Dreaming of Heaven – Article 26


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Answers for the Kid in all of us, from 3-103.
A series by Amy Jo Roland on excerpts
from Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven for Kids epm.org

What’s the difference between the
present Heaven and the Future Heaven?

Have you ever thought about the fact that how Heaven is situated right now will change when God comes bringing Heaven with Him to the New Earth?  I, for one, was surprised when the scriptures in this regard were shown to me.  I found it settling to think that if the earth will be burned up (according to Revelation 21), since God is so into making things new,  it very well may be that when Jesus comes back He may bring a resurrection of Earth making it the New Earth.  And it may be even in the same place in space that is now—which seems more familiar and comfortable to my thinking.  How have you pictured in your mind where we’ll be making our eternal home—before and after the end of the world as we now know it?

According to Randy Alcorn, this is a good subject to be checking out.  He responds to our natural curiosity with the following response:

“Good question.  The present Heaven is where angels live and where people go as soon as they die.  Remember, it’s a great place.  The Bible says that to die and be with Christ ‘is even better’ (Philippians 1:21) than being here now, even if we have a life that we really like.

“The future Heaven will eventually be the home of God’s people who are now living either on Earth or in the present Heaven.  The coolest thing about this is that God will live with us there too!”

Alcorn points out that John writes in Revelation, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. . . .I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people!  He will live with them, and they will be his people’ (Revelation 2:1,3).”

Alcorn goes on to say that some people are not sure that the New Earth should be called “Heaven.”  Is it really correct?  He calls us to consider that whatever specific place that God chooses to make his dwelling, that is, in fact, “Heaven!”  According to Ephesians 1:10, God has perfectly planned to ‘bring  everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.’

“Whenever we pray,” says Alcorn, “‘Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’: we are looking forward to the day when Heaven and Earth will be together, no longer separate from each other.

“Jesus says about all people who want to be his followers, ‘My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them’ (John 14:23).  So, we can look forward to living with God on the New Earth.  And that New Earth won’t seem strange to us.  It will be our home.  It will be all the good things that we love about this earth except w-a-a-y better.  After all, God made people to live on the earth.  And the New Earth will be very much like this one, except without the bad things.”

I believe that Alcorn makes a good argument from scripture that there will be a renewal of Earth which is where God will dwell with mankind.  This truth alone takes much of the strangeness out of the idea of Heaven and also helps us to see something about God’s character.  He is not intending to rip the carpet out from under us so to speak.  God created trees and said they were good.  The Bible says there will be trees in Heaven.  God created rivers, light, animals, fish, birds, and all these things that He declared good.  The main difference the Bible gives us between Earth and Heaven is that He will purge out sin and death, and that He will Himself be present with His people in Heaven.  Alcorn is right that Heaven is where God lives.  Is it surprising that Jesus said over and over that “The Kingdom of God/Heaven is at hand.”?  If Jesus is in the room, you are standing very near to Heaven.  And this is not a mystical state-of-mind or something.  It is reality.  Immanuel, one of Jesus’ titles means “God is with us.”  There are a lot of things that will change to be sure, but the main reason they will change is because of God’s presence.

Let’s make great efforts to get to know His power and love by enjoying His Presence now.  A great way to do this is to take to heart His Scriptures, written lovingly to help us to know Him and to trust Him with directing our steps daily.  Great books (by gifted writer, Sarah Young) that will help you to keep on track are Jesus Calling 365 Devotions For Kids and, for adults, Jesus Calling A 365 – Day Journaling Devotional.


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rolandfs posted at 2013-9-12 Category: Heaven