow God will live in fellowship with him for eternity.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. . . . [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.”
Revelation 21:1, 4

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This engraving by Gustave Doré depicts a scene from Dante’s Paradiso. Angels and the souls of the faithful swirl around God, who is shown as a source of light.
Gustave Doré, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Life in the World to Come

This biblical vision of God’s future paradise has inspired writers, composers, and artists to imagine what this place might be like.

From Dante’s medieval work Paradiso to John Newton’s classic “Amazing Grace,” the resulting literature, music, and art have become some of the most beloved works of the past several centuries.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

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This exhibition explores the Bible’s role in the historical relationship between science and religion. Many today believe that religious faith and the natural sciences are very separate subjects. Indeed, many consider the Bible to be an obstacle to scientific progress. Yet, for centuries, faith and the study of nature were very much entangled. At times, biblical beliefs helped encourage people to study the world. They even influenced the rise of science as we know it today.