When you think of heaven, what do you think of? If you were to paint a picture of it, what would you paint?
If you haven't read the incredible book Heaven by Randy Alcorn, I wonder if you're among the majority who imagine singing all day and floating on clouds. Or perhaps you don't think about it because "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him..." so why think about it?
But check out the rest of the verse..."but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
There are so many places in Scripture where God tells us to think about heaven like, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Col. 3:1-2 God wants us to think about heaven. He wants us to look forward to awesome to enable us to endure hard times here. Having a clear picture of heaven fosters perseverance.
There are a lot of verses which describe what heaven will be like. And it's just so easy to glaze over them without realizing it's describing heaven. Like this one...
"When [the Lamb] 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. 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?' Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed." Revelation 6:9-11
What do you see it showing us about heaven?
It shows us a lot about the people in heaven:
* They are fully conscious, able to think and rationalize
* Have real live voices they use
* Remember their life on earth
* Don't know everything. I LOVE this one!!! We are going to get to learn in heaven! Squeel!!!
Did you know that there is protein in our body that glows blue and a ton of other 'wow' animals that show us the glory of God?! We'll get to discover God's Creation, to learn, to see His character more through it. Beautifully awesome!
* They relocated to heaven, an actual place/location.
* They had emotions and maintained their personal identity.
* They anticipated what was to come.
* There is an element of time since they were told to wait.
* They had a very real and personal relationship with God.
* They had bodies.
* They wear clothes and some clothes mean more than others or have more value.
* They are passionate, emotional and able to communicate.
* They care about what is happening on earth and are watching.
Randy Alcorn the leading theologian on heaven says, “Scripture gives us many images that are full of implications about heaven. Put them together, and these jigsaw pieces for a beautiful picture. For example, we’re told that heaven is a city (Heb. 11:10, 13:14). When we hear the word city, we shouldn't scratch our heads and think, I wonder what that means? We understand cities. Cities have people, buildings activities, gatherings ,art, music, athletics, events of all kinds, and goods and services.
We will have real life bodies, just like Jesus after he rose from the dead. He ate, so will we. “When God speaks of having ‘new bodies,’ do we shrug our shoulders and say, ‘I can’t imagine what a new body would be like?’ Of course not. We know what a body is... In our resurrected bodies, we will be as physical as we are now… we will be forever physical but no longer subject to sin, death, suffering, and the curse.”
What about your job description in heaven? Have you ever wondered was you'll do in heaven or were you like me and thought we wouldn't have jobs in heaven? Ya know, God gave Adam jobs before the fall (physical, moral and intellectual responsibilities- to work and care for the garden, obey-not eat of apple and name the animals), so why would we not be given jobs after restoration?
While we are there, “we will help Him run the universe (Lk 19:11-27) He will give us renewed minds and bodies so that we will be whole people, full of energy and vision, eater to undertake new projects for God’s glory and our enrichment. We will reign with Christ over the new earth, where we’ll exercise leadership and authority, making important decisions. This implies specific, delegated responsibilities… we will set goals, devise plans and share ideas. Our best workdays on earth-when everything turns out better than we planned, when everything’s done on time, when everyone on the team pulls together and enjoys each other-are just a foretaste of the job our wok will bring us in heaven.” (Randy Alcorn) We will not be bored.
Next week I'll continue with this four part series.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks 10-20 times a year. Laura is an award winning author of a 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, recently released Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest and youtube.
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