Archives For Heaven

Posts about the nature of “heaven,” referring to either the eternal paradise that the people of God will one day inhabit or to the foretaste of this “second Eden” that we receive now through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

“At the root of the Christian life lies belief in the invisible. The object of the Christian’s faith is unseen reality.”
AW Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Tozer, on the Invisible Kingdom (2)

“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.”
AW Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Tozer, on the Invisible Kingdom

Jonah and the Vine

Phil —  March 1, 2013 — 2 Comments

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” (Jonah 4:10, 11 NIV)

Sometimes, I feel like Christians in the US have more concern for the “vines” in their lives than for the people living and dying in spiritual darkness. This applies to me, especially. I get wrapped up in side projects or ancillary details all the time, neglecting much of what is really important in life.
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The Myth of “Christian Love”

Phil —  February 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

I was doing my devotions the other day, and I saw a verse—sorry, I can’t remember where it was, and I didn’t write it down—that used the term “Christian love.”

Instantly, I was struck with a thought that startled me: “‘Christian love’ sounds kind of weak.” Woah! Where did that come from?

I don’t like to admit that I felt this way, but I bet that you, like me, have that same line of thinking bouncing around in your head somewhere. No? So, it’s just me? Dang. Well, please allow me a chance to at least explain myself.

I Love You…But Only Cause I Have To!

We all have people we don’t like; people that we would do anything to avoid. It’s not that we hate these people per se. It’s just that if God gave us a choice between years spent living them on a deserted island or a marathon swim through shark-infested waters…we’d be putting on our swim fins before He finished talking. These are the kinds of people that we feel forced to love by God. So, we don’t love them like we love our family or even our friends. We love them with “Christian love.”

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New World, Old Materials

Phil —  January 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal….The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone….The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. (Revelation 21:9-11, 18, 19, 21 NIV)

Heaven Comes Down to Earth

Phil —  January 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

When Christians talk about “Heaven,” we need to realize that God’s goal is to bring Heaven back to Earth, to return, in a way, to Eden. Our desire for Heaven should not lead us to escapism. Rather, it should fuel us in our mission to bring Heaven to Earth now by expanding the Kingdom of Heaven through humble, love-fueled evangelism.

What is more, as the evil of this age escalates and sin becomes the norm, let’s remember that we belong to another Kingdom. Though this Kingdom has not yet manifested itself, it is the only Kingdom that will last into eternity. We live now by this Kingdom’s laws, having been saved from this present, moribund kingdom.

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. ‘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.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8 NIV)

Him Who Sits on the Throne

Phil —  January 16, 2013 — Leave a comment

Judgment will come at the end of all time. The books will be opened, and all will be judged according to their actions. Thank God Almighty that the righteous, merciful actions of Jesus are greater than all of our sin and wickedness. His shed blood covers us and gives us pardon before Him who sits upon the throne.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15 NIV)

The Rider on the Horse

Phil —  January 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

Let’s never forget that Jesus, the One who saved us, is a King, a Warrior. He came once in mercy and humility as a sacrifice for our sins. Presently, however, we are waiting for Him to return as a conqueror, dedicated to punishing all who would oppose Him and threaten His people.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16 NIV)