Heaven or Hell?
In the reality, the Biblical one too next, we all still do go to heaven or to hell in a physical body..
(Heb 9:27 KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
And what you or some other persons do believe now also is not important as what God, Jesus, the Apostles, the Bible does clearly teach us.
(Heb 9:28 KJV) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
(Dan 12:2 KJV) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Mark 9 1 And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." 6(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
11And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
12 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."
But do also note that Both Moses and Elijah are already resurrected from death and are in Heaven as the above pasage also clearly teaches us too! Even while many falsely try to deny this. I also still do prefer to let the Bible explain itself..
(Rom 10:3 KJV) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
(Rom 10:4 KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(1 Cor 10:1 KJV) Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
(2 Cor 2:11 KJV) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
(1 Cor 14:38 KJV) But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
(1 Th 4:13 KJV) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Th 5:1 KJV) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
(2 Pet 3:2 KJV) That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.(Rom 11:16 KJV) For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
(Rom 8:23 KJV) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
(1 Cor 15:19 KJV) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
(James 1:18 KJV) Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
(John 20:25 KJV) The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
(Rev 21:1 KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.Heaven and Hell
There are three major meanings to the word heaven in the Bible.
The word "heaven" (Hebrew: shamyim, Greek: ouranos) can mean God’s dwelling place. The Bible says: "The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all." (Psalm 103:19)
Heaven may also refer to the endless planets, stars, and galaxies of the universe. The Bible says: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place…" (Psalm 8:3)
The Bible also speaks of the atmosphere that surrounds the earth as heaven or heavens. (Genesis1: 7, 8)
One must study the context in the Bible to know which meaning is implied.
The Bible is clear on the following:
Heaven is a Real Place and it is eternal
After Jesus was raised from the dead he went to heaven. The Bible says: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) Prior to this Jesus told His disciples: "In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2,3)
Hell too is a Real Place and it is eternal
The Bible says that God prepared hell for the devil and his demonic cohorts (Matthew 25:41), that He is "...not wishing for any [person] to perish but for all to come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9),
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. -Mark 9:43-48
"How will you escape the damnation of Hell?" (Matt. 23:33)
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. -Revelation 20:12-15
We read in the Old Testament, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4), really the idea of the word is that it shall be separated. It is not non-existence or annihilation, but rather it is separation from God.
Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body.
Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God.
God doesn't send anyone to Hell. You send yourself there. God has done everything He possibly can to keep you out of Hell and still leave you as a person with free will
Apostle Paul stated that individuals who unrepentantly engaged in certain prohibited behaviors would certainly also be excluded from heaven. They would "not inherit the kingdom of God."
Galatians 5:19-20 includes the following behaviors: "fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like." (ASV)
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 states that: "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (ASV)
* The New American Version translates these as "boy prostitutes, practicing homosexuals." Their footnote defines the latter as referring to men who sexually abuse boys.
We will have our glorified physical bodies in heaven
Our bodies will be free from disease, pain and death in heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:40-49) We will still have physical bodies. The Bible says: For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body. (Philippians 3:20,21) The body of Jesus after His resurrection was physical. Jesus said: "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." (Luke 24:39) We will be able to recognize our loved ones. The Bible says: "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Passages in the New Testament gospels emphasize Jesus resurrected physical body, his ability to speak and to eat:Matthew 28:9: Jesus is described as speaking; two women clasped his feet.
Luke 24:15: Jesus meets two disciples; he walks and eats bread with them.
Luke 24:15: Jesus shows his disciples the wounds in his hands and feet. Then he ate some fish, perhaps to emphasize that he was in his human body.
Luke 24:50: Jesus raised his hands and blessed them. Then he was taken up into heaven
John 20:20-27: Jesus twice shows his disciples his injured hands and side.
John 21:12-13: The disciples ate breakfast with Jesus.
One of the main continual topics in the New Testament is the physical resurrection of our bodies.. The concept of the resurrection is found in the Old Testament - though not as pronounced as it comes to light in the New Testament..
“But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection of the dead…neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God” (Luke 20:35-36).
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself (Philippians 3:20-21).
(1 Pet 1:3 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(1 Pet 3:21 KJV) The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
In the apostle's creed, we say "I believe in the resurrection of the body." This is a very important Christian doctrine that is essential to understand. Salvation does not only involve our souls--it involves our whole person, and thus our bodies as well. If we neglect this truth, we will only have a partial view of our salvation. Thus, the future resurrection of our bodies, called "glorification," is important, very real. To now neglect this truth is to neglect one of the central doctrines of the Bible and Christian faith. The apostle Paul himself maintained that the Lord’s resurrection is Heaven’s guarantee that we too shall be raised. Jesus will give us all the complete Victory by Him.
Heaven which is being in close proximity with Christ, in a place that is far better than even the best that this world can provide compares to nothing on earth at ll, it is a far far better place.
(Phil 1:21 KJV) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Phil 1:22 KJV) But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
(Phil 1:23 KJV) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Jesus removed the fear and terror out of anticipating death for the godly
(Heb 2:15 KJV) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
(Heb 2:16 KJV) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
He Jesus and the apostles they shed light on what awaits us in heaven, eternally resurrected, redeemed bodies.
(2 Tim 1:10 KJV) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
(2 Tim 1:11 KJV) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
(Mat 22:30 KJV) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
(Mat 22:31 KJV) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
The Scriptures teach plainly that our resurrection bodies will be substantially identical to the bodies we now possess, only modified in terms of sinlessness and incorruptibility.. The Bible teaches that our bodies will be like Christ's, they will be physical, and they will be the same body we had on earth--but transformed into a more glorious existence. There are many passages which teach that both believers and unbelievers will be raised. Acts 24:15 says, "There shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." John 5:28-29 says, "For an hour is coming , in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement." Unbelievers will thus suffer eternal punishment in their bodies, in hell: "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
One of the issue that seems to cause some ambiguity is when will both the Christian and non Christians be resurrected in their bodies.. when is not important as the act that they all will be resurrected.
The Classical Christian doctrine says that when a believer dies their soul is separated from their body and immediately goes to be with Christ in heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:8 says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Then, at the Second Coming of Christ, the bodies of all believers who have died will be resurrected and reunited with their souls (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:52). Immediately after this, the believers who are living still alive at Christ's return will have their bodies transformed, and they will be brought up to the sky with Christ and the believers of old.
"When this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, `Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting'" (1 Cor. 15:54-55).
In light of Jesus’ resurrection, we know that our own body will be gloriously raised in the future (Phil 3:21 KJV) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
We have been liberated from fretting about our physical appearance. It should not bother us if we are not the ideal height, weight, and so on.
This physical body that we now all do have is not the original one that both Adam and Eve had, which was was corrupted, limited next because of Adam and Eve' sins.
(1 Cor 15:42 KJV) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
(1 Cor 15:43 KJV) It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
(1 Cor 15:44 KJV) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
In his defense before Agrippa, Paul asked his Jewish audience: “Why is it judged incredible with you, if God doth raise the dead?” (Acts 26:8). There have always been those groups, persons who still found the concept of the bodily resurrection unbelievable, and their modern counterparts exists- sadly even in within the framework of “Christendom.” It is never a surprise that the devil make a counter claim to any viable basic Christian truth, doctrine as well. Also the Cultish groups also falsely do have a problem with the doctrine that God will raise the body. The “Jehovah’s Witnesses” assert that the incorrigibly wicked “will never be remembered for resurrection” (Make Sure of All Things, p. 314). We need to stick with what the Bible says always, and not what mere man or the devil says.
We can also pray for a preview here on earth of our resurrected heavenly bodies. and we do so when we pray for the healing of our sick parts of the body.
(1 John 4:3 KJV) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Some professing Christians sadly even such as the Christadelphian cult, they wrongfully do not believe that we go immediately to heaven when we die, and some they not believe in the immortality of the soul or of Hell now too, . and falsely some they do not believe the son of man, Jesus Christ had descended literally from heaven, and to some of them "The Kingdom of Heaven is spiritual place only, it is the rule of God in the hearts of believers, where Jesus established this "new age", this promised kingdom long ago. As the true gospel is preached to all of the earth, then another age called the age of "light and Life will next come in. This is the most likely time for the real return of Christ, but to them wrongfully it will be just a visit as Christ supposedly now oversees many worlds and resides on his own. To them there is no resurrection of the dead presently to anyone who has died on earth. they wrongfully believe that we are resurrected in a new form and continue to grow spiritually translating through many different "mansions" until we reach our reunion with the father after which we enter into eternal service in Gods vast creation. We join the core of the finality." Their's too also is a false salvation based on one's personal works and not the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Christadelphians also wrongfully have explained away, or rationalized away entire episodes in the life of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel as not being still literal but rather a future vision of a future event All of these views also are certainly unbiblical.
While it is true because of the sinfulness of all mankind, and before the death of Jesus Christ on their own good merits (John 3:13 KJV) .. no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
The Bible still clearly teaches that some persons next do go to Heaven and some do go to Hell immediately upon their death..
(Luke 16:20 KJV) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Note the conscious dead rich man is in a physical Hell.. wanted his tongue cooled too.. the poor man was in Heaven, not in a limbo or in an unconscious place..
While it is true that in the Old testament the old testament believers did not ascend directly to heaven, they went to a temporary palce, after the death and resurrection of Jesus all of the Christians went to heaven, paradise, the garden of eden..
(Rom 7:24 KJV) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
The answer is Jesus Christ alone.. not one's religion, one's good works, or the prayers of others after one dies..
(2 Cor 5:8 KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
(Luke 23:43 KJV) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
(2 Cor 12:4 KJV) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
(Rev 2:7 KJV) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
(Mat 27:50 KJV) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many
This first resurrection of the body of believers took place upon the resurrection of Jesus to the right hand of the father., where all of the past sleeping saints were resurrected. and now when any believer dies they do go straight to heaven.
The resurrected lord Jesus Christ next still has a real body, one that we can see and touch... the same one he came to earth in.. and the same one we will see him in .. heaven is not just a spiritual place, it is also a real physical place.
(Acts 1:11 KJV) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
(Job 19:26 KJV) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
(John 7:39 KJV) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 12:23 KJV) And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. (Rom 8:17 KJV) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
(1 Cor 15:35 KJV) But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Prov 30:4 KJV) Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
(John 1:51 KJV) And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II Kings 2:11). (2 Ki 2:11 KJV) And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
(Prov 30:12 KJV) There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Literal heaven is certainly the Bible and an literal body resurrection, and all of those believers who die they will be raised from the dead, in their resurrected, in their now perfected bodies too as Jesus Christ was.
Jesus used the word “Paradise” when He spoke to the thief who was dying on the cross beside Him. “Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:42-43)
1 Corinthians 2:9. “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21-22,
PARADISE: a Persian word meaning "a wooded park," "an enclosed or walled orchard," or "a garden with fruit trees." (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
par·a·dise (păr'ə-dīs', -dīz') n.
1 often Paradise The Garden of Eden.
a The abode of righteous souls after death; heaven.
b An intermediate resting place for righteous souls awaiting the Resurrection.
3 A place of ideal beauty or loveliness.
4 A state of delight.
[Middle English paradis, from Old French, from Late Latin paradīsus, from Greek paradeisos, garden, enclosed park, paradise, from Avestan pairidaēza-, enclosure, park : pairi-, around + daēzō, wall.]
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Gen 2.8
The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2.9b
Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. Gen 2.10
And they (Adam and Eve) heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day Gen 3.8a
Fourteen years ago I was taken up to heaven for a visit. Don't ask me whether my body was there or just my spirit, for I don't know; only God can answer that. But anyway, there I was in Paradise 2 Cor 12.2-4, LB
(Jesus said...) To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Rev 2.7b
So now the Garden of Eden is in Heaven, the very place Jesus said He and the thief, who repented, would be after they died.
and the garden of eden was removed from earth when adam and even sinned.. to me the garden of eden is part of heaven, it is the paradise of God..
Remember also it seems that the devil lived here on earth before earth was recreated next and Adam and Eve we placed on it and the garden of Eden.. Jesus and thus man reclaimed earth for God too.
Now what about Hell?
SIMPLY PUT HELL / Gehenna is ETERNAL DAMNATION in Tormenting Fire that never lets up and never ends for those who reject Christ. HADES, also SHEOL, is the realm of the dead BEFORE the resurrection & Ascension of Jesus Christ. When Christ spent 3 days in Hades, he preached to the lost, then took Believers with Him to Heaven, and sending the lost to Hell/Gehenna, then He closed that place!
Vine's Expository Dictionery says: HELL - Gehenna, Geenna, Ge-Hinnom is found 12 times in the New Testment, each time used by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah Himself. This Hell is Eternal, unquenchable fire. The DOOM.
HADES - The region of departed spirits of the lost. Before the Resurrection & Ascension of Jesus Christ it also included Believers. This is also SHEOL. Neither are correctly rendered 'HELL' meaning eternal fire.
(Mark 9:43 KJV) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Cast into HELL / Gehenna unquenchable fire; where the fire never goes out
(Mat 23:15 KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
- Those who pretended to be religious Jesus called a child of HELL /Gehenna
Matthew 10:28 - Jesus is talking about all our secrets showing up, and says. Do not fear those who kill the body,
but rather be afraid of him who can desroy both soul and body in Gehenna
(Mat 5:22 KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
- Anyone who says 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of HELL / Gehenna. Jesus is telling how strict 'the Law' is/was. To be angry is as bad as murder, to lust is as bad as adultry, etc.
Face it many professing Christians have false doctrines, unbiblical views cause they personally are realy still ignorant of what the Bible says and they have mainly believe falsely what other men have said, they often will quote them rather, even Spurgeon, Scoffield, Darby, Mary Baker, Ryrie, Dr. Thomas, Joseph Smith, etc. what they have said about it instead and also very wrongfully still.
JESUS CHRIST, GOD's ONLY SON - The Bible, is the ONLY WAY to AVOID HELL!!
(Mat 16:18 KJV) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
On this Rock Jesus I will build My church, & the gates of Hell/HADES will not overpower, overcome it (prevail against it). I will give you the Keys of the Kingdom to bind the powers of hell in Jesus' Name. Those you forgive by my word are forgiven, but those you do not forgive are not forgiven.
(John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Are you now saved or lost?
The demon experts, those same fundamental Christians persons who clearly do not know anything personally of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, likely do not even now him, are too often experts though now in bashing those who do.. including the Pentecostals: For example "An interesting article, reaching the same conclusion, appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Feb. 11, 1993; the title speaks for itself: "Pentecostals top charts when it comes to the blues". Why is this? Surely it must be related to the fact that the 'experience' of spirit-possession, which Pentecostals (and others) claim, is no more than a painful psychological con-trick."" These fundamental bashers, actually people abusers are still immoral persons and you do tell what a persons is really like still by what they do..
(Mat 7:17 KJV) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(2 Pet 3:14 KJV) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
(2 Cor 7:10 KJV) For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
(Phil 2:12 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(Phil 2:15 KJV) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
(Phil 2:16 KJV) Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
(Phil 2:21 KJV) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
There is no doubt in my mind that many people who think they are Christians will not end up in heaven.. their belief is rather a belief into a religious culture, it is not a reality of a personal daily fellowship with the living Christ.. Today the workers of Satan are presenting themselves as Christians, even pastors and evangelists of Jesus Christ. They are preaching the word of God to mean just the opposite to what God is saying. "2Cor 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;... Matt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." and they do clearly and wrongfully twist the word of God to do this..
I AM THE TRUE VINE...EVERY BRANCH IN ME (every saved person in Christ Jesus) THAT BEARETH NOT FRUIT (will not serve Jesus or do the will of God) HE TAKETH AWAY...AND CAST THEM INTO THE FIRE-Jn 15:1,2,6.
(2 Pet 2:1 KJV) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
"This Biblical doctrine that a person who has received Jesus Christ, been born into the family of God, and justified by faith, can never again be lost is sometimes called eternal security.Can a saved person ever be lost? Can a Christian, a person who has received Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, sin to such a degree that he will lose his salvation, go to hell or Hades at death, and eventually be consigned to the lake of fire at the great white throne judgment?" That question takes on clearer focus if we first answer two other questions: (1) What does it mean to be lost? (2) What does it mean to be saved? First, that he is saved. If you don’t know you are saved, it is because you are not saved. Second, that he can never again be lost. 1 Peter 1:3-5 says: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith, unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN SO HE COULD BELIEVE AND KNOW! 1 John 5:13; The saint can know he HAS ETERNAL SALVATION!" but can he lose it?
Many Churches are filled with proud, unbroken church members, whose only hope of salvation is that the preacher told them they were saved. Only one type of individual is saved and secure; that is the individual who has really personally BELIEVED GOD. According to your faith it shall be.. Many do, that care little about Christ. We go to church to worship Him, fellowship with other believers and learn about Him. Nevertheless, knowing about Him is not the same as actually knowing Him personally. Attending a church does not make one a true Christian. Being involved with a church, may give an illusion of spirituality, but unless we have personally been 'born again' by accepting Jesus as our own Saviour and Lord, we are still in sin. It is very sad that many sincere people attend church but have never known the assurance of Jesus in their own lives. I spent may wasted years under the delusion that I was a Christian. It was only when I became involved with a church that led me to Christ and I became saved, that Jesus became real. But even then I can chose to no longer follow him on my own.. and Satan will work really hard to try to insure this too.
At any point in our Christian life we can decide to turn back, to choose the things of the world rather than the things of God and heaven. 50 percent of all of the once loudly professing Christians I know eventually do fall away from the Lord, deliberately chose not to follow after him anymore, mainly cause they have a desire to get rich or to experience more of the pleasure of this world.. (Luke 17:32 KJV) Remember Lot's wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
(1 John 2:15 KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
We are saved only through faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. However, we show our faith by our works. It is a manifestation of our love for Him. Keeping God's commandments and doing right are merely the result of His Holy Spirit dwelling in the heart. These are the fruits of the Spirit. We do these things, not in order to be saved, but because we are saved, and as long as we love the Lord with all our heart, we are going to be obedient to Him. We will not let go of the rope. We will continue to cling to Christ as our only hope.
(Job 1:6 KJV) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
(Job 2:1 KJV) Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
(Mat 9:29 KJV) Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
(2 Pet 1:5 KJV) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
I also find it quite humorous, and ironic that the fundamental Christians who are well known for their staunch support and belief of eternal salvation security of believers, even the fundamental Baptists and the Plymouth Brethren groups, they generally do rationalize that the professing Christians who behave like non Christians were never saved in the first place.. there was no doubt that Judas the apostle, one of the 12 , was saved too? These same people who to me really are not honest, really do not rightfully divide the word of truth too, they do still now support wrongfully the concept of eternal salvation are generally the very same persons clearly ignorant of the Holy Spirit's spiritual gifts, for they do wrongfully oppose them mostly, and they do deny their existence today too. How they can now claim to be so biblically right in one are and so biblically wrong in another area now too is a vivid unacceptable contradiction.
It is written, WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST? SHALL TRIBULATION, OR DISTRESS, OR PERSECUTION, OR FAMINE, OR NAKEDNESS, OR PERIL, OR SWORD?-Ro 8:35. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; except ourselves.
Paul said, I KEEP UNDER MY BODY, AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION: LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS, WHEN I HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CASTAWAY-1 Cor 9:27. Paul knew we could lose salvation as also exemplified in the following. BEHOLD THEREFORE THE GOODNESS…OF GOD…IF THOU CONTINUE IN HIS GOODNESS: OTHERWISE THOU ALSO SHALT BE CUT OFF (if you do not continue in faith and obeying the Gospel, you shall be cut off). AND THEY ALSO, IF THEY ABIDE NOT STILL IN UNBELIEF, SHALL BE GRAFTED IN: FOR GOD IS ABLE TO GRAFT THEM IN AGAIN-Ro 11:22,23. They can be saved, but fall into unbelief and lose salvation. However, if they repent and believe again, God can save them again a second time? If Apostle Paul went back to persecuting again the Christians would he have really been considered as saved, eternally secure then too?
God already clearly tells us, WHEN THE RIGHTEOUS TURNETH FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jesus, his faith), AND COMMITTETH INIQUITY, HE SHALL EVEN DIE THEREBY (go to hell). BUT IF THE WICKED TURN FROM HIS WICKEDNESS (repents), AND DO THAT WHICH IS LAWFUL AND RIGHT, HE SHALL LIVE THEREBY-Ezek 33:18,19. These people thought they could not lose salvation. God seems to be displeased that they thought, once saved, always saved. He speaks through Ezekiel with words that seem to explode: (17)-THY PEOPLE SAY, THE WAY OF THE LORD IS NOT EQUAL: BUT AS FOR THEM, THEIR WAY IS NOT EQUAL. These words are for every person who believes once saved, always saved. The way of God, once you surrender to Jesus, is all your sins are erased. They are not remembered. But, if you turn back to sin (turn from your faith), all your good deeds are equally not remembered. God’s ways are totally just. When the RIGHTEOUS MAN DOTH TURN FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND COMMIT INIQUITY...HE SHALL DIE IN HIS SIN, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH HE HATH DONE SHALL NOT BE REMEMBERED-Ezek 3:20.
God created the man from the dust of the earth. Adam was created as a man. Then, God sent his breath into Adam, which is his spirit of man and made him a living soul, who has the everlasting life. God put him in the Garden of Eden, which is the paradise of God. "Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Rev 2:7 ...the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." God and Satan preached their messages to Adam and Eve. God told Adam that he will surely die the eternal death if they disobey God, which is to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan told Eve that they already have eternal life, which is the breath of God. They are already in the Garden of Eden, which is the paradise of God. They are already saved. "ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED" So, surely they will not die the eternal death even if they disobey God. "Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:" Satan succeeded in deceiving Eve and Adam and they ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God punished Satan, Adam and Eve. They lost the eternal life, and History repeats itself..
(Luke 11:23 KJV) He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
The Resurrection Body By: Lehman Strauss , Litt.D., F.R.G.S. With what body do they come? (1 Corinthians 15:35)
Death--The Sleep of the Body
No Biblical description of death is so comforting and consoling to the believer as that which is revealed in the familiar word sleep. It is a word that applies to the body only and never to the soul. Our Lord said to His disciples: “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death” (John 11:11-13). Of the martyrdom and death of Stephen, we read: “He fell asleep” (Acts 7:60). When the Apostle Paul was yet alive, he said that of the five hundred brethren who had seen Christ alive after His Resurrection, “some are fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:6). His comforting message to the believers at Thessalonica was, “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). The Apostle Peter, speaking of Old Testament saints, said: “The fathers fell asleep” (2 Peter 3:4).
The Old Testament saints were comforted by this same truth. More than forty times in the Old Testament it is said of a man who died that he “slept with his fathers.” “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers” (Deuteronomy 31:16; 2 Samuel 7:12). Job said: “Now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be” (Job 7:21). In these verses we have a transcendently sublime description of death which assures the believer that it is but “the transient slumber of the body, to be followed by the glorious awakening at the sound of the last trumpet.”1
Death--Temporary Separation of the Spiritual from the Physical
This temporary suspension of the activities of the body does not mean that the spirit of man is asleep. The body is but the tabernacle or dwelling place of the spirit part of man. Upon the death of the body, the spirit of a believer takes departure, closing the senses of the body until the day of its resurrection. Immediately upon the death of our bodies, we leave the flesh, “to depart, and to be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23), “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).
Here is a simple illustration. Recently I noticed that a butcher shop in our town was no longer open for business. One day while driving past the building I saw a sign in the window which read: “Closed For Alterations.” The owner had suspended his business relations with the public long enough to renovate the store. After about two months the store was reopened with many changes. This is a picture of the death of the believer. He moves out of the body until it has been repaired and renovated, when, at the resurrection, the inward man shall move into his renewed body.2
Raised to be Like Jesus
Death is not to be feared by the Christian. We shall live in a literal body just as real as the one we have now, for, says Paul: “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body . . .” (Philippians 3:20, 21). The coming of our Lord in the air to take us to Heaven will necessitate a change in this purchased body of corruption. The body is as much the Lord’s purchased possession as is the soul. It is dear to Him. “The body is . . . for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13). The goal of the Gospel is to bring eternal life and immortality to all who will believe. Since the body of the saints will be “fashioned like unto His glorious body,” we may well wonder what our bodies will be like at the resurrection. John says: “We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). When our Lord ascended into Heaven, He was thirty-three years of age, a young man in the strength and glory of His youth. Senility had not overtaken our Lord when He died upon the Cross for our sins. In David’s Psalm of the exalted Christ in the glory, we read: “Thou hast the dew of Thy youth” (Psalm 110:3). O wondrous thought! We shall be clothed upon with perennial youth. We shall be like Him, fashioned like unto His glorious body.
Christ shall “change our vile body” (Philippians 3:21) we read. The word “change” means to transfigure. It has been suggested that we have here the thought of metamorphosis which is a remarkable change in the form and structure of a living body. When our Lord took Peter, James, and John up into the Holy Mountain, we read that “He was transfigured before them” (Matthew 17:2). Christ appeared during that brief period of time in His glorified body. He was transfigured (or metamorphosed) before them. It was a body like His post-resurrection body when He appeared to His disciples behind shut doors (John 20:19). The change of the believer at the resurrection has to do with his body, wherein resides the sin principle, for even the Christian must admit, “I know that in me (that is in my flesh) there dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). The word “change” could not refer to the spiritual part of man, for, as Kenneth Wuest says: “The word ‘change’ is the translation of a Greek word which speaks of an expression which is assumed from the outside, which act brings about a change of outward expression.”3
Biologically speaking, the change of a caterpillar into a butterfly is spoken of as a “metamorphosis.” The ugly, repulsive caterpillar is confined to a tomb which it spins for itself. While in the cocoon there is an apparently dead and formless substance. But after the warm sun of spring has beaten its golden rays upon that cocoon, there comes forth a beautiful butterfly. Though the butterfly is different in appearance from the caterpillar, we recognize the beautiful winged insect as being the same as the caterpillar. It is the same living creature, yet different. So also is the resurrection of the body. Now we have a vile body (or a body of humiliation). The Apostle James calls it a “low” body, “because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away” (James 1:10). The body of Adam, in its original state, was provided with a covering of glory, but when sin entered the covering of glory was replaced with a covering of humiliation. In our present bodies of humiliation we are unfit for the glories of Heaven and God’s presence, but hopefully we look for our Lord’s return when He shall fashion our bodies of humiliation like unto His own body of glory. It will be the same body in that it will be recognizable, but wonderfully changed.
Answering the Skeptic
Some unbelieving skeptics have proposed the argument that it will be impossible for the same body to be raised since the bodies of those who have been dead for hundreds of years have become decomposed into integrant parts; that is, reduced to powder. They add that those elements which composed one body may have become a part of other bodies. For example, a dead body deteriorates. Over the grave of that body a tree may grow, having fed its roots on the elements of the dead body. If the fruit of that tree is eaten by other men, the elements of the decomposed and deteriorated body in the grave become a part of other men’s bodies. They conclude that it is an impossibility to raise the same body atom for atom.
God anticipated this problem. We read: “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” (1 Corinthians 15:35) To answer this, the Apostle, by the Holy Spirit, uses the illustration of a farmer sowing grain. When a farmer drops a kernel of grain into the ground, he knows that when the seed dies or seemingly rots away, that does not mean the end of his efforts. He knows that one seed will come forth into a fuller life, producing a stalk with several ears bearing many hundreds of kernels like the one he planted. The actual seed that was planted he does not see. Yet there is absolute identity. It is the same with the resurrection of our bodies. “That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die; And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body” (1 Corinthians 15:36-38).
It will not be necessary for God to use every part of this body when he raises it from the grave. Such a thought is not taught in Scripture. In fact, it is scientifically true that the component parts of our bodies undergo periodical changes. We are told that through the change of elements, we receive new bodies every seven years. We may not be conscious of the change. Nevertheless we have not the same body today that we had seven years ago. There is an identity that we maintain all our lifetime, and yet there is not one cell in our bodies that was there seven years ago. In the resurrection the bodies of the saints will bear their individual identities. Dr. Wilbur M. Smith has said: “The fact that after death our physical substance disintegrates and scatters, creates no difficulties for God, so that He could not bring those bodies back gloriously transformed.” By the new birth we are born again into the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that can never break down or disintegrate. Because sin can never enter, there is no danger of corruptibility. The resurrection will be the occasion when our bodies become incorruptible and will inherit the Kingdom of God.4
From Corruption to Incorruption -- From Mortality to Immortality
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:42).
For this corruptible must put on incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:53).
Death is written on the face of all that is alive. The moment we begin to live we commence to die. The report of the birth of a new baby guarantees the digging of a new grave. The preacher of wisdom wrote: “The strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened . . . man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets . . . Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:3, 5, 7). This is a picture of the body of corruption. Its destiny is death, decay, and dissolution. But if we are to have bodies in Heaven, we must have bodies that are free from corruption. This is exactly the kind of body that Christ will give us when He comes. It was buried in corruption, but it will be raised in incorruption. We have some idea of an incorruptible body in the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah both appeared with Christ. Moses had died fifteen hundred years before. Yet he was there recognizable in a glorious body. Elijah had been caught up to Heaven without dying about nine hundred years before, and he too was there in a glorified body. Our resurrection will clothe us with bodies where disease and sickness will never enter. No pain, no weakness, no fever will touch our resurrection bodies. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
From Dishonour to Glory
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory (1 Corinthians 15:43).
The body that is put in the grave is sown in dishonour. The average Christian sadly neglects his body, failing to realize that it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Proper care of the body is far more the exception than it is the rule. The bodies of some Christians have been broken and diseased by sin before the persons ever came to a knowledge of truth. The drinking of intoxicating liquors, the use of tobacco, and other sins of the body have brought to the body dishonour. Some do not get enough rest, while others injure the body through laziness and inactivity. Some persons overeat regularly while others mistreat the body by not eating the right kind of food. It is the opinion of the writer that the majority of people are guilty of not giving the body its required care. It is sown in dishonour. But our resurrection bodies will be raised in glory. We shall be like Jesus, in the brightness of His glory. O glorious hope!
From Weakness to Power
It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:43).
It is believed that the Apostle Paul was frail in body, afflicted with “a thorn in the flesh.” Weak bodies have their limitations, and many of us can testify as to how the work of the Lord often is hampered by bodily limitations. The tasks we seek to perform become wearisome by reason of the infirmities of the flesh. But in Heaven we shall know nothing of physical weakness. The limitations of earth are not known in Heaven. What a glorious change that will be! Raised in power! Here on earth we find that the spirit sometimes is willing, but the flesh is weak. Some of God’s choice saints cannot as much as attend a church service because of bodily affliction, but in Heaven all will have strong bodies. The new body will be a habitation from God, incorruptible, immortal, and powerful.
From the Natural to the Spiritual
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).
It must be clearly understood that the phrase “a spiritual body” does not so much as infer that the resurrection body will be a body without substance. The word “natural” is from a word used by the Greeks when they spoke of the soul of man. We pointed out earlier in this volume how that man was made of three component parts: body, soul, and spirit. In the physical he possesses world-consciousness through his five senses. With his soul, which is the seat of his emotions, he possesses self-consciousness, thereby having knowledge that he is a personality. By his spirit, he is enabled to know God and to worship and serve Him after his human spirit has been quickened by the Holy Spirit. Our bodies while on earth are natural or soulish bodies and are engaged chiefly with the activities and the environment of earth. By nature it becomes easily adjusted to work and play. The spiritual life is not absent altogether from man, but it occupies a small part of his time and energy as compared with his soul life.
When the resurrection body is called “a spiritual body,” it is not meant that it will be composed of intangible substance. Robert S. Candlish has said: “The words natural and spiritual, as applied to the body, have respect not so much to the nature of the substance of which the body is composed, as to the uses or purposes which it is intended to serve.” On earth we are occupied to a greater degree with the natural body, while in Heaven in our resurrection bodies we will be occupied with all that pertains to God and godliness. The spiritual life of man will prevail.
We might say that the body has two masters, a natural and a spiritual. Paul said: “When I would do good, evil is present with me” (Romans 7:21). The Apostle was truly God’s child by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, but the natural man was still very much alive and warring against the spiritual. And each of us knows too well what a barrier the natural man is! We are hindered by the attitude of the natural toward the spiritual. But in Heaven we shall be clothed with a resurrection body where the higher principles in man will predominate and the full tide of spiritual life will be in control.
In Heaven all will be incorrupt, immortal, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. Before the throne of God we will serve Him eternally in His temple. O glorious hope! O resurrection day!
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea." (Revelation 21:1) "Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2) "And" God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
Heaven--The Home of the Redeemed By: Lehman Strauss , Litt.D., F.R.G.S.
Heaven! A comforting word is this! But who among us mortal creatures can envision its blessed reality? Neither the artist’s brush, the sculptor’s chisel, nor the theologian’s exegesis can depict the things which God hath prepared for them who love Him. The wonder, the glory, and the effulgence of the home of the redeemed will be seen only through the eyes of our glorified bodies when we awake in Christ’s likeness. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Still we are not left alone to grope in dark ignorance. A foretaste of glory divine has been preserved for us upon the pages of God’s eternal and unerring Word.
Is it not strange that we do not take up the Bible to study more about the abode of the blessed dead who die in the Lord? Should not we ourselves become better acquainted with our future home? What a pitiable plight would be ours if the Christian’s hope of Heaven were but a hallucination! How dark would be the future if what we have been taught about Heaven were delusive and deceptive! But we can know the truth from God’s Word and we can be certain that the descriptions of the Christian’s future home are not fraudulent. Some years ago I was lured to an undesirable vacation spot by grossly exaggerated statements that spoke of refinement. Upon arriving I discovered that the town and its environment in no way tallied with the advertising. You can imagine how great was my disappointment. But the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures assures us of no disappointments in Heaven. We may be correctly informed by a careful study of what God says about it.
D. L. Moody told of an acquaintance whose only child had died. The accompanying sorrow was so great that his heart was almost broken by it. Before he suffered this loss, he had never given serious thought to life after death. Shortly after the child had been buried the friends and relatives of the man were surprised to see the deep interest he was showing in the Bible. He read it continually. When someone asked him about his sudden interest in the sacred Book, he answered that he was trying to find out something about the place where his boy had gone. He had come to the only source of satisfaction and reliable information. An instant after death the departed saint will know more about Heaven than all of the saints here on earth. But until we are called Home to be with the Lord, our knowledge is confined to what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us in the Bible.
There Is a Place Called Heaven
Some general ideas that are held about Heaven are not found in the Word of God. Because Heaven is beyond the limits of our vision many people regard it as merely a sphere of life, or a state independent of locality. But Heaven is a place. It was the dwelling place of Christ before His Incarnation. He said: “I came down from Heaven” (John 6:38). Heaven was also the place to which He ascended after His resurrection. Luke says: “While He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven” (Luke 24:51). It is the place where the glory and power of God are set forth. Jesus is there now, “Set (or seated) on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1). Our Lord said: “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). When Jesus went away He must have gone somewhere to a place. Therefore, we are not flattering ourselves with an unfounded hope that makes dying easier but that deceives us at the last. Some scientists have concluded that because Heaven could not be found, there is no such place. But the great expanse of the Almighty God is not within the measuring lines of man. True, the astronomer has located the North Star over 400,000,000,000 miles away, but neither is that far when one reckons distance with God. We believe in the Biblical idea of Heaven as a definite, tangible place.
Where is Heaven?
The Bible mentions three heavens: the aerial, the sidereal, and the celestial. First there is the atmospheric or aerial heavens where the birds fly. This is visible to the naked eye and is mentioned by Jeremiah where he said: “The birds of the heavens have fled” (Jeremiah 4:25). Next, there are the stellar or sidereal heavens from which shine the stars and constellations. Isaiah speaks of the Day of the Lord when “the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light” (Isaiah 13:10). Finally, there is the third Heaven, the celestial or “the Heaven of heavens” (2 Chronicles 6:18). “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). Jesus said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Here our Lord was referring to the third Heaven, and He says the Father is there. When the believer dies he is “absent from the body, and present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). He enters immediately into Heaven itself and is at home with the Lord.
But do we know the location of the third Heaven (called Paradise) where God, Christ, the unfallen angels, and the disembodied spirits of the believing dead are? In other words, exactly where is Heaven? If this question were asked of a small child, the answer doubtless would come back in the form of a finger pointing up, and perhaps the accompanying words, “Up there.” Heaven to almost everyone is “up.” Karl G. Sabiers asks: “Which way is ‘up’? If we say it is in the direction at right angles with the earth’s surface wherever we may happen to be, then it would be in a different direction from every point on earth. From North America and from China it would be in exactly the opposite directions. According to this, ‘up’ would be everywhere in general and nowhere in particular.” When Satan rebelled against God, he said: “I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will set upon the mount of congregation in the uttermost parts of the north” (Isaiah 14:13 R.V.). No matter on what part of the earth one is standing, north will always be “up.” When the prophet Ezekiel got his vision from the Lord, he wrote: “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north” (Ezekiel 1:4). It would seem reasonable to conclude that Heaven is somewhere in the northern heavens beyond the reach of the astronomer’s powerful telescope.
Christians Are Citizens of Heaven
“For our citizenship is in Heaven, whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 R.V.). When Paul wrote this Epistle, Philippi was a Greek city but a colony of Rome, her citizens possessing Roman citizenship. The commonwealth of which the saints in Philippi were citizens had its fixed location in Rome. The Apostle Paul used this fact to illustrate to the believers their heavenly citizenship with its privileges and responsibilities. They were a heavenly people with a heavenly citizenship. Though they dwelt on earth, the commonwealth and the Sovereign of which the saints were citizens and subjects had its fixed location in Heaven. What was true of the saints at Philippi then is true of all believers. We were born from above. Ours is a heavenly destiny, and we are to live heavenly lives while we sojourn in a foreign land. As a heavenly people it is our privilege and responsibility to live a heavenly life on earth.
The Apostle Peter wrote: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). As strangers and pilgrims we are living in a temporary dwelling beside natives of a foreign land. Jesus Christ is our Sovereign. One day He will come back for us and take us to our native Home, changing our bodies of humiliation like to the body of His glory. The curse of sin has humiliated these physical bodies of ours, but we are to abstain from fleshly lusts and live the same holy life here that we would were we at home in our native land. The Christian has a temporary home in a territory ruled by Satan, but he is not to subject himself to the god of this world. We must remain true to our Sovereign, “considering the High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus,” for we have become “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1).
Is the Present Heaven the Final Abode of the Saints?
There are several verses of Scripture that have confused not a few students of the Bible on this question. The following verses have led some to believe that the earth and the heavens that now are will one day be annihilated.
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed (Psalm 102:25, 26).
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree (Isaiah 34:4).
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3:10-13).
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:17).
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them (Revelation 20:11).
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea (Revelation 21:1).
From these inspired statements of Peter and John some have adopted the view that the present abode of the righteous dead is to be burned up, reduced to ashes, and an entirely new dwelling place created for all of the saved. The writer finds difficulty in reconciling this teaching with other Scriptures. The Psalmist testified: “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Psalm 119:90). It is written: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4). Here the teaching appears to be that the creation of God will not be annihilated, for He has said that it abides forever. How, then, are we to understand this seeming contradiction? How can Heaven and earth be destroyed and yet abide forever?
After the Millennium and the final judgment of Satan the heavens and the earth will be thoroughly purged by fire. This does not mean that the old heavens and the old earth are to be completely consumed and reduced to ashes. Neither is there any indication that the new heaven and the new earth are to be entirely new planets. The old world probably will be destroyed by fire in the same sense that God destroyed it with water in Noah’s day. “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6). The world of Noah’s day was not annihilated. Geologists agree to the fact that the present world shows evidence of being visited by a flood between five and six thousand years ago. When we read in Scripture that unbelievers shall “perish” (Luke 13:3, 5, 35), and be “destroyed” (Leviticus 23:30; Matthew 10:28), there is no thought of their being annihilated; for we have seen in two previous chapters how that both soul and body will exist in endless consciousness. But we do see an instructive parallel between the judgment of earth by fire and the judgment of the lost by fire. Both are said to be “destroyed.” Yet neither will be annihilated. We encounter no problem here when we think how the primitive earth which was made void by Satan (Genesis 1:2) was restored again by God and made new in the time of Adam and Eve.
It appears that the great conflagration, the flames and the melting, suggest the idea of purifying. There will be a new creation just as each believer who is born again is said to be a new creation. “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (or a new creation): the old things are passed away: behold, they are becoming new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 R.V.). He is “created in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10). The new birth does not render inactive or annihilate the old nature. The child of God becomes a partaker of the New Nature which is divine, and all stain is purged by the Blood of Christ. Just exactly how God will bring to pass the purifying of the old heavens and the earth and make them new we do not know. But we are certain that they will pass through a molten ball of fire, and will come forth from that baptism of judicial fire clean and holy. Every strain of sin, every evidence of evil will be wiped out in that day.
We question the idea of the third Heaven being burned, for no purging or purifying is needed there. However, at the end of the day of the Lord, the earth and the heavens that surround it along with all the works of man, will be consumed even as fire purifies gold. Then shall we have “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1)--not new in the sense of just coming into existence, but new in its renovation, transformation, and fixtures.
Our Home Over There
When our Lord was here upon earth, He said to His disciples: “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). He was thinking of His Death, Resurrection, and Ascension into Heaven itself in the presence of the Father. The dwelling of God always has been a stately abode. Jesus describes it as a place of “many mansions,” one Heaven divided into many rooms. The desire of the heavenly Bridegroom is to make a room for each of His redeemed ones. This He has been doing, and it was the unique privilege of the Apostle John to get a glimpse of the final abode of the righteous. Since we have a divine revelation of our heavenly Home presented to us by the Holy Spirit, we are assured of the accuracy of every description that He has given.
John says: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1, 2). We are being introduced here to a place of absolute perfection and of eternal immutability, the home of the saved of all ages. It is called “the holy city” (Revelation 21:2; 22:19), for in it every person and every thing will echo the glory and the holiness of God. All powers of evil and all unbelievers will have been cast into the lake of fire forever. This means that every possibility of sin will have been expelled. When Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us, it would be just such a place as this that one would expect the holy Son of God the divine Architect, to build. No mere mortal hands could be employed in the construction of the Holy City. It must be of heavenly origin and construction.
The fellowship in Heaven will surpass anything that we have known on earth. Up there “God is with men; He will dwell with them, and God Himself shall be with them.” We shall enter into a fellowship with the triune God that is utterly unknown on earth. Men dwelling with “God Himself!” Could anything be higher and more glorious? Then we will know the blessed reality of the words of Christ, where He said: “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). In addition to having fellowship with “God Himself,” Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we will commune with the “innumerable company of angels, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22-24). What a fellowship! What a joy divine!
Heaven will bring permanent relief from all of the ills of earth. It is written of the redeemed that in Heaven “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” I have dried the tears of my own children many times, but I have discovered my inability to stop the tears. When I feel that I have succeeded, I find that more tears begin to flow. The fountain of grief has been flowing perennially on earth since the dawn of the human race, and every earthly power has been limited in binding up broken hearts and assuaging the sorrows of man. But God is able. And how our hearts yearn for that glad occasion when the loving and almighty hand of our heavenly Father shall wipe away, once for all, every tear. The tears that flow from “sorrow,” “crying,” and “pain” shall be dried forever, for these things are not known in the land of pure delight. Earth’s grief is forever gone and along with it is the extirpation of every cause.
In Heaven there will be “no more death.” One cannot read the newspaper at home or walk the city streets without seeing our common enemy death. The hearse, the crepe, the undertaker, the graveyard, and the stonecutter all seek to remind us that we are on the waiting list for death and the grave. But believe along with me the divine record that God has arranged a time when death itself shall die. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Heaven is revealed as a place of activity. John saw how that in the New Jerusalem “His servants shall serve Him” (Revelation 22:3). While it is true that Heaven is a place of rest, “a rest for the people of God,” it will not be the rest of inactivity or idleness. We will not merely lounge within the pearly gates to gaze forever on the eternal beauty of our heavenly home. It is not the unwarranted view inscribed on a grave: “Don’t weep for me now, don’t weep for me ever; For I’m going to do nothing forever and ever.”
Heaven would soon become monotonous if such were true. The saints “shall serve Him day and night in His temple” (Revelation 7:15), says John. When the Bible records the work of God in creation, it says: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had made” (Genesis 2:2). Does this mean that God has been inactive and idle since creation? Most assuredly not! Jesus said: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). By no means does the “rest” of the redeemed mean idleness. In Heaven we shall serve Him unhampered by earth’s enemies and limitations, without painful stress and strain and sweat. “And what will we be doing?” someone asks. David said: “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). For one thing, we will enjoy to the full our blessed relationship with God. On earth we are hampered by so many things. The Apostle John realized that believers were enjoying merely a measure of that which God had for them. He wrote: “These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4). In Heaven the joys and pleasures of our union with Jesus Christ will be appreciated and apprehended to the full, unhindered by the disturbing and distracting things on earth.
In Revelation 4:10-11 we are clearly shown that in Heaven, we will worship our Lord and cast our crowns before His throne. On earth He is not worshipped and adored as He should be. Our so-called worship is sometimes no worship at all. How often we have gone through the motions when our hearts were not right! We enthrone self and steal the crowns to the boast of what we have done. But yonder in the land of pure delight, in our glorified state, we shall give Him our all. How these thoughts of our future home and its varied spheres of activity should encourage us to more zealous and diligent service during earth’s pilgrimage! There is much about our heavenly activity that we do not know in detail now, but in that day we shall know even as we are known. But we know that we shall be engaged with Him who has redeemed us and brought us to our eternal dwelling place.
Babies in Heaven?
Jesus said: At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4).
Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:14).
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14).
Many able and well-known Bible scholars have held the view that in Heaven there will be more occupants than in Hell. They base their belief on the fact that so many countless millions of children have died before reaching the age of accountability. It seems hardly possible that one of these little ones should ever be lost. Certainly they are not saved, that is, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:31). But it seems Scriptural and reasonable to conclude that all children who are not able to decide this issue for themselves are divinely safe.
Christian parents should, by daily prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, church attendance, and an exemplary life seek to lead their children who have arrived at an age of accountability to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The thought of my being in Heaven while my children are lost in Hell would make me tremble. Let us make our first aim and duty the salvation of our children so that in Heaven the family circle will be unbroken.