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Imagining Heaven: The end of the earth will be rebirth

 


When I began pastoring, my pastor instructed me to stay away from end times teaching at the beginning of my ministry. After 24 years, I am still somewhat hesitant to teach on some topics that stretch me but that is how we grow. In this series on heaven we have been challenging some of the lies of the devil.

As we pursue a deeper relationship with God and anticipate going to heaven we can search the Bible as to what heaven may look like. We know that we are closer to the return of Jesus than we were yesterday. The Bible talks of a time that we call the millennium. It is a time where the devil is bound for 1,000 years. During that time the nations are no longer deceived. Revelation Chapter 20 tells us that some who were beheaded come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years. The next verse begins, “(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) Saints will be priests and kings for a thousand years.

I need to clarify who a saint is. A saint is a believer in Jesus. At the conclusion of the thousand years Satan will be loosed and he will instigate a final rebellion against God. The end times, tribulation, suffering, resurrection, heaven, hell, the return of Jesus and judgment are some of the major topics that can consume much of our thinking. I encourage you to believe in Jesus, repent and seek God. I suspect that most of us will have to have some teaching in Heaven in order to clarify and correct some of our beliefs about the above topics. Rather than give up and not study difficult topics, let’s press on and examine what the Bible has to say regarding heaven. Jesus told us that He was coming soon. He said that His reward was with Him and that He would give to everyone according to what he has done.

God tells us in Isaiah that He will create new heavens and a new earth. I used to think that the present earth would be totally obliterated. When Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago people wanted the Messiah to set up a physical Kingdom on Earth. Eventually that will happen.

Jesus teaches us that heaven and earth will pass away. We know that the day of the Lord will come like a thief. Peter tells us that the heavens will disappear with a roar and the elements will be destroyed by fire while the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Revelation 21 instructs us that the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

In Ecclesiastes Solomon teaches us that the earth remains forever. Scripture teaches us a temporary destruction reversed through resurrection and restoration. Herman Bavinck stated, “According to Scripture the present world will neither continue forever nor will it be destroyed and replaced by a totally new one. Instead it will be cleansed of sin and re-created, reborn, renewed, made whole.”

Randy Alcorn suggests that one way we can think of the coming destruction by fire is to remember the flood in Genesis where everything was wiped out and then we started over. The fire will consume the bad. We also know that fire refines the good. There will be continuity between the current earth and the New Earth much like I believe that there will be continuity between what we look like on this earth and what we will look like on the New Earth.

I admit that I have learned a lot about heaven in my recent studies. I had believed the lie of the devil that heaven would be boring. Now I am more excited than ever to be with Jesus, to enjoy heaven, and to help friends, relatives and acquaintances believe in Jesus. I want to help people store up treasures in heaven while positioning themselves to be blessed and rewarded. You and I were made for Jesus and eaven.

May God bless you big.

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

 

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