Heaven Revealed ~ Do we turn into angels?

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This is the 8th 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. This week we are going to explore what scripture says about angels. Do we become angels when we go to Heaven?

This series has opened my eyes to things I’ve always said to my children or others that are not accurate and muddy the waters in our understanding of Heaven. After someone’s death have you ever said, “Well, Heaven got another angel today?” or “Now we have another guardian angel to watch over us.”? Let’s take a look at what the scriptures say about this.

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

We will judge the angels? Wow! Never considered that would be an option. If we all turn into angels when arrived in Heaven then who would be in charge of them. Let’s look at one more. These are some of the verses we read to my grandfather often as he was dying with cancer. Read these verses slowly and let them soak in.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:1-8

What is mortal “will be swallowed up”, but who we are here (in spirit) moves with us into eternal life.

Clearly, there angels and humans. Angels are referenced all through scripture. They have come here as our protectors, (Matthew 18:10, 4:11, 25:31, etc.) messengers for God, (i.e. Genesis 19, Daniel 10:13, etc.) and even escorted God to check on earthly things. (i.e. Genesis 18)  We don’t start out as human and then turn into angels once we arrive in Heaven. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have a miraculous eternal life or won’t know what’s going on here while we are in Heaven. It doesn’t mean we won’t hang out with the angels once we arrive. It just means that we were chosen to be born human and live eternally without turning into an angel. I wonder how we will be in charge of them? How will our jobs differ? Oh, there is so much to look forward to as we prepare (here in our temporary home) to live in our eternal one.

Let me close with what Jesus said in Matthew 18:10 (Parable of the Lost Sheep)

“Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?” (MSG)

Heaven Revealed ~ Will my pets be there?

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This is the 7th 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. This week we are going to explore what scripture says about animals (or our pets) being with us in Heaven.

“Don’t worry you will see them in Heaven again one day. ” we have told our children about pet’s they have lost. But, will they? Let’s take a look.

From creation (Genesis) we see that God creates all the animals to inhabit the Earth. Not only that, He gives them Adam and Eve to help take care of them. And who did the Lord instruct Noah to take with him (and his family) on the ark when God flooded the Earth to rid it from wickedness?

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Genesis 7:1-3

That’s right! Animals. They are an important part of God’s creation.

It’s clear that animals hold a very special place in God’s heart. When The Lord, who stretched out the heavens, who laid the foundation of the earth, and who formed the human spirit within a person” (Zechariah 12:1) was forming His creation Genesis 1:30 says, “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

The birds and creatures He created had “the breath of life”. This is important because later in Genesis 2:7 it says, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

This is not to say animals are equal to man. We are the only ones who God created in His image with a soul, but God breathed “the breath of life” into both man and animal when He created this Universe. Luke 3:6 in several translations says, “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” All flesh (KJV, ESV) or everyone (HCSB) will see God’s salvation. Do animals count as flesh?

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. Isaiah 65:25

I have a strong feeling there will be animals in Heaven. That doesn’t mean it is those that existed here and then go to Heaven. Honestly, I think that is just something we won’t know for sure until we arrive, but I cling to this truth about Heaven when I wonder: there will be no sadness, we will have all we need and be filled with never-ending joy.

Likewise I, God, will comfort Zion, comfort all her mounds of ruins.
I’ll transform her dead ground into Eden, her moonscape into the garden of God, A place filled with exuberance and laughter, thankful voices and melodic songs
. Isaiah 51:3 (MSG)

 

If you have children . . .

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I don’t normally share information like this on my blog, but once in a blue moon a television show comes along that inspires, teaches and is worth sitting down for 20 minutes to watch. We found such a show last year at the end of its 1st season. It’s called YoungWild and this year it was voted #1 new show on the sportsman channel.

It’s about the bow hunting adventures of Lincoln Tapp. This is Lincoln’s story.

“When 9 year-old Lincoln Tapp found himself sitting in a meeting with his parents and school teachers, he had no idea that very moment would set into motion a journey that would change his life forever. He was told he had a learning disability and his education options were limited.

YoungWild is a compelling new series that breaks the mold. A story of how a young man’s battle with adversity leads to an intense passion for bow hunting and a surprising self-discovery. With every new episode Lincoln gets closer to his goal of harvesting all of North America’s 29 big game species. Season One is an epic fair-chase adventure that showcases many impressive accomplishments; including becoming the youngest hunter on record to harvest a Stone sheep with a bow.” (http://youngwild.tv/about/youngwild)

With my son sharing so much in common with Lincoln (including bow hunting and homeschool), we have had the opportunity and honor to correspond with the Tapp family and can tell you they are truly what you see. A God loving, fearing, honorable, respectful and real family. Season two has just begun this month so there is still time to record and watch if you are interested. This is a show our entire family sits down to enjoy.

To watch season 1 and learn more about the show you can visit their website http://youngwild.tv/episodes/season-1/

From my family to yours, we pray you enjoy the adventures and lessons YoungWild shares as much as we have.

Heaven Revealed ~ Will we sleep and work there?

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This is the 6th 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. This week we are going to explore what scripture says about sleeping and eating in Heaven.

This topic was brought to my attention though my new Bible reading plan. On January 1st I began reading the chronological Bible.  However, no matter what translation or style you read, it all begins in Genesis. As we learned a few weeks ago, when God returns He will restore this Earth to it’s original state ~ as it was in the Garden of Eden.

First, let’s consider rest. Even God Himself rested after creating the Earth.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:2-3

and in Revelation 14:13 it says,

“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

I can’t be 100% sure that rest means sleep in these verses, but there will be rest. There is a difference. For example, we may say to someone, “You look well rested.”  It doesn’t necessarily mean they have slept a lot, but that they look relaxed and stress-free. Either way, knowing we will rest is clear, be relaxed, joyful and stress-free is clear in the scriptures.

Will we work?

Again, I think right back to my most recent reading in Genesis 2:15.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Notice, God didn’t put Adam and Eve in the garden just to hang out. I think about times we have taken vacations just to relax. Someone else does everything for us from the cooking to the cleaning of the room and it’s FABULOUS for a little while, but honestly it becomes very boring. I’ve found several scriptures that refer to us working/laboring when we are in Heaven. Let’s take a look.

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23

I don’t know what the jobs will be in Heaven, but I can’t imagine a better boss than our Heavenly Father. Like the work in Eden, Heavenly work won’t be difficult, tedious or something we dread. It will be a joy and honor to serve our Father and nothing of what we consider work to be now. Serving His creation and finding satisfaction in it.

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. Revelation 22:3

We are only scratching the surface of all the scriptures and information the Bible shares with us about Heaven. There are other schools of thought on Heaven too. Honestly, no one knows for sure except God and those who are there, but we have scriptures to get us a close as we can to a human understanding of such a perfect and eternal place. I encourage you to dig deeper and study some on your own. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions.

 

Heaven Revealed ~ Will we eat there?

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This is the 5th 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. This week we are going to explore what scripture says about food in Heaven.

I have often said, “Oh, I hope in Heaven I can eat at much chocolate and drink as much sweet tea as I want and not gain 1 pound.” It would be so nice not to have to spend brain power on every morsel I put in my mouth and when I’m going to fit in a little exercise as this body of mine ages. I’ve said it jokingly (maybe you have too), but never considered actually checking the scriptures to see if there was any indication about whether this would be the case until now.

Interestingly, there are lots of times  “feasts” or “banquets” are mentioned when it comes to the “new Earth” (when God returns), but I want to start with an example from Jesus concerning what may be a indication of food in the current Heaven before we move on to those.  Many of us are very familiar with the verses from Luke where Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection.

And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish,  and he took it and ate it in their presence. Luke 24:41-43

In these verses Jesus has risen from the dead, been resurrected, and when He appears asked the disciples for food. What an amazing thing to witness. Can you picture it? The awe, surprise and joy they experience when they realize their Savior has returned to them. They hadn’t shared food with Jesus since the Last Supper and here they were again – all together. Jesus asked for food in His resurrected body, could this mean we will also have food in current Heaven?

Now, let’s look at some verses that refer to feasting in the “new earth”. There are so many. Please use your concordance or http://www.biblegateway.com to look up more if you are interested. It’s fascinating. Here are a few I found:

Jesus says, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines. Isaiah 25:6

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, Revelation 19:17

I simply adore how it’s called “supper” in Revelation. I could only find “supper” used in reference to the Last Supper and God’s return supper in Revelation.

Will we eat? Yes! Will it be a feast of celebration (like Thanksgiving and Christmas everyday)? We can only  imagine, but there will food and probably a lot less family drama. I pray I will see you all at the “wedding supper of the Lamb” after His glorious return and I hope there will be chocolate.

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9