Posts Tagged ‘ Heaven ’

VerseD: Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11, ESV

Wait on God, no matter the circumstance you are in. He has a purpose, ultimately leading to His eternal kingdom being set up on the New Earth.

VerseD: Zechariah 2:10

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord .
Zechariah 2:10, ESV

Heaven is not some ethereal place where we will live forever.

Christ shall establish His Kingdom on the new Earth, and we will live with God and He with us in this renewed world!

Where Jesus Spends His Time Today

Seek the wisdom of God, and find a taste at Proverbial Thought!

This past Sunday much of the Christian world celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Interesting note: this past Wednesday was probably the actual anniversary of the event.)

Last week I mentioned where Jesus spent the Passover when most Jews (except His followers and some others, I am sure!) were celebrating their freedom to worship God. Come Sunday morning, He proved He was God when He was raised from the dead!

Happily ever after, right?

Close.

There is still more to the story:

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:1-11, ESV

The message this week is simple: our Lord is in heaven. Our Risen Savior has given us a hope for eternal life, and He sits at the right hand of the Father. He is in control!

AND HE IS COMING BACK AGAIN!

Waiting for the New

Get your thrills (and some wisdom) over at Proverbial Thought!

Jesus said to His disciples just before His arrest, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

My wife and I have thought about this verse a lot recently (such as in this post last month).

Home Renovations

As of this posting, we have had they keys to our house for a week and a half!

The promise has been made. We have a home.

The thing is, it has been We have keys to our first home! and emptied by people, so we cannot move in, yet.

On top of being summer in Phoenix, AZ, we have needed to go in (early, to avoid the 115 degree or higher temperatures in a house without air conditioning) to clean things before they can be painted.

We have to keep meeting with people to figure out colors, placements, designs, materials, and all of the hows and whys.

It takes cleaning things, removing walls and fixtures, building new walls and fixtures, renewing the electricity and water, replacing floors and ceilings and doors and locks.

Did I mention this is in the summer heat of Phoenix, Arizona?

And we cannot do it all. We have to have help every single step of the way, those with the knowledge and expertise to make our dirty, empty house into a beautiful new home.

It can be overwhelming at times, and sometimes it can be discouraging as we wait. But we have a hope that keeps us going that one day we can go to our home.

Spiritual Renovations

Likewise, we experience difficulties in this life for a myriad of reasons. As Christians, we know that God is preparing us for our Home with Him.

We will go through changes, many as we choose to let the Holy Spirit change us and many as God moves us through situations and seasons to change us.

All the while we see how fallen our world is, and we long for a better home.

Actually, I think Paul said it best:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5

We may face struggles and troubles in this life, but we can endure. We endure because Jesus Christ made us a promise that He is getting a Home ready for us, and He proved His promise is true by dying on a cross and rising from the dead three days later.

If Jesus can come back from the dead, He will come back to Earth one day to take us Home!

Imagine There’s No Heaven – It’s Easy If You Try

First, I ask that you please pray this week, as we are with our youth in Colorado Springs, CO, for the Desperation Youth Conference!

Second, make sure to read David’s thoughts today and the rest of ours every day over at Proverbial Thought!

John Lennon offered this atheistic approach to life in the song “Imagine” that there is no Heaven … nor Hell, for that matter.

I am going to argue why he was right and wrong!

For starters, I must put this disclaimer: no one living on Earth truly understands Heaven and Hell.

I would even argue that most people on this planet are almost completely wrong on their beliefs on Heaven and Hell, including pastors, priests, and other clergy.

I am not going to get into a long list that dives deep into all of the theology of Heaven and Hell.

Why John was wrong

For starters, there indeed is a spiritual realm. For anyone who believes as an atheist, at the very least you have to acknowledge that there is a realm of reality which we cannot see and we know has an effect on our universe. We just argue that the spiritual realm is such a place.

Again, this is not where I dive into the deeply theological parts of this. Though, here are a few places in which we know something else exists:

Why John was right

We hear many Christians talking about spending eternity in Heaven or Hell.

Quite honestly, as they seem to be understood in at least our Western culture, I do not think so.

If you go with the definition of Heaven as “with God” and Hell as “not with God,” then I concede and concur with you.

However, many Christians see Heaven as the place we go to be with God when we die if we believed in Him, and Hell is the place we go to not be with God when we die if we did not or refused to believe in Him. Most Christians agree that eventually God will ultimately judge all the people, the living and the dead, at some point in what we call the future.

(Disclaimer: I hold to the Revelation of John being a prophecy that, while some things may have come true, has largely yet to take place. If you disagree, we can have that conversation later!)

Here is the thing: God will one day make His home among His people on a renewed Earth, and all those who reject Him will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20).

As it stands, nothing as it is will exist:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:1-5

Perhaps you can understand now why I say John Lennon can be right.

I am not an Universalist, and I am not claiming to be an Annihilationist, but I do not believe everyone will be in “Hell” for eternity. Again, what this really means is for another discussion. However, the places we tend to call Heaven and Hell, as evidenced in the Scripture above, will no longer be.

Are there any thoughts on this?