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Imagining Heaven: What will we find in heaven?

 

March 29, 2019



Many of the ideas and Scriptures used in this article are from the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 states, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”

As believers we should live our lives with the expectation that the best is yet to come. We will have trouble in this world. We need to remember that Jesus has overcome. We too shall overcome our enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

How we handle the death of loved ones and friends says a lot to others. Some people are extremely emotional. My Italian grandmother did not physically die when her husband passed away but she never appeared to get over his death.

If our friends and relatives have a relationship with Jesus when they die it is still difficult to deal with their deaths but we have a hope that one day we will see them again. There is no hope for those who do not have a relationship with Jesus when they die. Only God knows who has believed in His Son. We need to make sure that we are right with God and then we should be ambassadors and emissaries for our King. In this manner we can be the church and expand the Kingdom.

Randy Alcorn teaches that the heaven we will go to when we die, the present Heaven, is a temporary dwelling place, a stop along the way to our final destination, the New Earth. After the Great White Throne Judgment (which is for unbelievers), Hell will be cast into the eternal lake of fire.

Revelation instructs us that 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. Revelation 22:1 says, “the throne of God and of the Lamb” is in the New Jerusalem, which is brought down to the New Earth.

As I type this I am reminded in the “Our Father” that we pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God will dwell on the New Earth.

How do we comfort and encourage someone when they lose a loved one who was a believer? I like Luke 23:43 where Jesus instructs the forgiven criminal, “Today you will be with me in paradise”. The moment I die I will be with Jesus. My bones or ashes will still be on this earth but my spirit will be with Jesus. One day I will get a new body. That will be great.

Solomon instructed us in Ecclesiastes 12:7 “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

Acts 7:55-56 states “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’”. Right now Jesus is at the right hand of God. The Holy Spirit has taken up residency in every believer and God is everywhere. We don’t see clearly yet, but eventually we will see more clearly than we do now. For now we can rely on scriptures and the Holy Spirit to give us encouragement about our future residence with God.

Scripture shows us that there are scrolls in Heaven, elders, martyrs, musical instruments (trumpets), horses and an eagle. Young children and some adults have asked me if there are animals in Heaven. Well according to Revelation there are. I don’t know if I will get to see my old hunting dog Abby or my toy poodle Murphy in heaven but I hope I do. All creation is waiting eagerly for the day when God will reveal who His children are.

The overcomers will be given the right to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God. Our new bodies will be able to eat and enjoy the bounty of the tree of life. I am looking forward to a body that does not experience pain, wear out, or fail. I am excited to hear excellently, see clearly, breathe without restrictions, taste and smell at unprecedented levels and experience and enjoy what Adam and Eve must have experienced before they sinned.

I am looking forward to having a mind that does not forget things. I am looking forward to a place that is far better than I can imagine. Until that time let’s work on bringing as many people to Heaven through a relationship with Jesus as we possibly can.

May God bless you big.

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This is the third in a series of articles examining the Christian view of heaven by Kevin Barsotti, pastor of Ark Church in Havre.

 

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