Heaven Revealed ~ New Earth

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This is the 4th blog in my Heaven Revealed series. After being asked about Heaven on several occasions it inspired me to dig deeper into the scriptures to find out the answers to questions that I may have thought about as a child, but hadn’t considered until recently asked. So, for the next few weeks we are  looking at what the scriptures say about Heaven. This week we are going to explore what scripture says about the “new earth” our final home for eternal life with our Heavenly Father.

Have you ever created something that you thought was perfect? Maybe it was a meal, painting, craft, paper, decoration or tidy house only to have it ruined, destroyed or broken by a child, a dog, individual or natural disaster? As I read back through Genesis for this week’s blog I thought about how God must feel after creating such an amazing place (Earth) only to see it ruined by sin and the people running around it. I encourage you to go back and read Genesis 1 and 2 in its entirety when you can.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

He was happy with His creation and added man and woman to complete it. He was pleased, but then Adam and Eve created havoc on their paradise with sin and that’s how this crazy mixed up mess of a world we have now began. So, why would God ever want the final Heaven to be here on Earth after the mess we have made?

Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. Acts 3:21

Peter tells us in this verse from Acts that God will return and RESTORE everything. The definition of restore is:  to give back (someone or something that was lost or taken); to return (someone or something); to put or bring (something) back into existence or use; to return (something) to an earlier or original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc.

Look at this from Revelation 21:1

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

Our current or “first Heaven” that we talked about last week will pass away (and so will this old Earth) to make room for God’s restoration of His amazing creation. New Earth will be our final Heaven. Just like moving from that fabulous rental house with the pool you have lived in while waiting for the construction on your custom home to be completed.

For clarity, there are really two Heavens. The one we go to immediately after death and then the final one when God restores and reigns on Earth again.

Now that we have the two Heavens figured out, we will begin to look at more specific questions about what we will do, be like and know in Heaven. To close today, please reflect on these verses from Isaiah 65 that describe the New Heavens and Earth. It’s a glorious reminder of what we have to look forward to when we believe and trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ and the eternal life He has secured for us through His blood.

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. 19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. 20 “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. 21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. 24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,”says the Lord (v. 17-25)

 

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Heaven Revealed ~ What is current Heaven like?

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This is the 3rd blog in my Heaven Revealed series. After being asked about Heaven on several occasions it inspired me to dig deeper into the scriptures to find out the answers to questions that I may have thought about as a child, but hadn’t considered until recently asked. So, for the next few weeks we are going to be looking at what the scriptures say about Heaven. This week we are going to explore what scripture says about the current Heaven, our stop before God’s return to Earth.

Again, we find ourselves in Revelation today to discover more about Heaven and what’s it’s like there.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Revelation 6:9-11

Let’s dig in verse by verse. This has a few pretty interesting tidbits on what Heaven is like if we sit and ponder what is being said.

Verse 9 – When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

In this verse it’s clear that those killed for being Christians are in Heaven. So, after death believers go to Heaven. Not only that, but when you are in Heaven it seems you are remembered for the sacrifices and testimony you made while on Earth.

Verse 10 – They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

We must be able to talk in Heaven, cry out loudly and talk to God too. Another interesting thing to note here is that those in Heaven remember what they did in their lives on Earth and also seem to know what is (or what is not) going on here among us. They are even talking to and asking  God questions about when and how things are going to happen. It’s so fun to dissect and slow down when studying scripture. These verses are coming alive with new information I never realized before. Let’s look at our last verse for today.

Verse 11 – Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

I’m thinking, if you give a girl a robe, she must be able to wear it on a physical body. I guess the wearing of robes could have some other symbolic meaning – we are in Revelation, but I’m going with physical beings because John (who had this vision and wrote about it) actually saw these people he is telling us about. Not only that they are actually in a conversation with God about this issue. Can you hear it now, “God, we are so bummed. What’s the deal? When are you going to reap some havoc Satan. He totally stinks!” and God replies, “Here’s your pretty robe, just hang tight. Trust me, I’m going to stick it to Satan. I have a plan and I’m sticking to it. You’ll see.” So maybe I over simplify things sometimes, but it’s pretty awesome to think about hanging in Heaven having conversations with our Creator!

And just one more amazing thing to notice, God says to them, “to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” This reiterates the fact that our God really is in every detail (down to the smallest number) of our lives and what is going on here. This reaffirms a strong trust and faith in my Savior who promises to overcome for us ALL.

Today was fun! This was just three verses from Revelation, but it was full of BIG glimpses into the Heaven that currently exist. Next week, I want to look at this new Earth or Heaven on Earth or the final Heaven. Whatever you want to call it – we are going to look at more scriptures next week that illustrate this truth.

 

Heaven Revealed – Do we go right away?

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This is the 2nd blog in my Heaven Revealed series. After being asked about Heaven on several occasions it inspired me to dig deeper into the scriptures to find out the answers to questions that I may have thought about as a child, but hadn’t considered until recently asked. So, for the next few weeks we are going to be looking at what the scriptures say about Heaven. This week we are going to explore how fast we go to Heaven after we die.

This question came up after a friend of mine lost one of her closest and dearest friends. After hearing different things from those of various religions, she was concerned about whether or not her friend had to wait to go to Heaven or if she was actually there. The answer is two-fold and expressed in these verses from Revelation 21.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 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. (v. 1-3)

Look closely at what’s said, “Jerusalem will come out of Heaven and will dwell on Earth with God and His people.” In other words, there is Heaven where we all go immediately after death. Even Jesus said on the cross to the thief, “For TODAY (my emphasis) you will be WITH ME in PARADISE.” (Luke 23:43) Jesus said, “today” – not tomorrow, next week, when you earn it or when God returns, but “today” because the thief chose to believe in Him.

Put simply (if possible), Heaven after death is like the fabulous fully furnished home with a pool you get to live in until your final home’s construction is complete. When we die, we will go to Heaven, but it’s a temporary Heaven with God and those who have gone before us until God returns and creates the “new Earth” here among us for our final home with Him.

There are sort-of two Heavens. We have confused this issue by just lumping Heaven into one place. I’ve done it for years myself, but it’s two places. Look at verse 3 from Revelation 21 again.

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

When God returns He will essentially create Heaven on Earth and dwell with us here on a new Earth. Earth in all the splendor and glory he created it to be in the beginning when Adam and Eve walked in the paradise of the Garden of Eden.

This is all a lot to digest and there are many more scriptures that reinforce these ideas so next week we are going to dig deeper into what scripture says about the present Heaven.

I hope you will stick with me along this journey. It’s already proving to be eye-opening for me and I’m looking forward to sharing with my children all I’m learning too.

Heaven Revealed Series

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Welcome to 2015 and a brand new blog series.  After being asked on several different occasions questions about Heaven from family and friends, it became clear that God was leading me down this path. It inspired me to dig deeper into the scriptures to find out the answers to questions that I may have thought about as a child, but hadn’t considered until recently asked. So, for the next 10 weeks we are going to be looking at what the scriptures say about Heaven.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3

We’ll look to the scriptures to discover more about Heaven and answer questions like: Is it really real and do we go there right away? What will we do there? Will we eat and drink? Wear clothes? Will we be able to see our loved ones on Earth? Will we remember this life?

As we begin this series, we have to start at the very beginning. First, we have to understand and trust Heaven is a real place where we will spend eternal life with our Heavenly Father if we believe His son was crucified, dead, buried and rose again.

How do we know Heaven is real? First, depending on what Bible translation you reference Heaven is mentioned between 500 – 600 times in the Bible so we have ample information to provide us with a clearer picture of our eternal home. Let’s look at this description in Isaiah 65:17-25.

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years;  the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.

First, please notice the last three words of these verses “says the Lord.” All of this information is straight from the Lord Himself. This isn’t second-hand information. This is a beautiful overview and description of Heaven that tells us: it’s real, God has created it, there will be peace, no death or crying, no sadness or misfortune, no killing, before we call out to God – He will be there to answer us and none of our labor will ever be in vain. These verses from Isaiah give us a great start, but each week we will dig a little deeper into some of these specific traits of Heaven and find other verses throughout the Bible that support them.

I hope you will take this journey with us as we discover more about our eternal home. Along the way, if you have have a question about Heaven please send it and I’ll try to include it.