Monday, December 30, 2013


NEW” - Another Way of Imagining What Heaven Will be Like.
And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new.  "And He said,"Write, for these words are faithful and true."   Revelation 21:5 New American Standard Bible

All we have to go by is what we understand from this life, but the word “new” is something we can grasp.  When asked if you would rather have a new car or a rusty used one with 200,000 miles on it that belches thick blue smoke, a new house or an old barely standing one, new clothes or hand-me-downs, freshly baked bread / cookies or week old, etc., there is usually something about new – fresh, unblemished, pristine, “perfect” – that we long for. Randy Alcorn points out that “the Greek word kainos, translated “new,” indicates that the earth God creates won’t merely be new as opposed to old, but new in quality and superior in character.” When it comes to Heaven and eternity, Jesus says He is making all things NEW.  Consider a couple of indications:

New Life - And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   Revelation 21:3-4 New Living Translation
New Bodies - Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. … then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”   “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 54b-57 New Living Translation

New Creation - But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
2 Peter 3:10-14 New Living Translation

New Jerusalem -  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 
Revelation 21:1-3   New American Standard Bible (continue reading through the final chapter for more information)


Monday, December 23, 2013


Futher indications of what Heaven will be like:

·         Likened to a wedding feast – a great continual celebration.  Jesus also told them other parables. He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who   were invited. But they all refused to come!   Matthew 22:1-3a New Living Translation (Be sure to not to     refuse Jesus’ invitation!)                                                                 

·         Unimaginable Splendor“So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed    me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal.  The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates.  There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west.  The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its   wall.  When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles.  Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel).  The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass.  The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl!  And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.  
Revelation 21:10-21 New Living Translation
Any questions?  Crystal clear – right?  It is hard to describe the indescribable. How         about this observation – the current atmosphere of the earth only extends about 300      miles above ground level (but 80% of it is within 10 miles), so things are going to be really different (not like the present condition / reality) for a city that is 1,400 miles high!  What we can say in summary is if Robin Leach still did “The Lifestyles of the   Rich and Famous,” [earth edition], there would be no comparison to the “Lifestyles of the Rescued and Forgiven” [eternal edition]!

Another way to possibly appreciate and understand the difference – Imagine all of your Christmas and birthdays as a child, awesome vacations, and all the other great moments of your life that are no longer moments of memories, but an eternal continual reality. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Having considered Proof of Heaven's Existence, let's turn to....

What Glimpses Have We Been Given of Heaven?

We can form an impression of what Heaven / paradise will be like, but at the same time we have to admit that the ability of a human to describe it in terms we can comprehend are limited.  Here are some insights we are given in the Bible:

  • Inexpressible – Beyond the ability to describe in human terms.  In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul describes briefly the experience of being caught up to Heaven, whether in the body or out of it, he was not sure.  In v4 he states, “was caught up to Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”  (Keep this in mind when you consider books that claim to give accounts of those who have seen into Heaven – be very wary of these.  If the Apostle Paul could not describe what he saw, do you really think others could / can?) How would you describe a “paradise” unlike anything this earth has to offer?

  • Plenty of room“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?   When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.   John 14:1-3 New Living Translation

  • No darkness, only light On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.”   Zechariah 14:6-7 New Living Translation
           And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and
          the Lamb is its light.   Revelation 21:23 New Living Translation

·   Abundant water and food – “Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month.”
Revelation 22:1-2a New Living Translation

Monday, December 2, 2013


What Proof Do We Have that Heaven Even Exists? (Continued)

In addition to the resurrection of Jesus, here are other indications of Heaven and the after-life:

  • Jesus’ power and the reality of the resurrection of a man named Lazarus recorded by the Apostle John in the 11th chapter of his Gospel.  There we have the words of Jesus in v25, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.”  He then demonstrated the truth of His claim and the power of God by raising Lazarus who had been dead and entombed for 4 days.  It’s one thing to see something happen and subsequently make a claim.  It’s quite different to make a claim and then back it up.  Jesus is the “resurrection and the life.”
  • Jesus’ words to the repentant thief on the cross:
            One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you?
Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”  But the other criminal
protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We
deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”  Then he
said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”   And Jesus replied,
I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”   Luke 23:39-43 New Living

  • Jesus remained with His followers for 50 days (during which over 500 eye-witnesses encountered him) after His resurrection before He ascended from the earth.  His Ascension indicates there is something beyond the confines of this world and life. In fact, those watching His Ascension were told:
            After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they
could no longer see him.  As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two
white-robed men suddenly stood among them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why
are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into
heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Acts 1:9-11 New Living Translation

Additionally, the creation account in the book of Genesis tells us that we have been created “in God’s image.”  Most of the time we think of physical characteristics, but the truth of being created in God’s image reaches far beyond this.  Besides being perfect, holy and righteous, God is also eternal.  And we will share this image of God as well – eternal existence, whether we are bound for Heaven or hell.