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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Heaven or Where's Rob Bell When I Need Him? 2


Today I’m reading Revelation 21:1-5.

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.”

God hasn’t left us with any doubt about our ultimate spiritual destiny. We may not understand all the details. We may debate about who’s going to be there (besides us), but if we believe anything about the grace of God expressed to us through faith in Jesus Christ it is this: we will be with him forever in a place called heaven.

I think every child has wondered out loud about what heaven would be like, and probably every child has received a mixed response of platitudes, some scriptural truth and fluffy fairy tales. Golden harps, people somehow turned into angels or angels who have to earn their wings. Through Hollywood in there and you’ve got a completely confused version of what heaven might be like. I guess it’s because people always want more information than God wants to give; or we want different information that what God thinks we need to have; or we don’t like what we’ve heard from scripture so we add to it, manipulate it, change it to suit our own needs for comfort or control.

The one essential truth is that whatever heaven is like what it really means is that we will be with Christ forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and that’s a good thing.


Today’s prayer:

Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today

that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.

Let me use disappointment as material for patience;

Let me use success as material for thankfulness;

Let me use suspense as material for perseverance;

Let me use danger as material for courage;

Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering;

Let me use praise as material for humility;

Let me use pleasures as material for temperance;

Let me use pains as material for endurance.

For Christ’s sake. Amen (John Baillie)

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