Question: Does Revelation 21:1 teach that in the new earth there will be no more oceans?
Fortunately for those of us who love the water, Revelation 21:1 is likely not a reference to the disappearance of earth’s oceans. There are a couple of supporting evidences for this conclusion.
The first evidence is found in the word for “sea” (Gk. thalassa). "Thalassa" is in the singular, not plural. It is not referring to all the oceans and lakes in the world, but only one. The phrase “the Sea” would refer to the principal body of water people lived closest to, such as the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea or the Sea of Galilee. That body of water envisioned in Revelation 21:1 would probably be the Mediterranean Sea, which formed the western boundary of Israel.
It is important to remember that earth’s geography will be dramatically altered by the cataclysmic events of the End Times. A third of the earth’s land mass will be destroyed by fire (Rev. 8:7). A massive meteor will crash into an ocean, creating a multi-megaton explosion that will destroy much of the world’s shipping, sea life and cause, in effect, a deadly nuclear winter over a third of the planet (Rev. 8:10-12). Elsewhere, the Euphrates River, among others, will be dried up beneath a broiling sun (Rev. 16:8-12). Mountains will be flattened, cities turned to rubble, and islands will be swept beneath Tsunami ocean waves by global paroxysms of devastating earthquakes (Rev. 16:18-20). In all of this upheaval, “the Sea” (Mediterranean?) will disappear.
Finally, at the return of the Lord Himself…
2Pet. 3:10b The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 12b … That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
The second evidence is found in the context of Revelation 21:1. “No more sea” is described as a feature of the “new” heaven and the “new” earth. There are two words in the NT Greek for “new.” Neos would be the word used to describe one thing replacing another. However, the word used in Rev. 21:1 is kaine, which means “fresh,” or new in quality, as opposed to “new” in the sense of time (neos). In other words, the new heavens and new earth are not a replacement but rather the original creation that has been “laid bare” will be renewed and made fresh and whole.
The original creation will be wiped clean (“rolled up”; “laid bare”). The earth that was “destroyed” and the elements that were “melted” will be refashioned into a heavens and earth fit for man and all God’s creatures, complete with ocean, lakes, rivers and woodlands, yet eternally free from sin, evil and death.
Is. 66:22-23 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD.”