Summary:  Isaiah 65:17-25 is about life on earth when Christ reigns in righteousness.

Discussion:  Isaiah 65:20 is a prophecy that will be fulfilled during Christ’s reign on Earth.  Consider the context. Isaiah 65:17, “See, I will create new heavens (God’s heavenly rule) and a new earth (earth’s society). The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” In Christ’s kingdom, the old, former ways (of this present life) won’t even be remembered. Joy will be abundant, and weeping and sorrow a thing of the past. It states that mankind will be enjoying life and abundance without fear. The last verse of the chapter shows a very peaceful scene with the promise that “none shall hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.” 

During the establishment of the new heavens (Christ’s heavenly rule) and the new earth (Earth’s society), there will be a time of learning, and testing. Isaiah 26:9 (CSB), “when your judgments are in the land,

the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” When all are resurrected, each person will decide how they want to proceed. They will be given clear instructions (Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:34) and every help possible (Isaiah 35). Everyone will need to change their hearts and characters to obey God’s wonderful will.

Additionally, all will need to show some progress within a 100 year period.  If a person opposes righteousness and has no desire to change, he will be thought of as stubbornly immature (an oppositional child) and sinful (accursed). Isaiah 65:20 (NIV), “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years (in eternal life); the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child (refusing to grow up); the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed (condemned for loving sin).” Those who are defiant will be cut off or destroyed forever. Acts 3:23, “Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.”

The Lord only wants willing and thankful worship. Proverbs 23:26 (NIV), “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways”. Those who develop absolute obedience and heart loyalty to God will receive everlasting life on earth! (Revelation 21:4, “…no more death.”)  Most everyone will love this new government, and will bloom and flourish and live forever!