I AM NOT GOING TO HEAVEN (& I am okay with that) pt2

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A few months back I posted a blog on how I am not going to Heaven and that I am okay with it and today I plan on expounding a little more on the biblical truth of the reconciliation of the cosmos!

HEAVEN CRASHING INTO EARTH

The Biblical authors never once refer to Heaven in the modern way we tend too. To better grasp what the biblical authors meant about the “afterlife” we need to first clear up that the term Heaven is used three very different ways throughout the body of scriptures.

1. Heaven -sky, atmosphere, planets, space, the universe.

2. Heaven -God’s dwelling, denotes where God is.

3. Heaven -The Eternal State or where we live with God in eternity.

When speaking of the eternal state the biblical authors used the terms of
This Age and The Age to Come.
This Age being the marked by sin, injustice, death and The Age to Come being marked by Joy, peace, life, and the New Creation. The present state of the earth is an echo of Eden and a shadow of The Age to Come. The end of all human history is not God throwing away His creation and carrying us off to somewhere else but rather it is God renewing all of creation and bringing Heaven crashing to us! His dwelling is made with us and shalom(peace, joy, harmony, perfection, life) is made the standard for all of creation. John the Revelator used the symbolic imagery of there being no sea in The Age to Come which was a metaphor for the there being no more chaos, injustice, and death upon the earth! Isaiah chapter sixty-five paints a beautiful picture of our final hope! One that parallels with Johns account in Revelation and if I am being honest is far more desirable and fun than the boring version of Heaven that I have had taught too me for years. It is one of activity, culture, and art! There will be houses, gardens, animals, nations, kingdoms! Not at all like an eternal harp filled, cloudy, church service and for that I am so thankful! I do not particularly want to sing Amazing Grace again after “tho we have been here ten-thousand years”. Although I am certain the singing will not be accompanied by the horrible off beat clapping I am so accustomed too so I may can handle it!

Strangely very little of our language, the songs we sing, or the ambiguous ideas we have of Heaven are really in line with the way the Apostles and New Testament authors spoke. We tend to focus more on the short game of dying while in Christ where the NT authors were focused on the “end all”. They were not focused on just “getting to Heaven” but rather seeing the fullness of Heaven burst at the seems of the present creation. They looked forward to The Age to Come and the reconciliation of all things. They understood that Heaven was not some distant destination to await but the present reality of the Children of God! They knew The Kingdom was just as much now as it will be then.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

The Kingdom of God is…
The Gospel
Salvation
Hope
Love
Peace
Justice
Coming
Here
Now
Not yet
Heaven

Nine times out of ten, when Christ referred to Heaven(Eternal State) He used the terminology of “The Kingdom”. The Kingdom of God was the central message of Christ and the Apostles. The Kingdom of God is the place in which God’s will is done. Literally Heaven on Earth. Christ dragged the future into the present and has given us an appetizer, so to speak, of The Age to Come. He has inaugurated the rule and reign of God in the earth and like a mustered seed it had humble beginnings but it has grown and will continue to grow an encompass all of creation! It is such a glorious truth that enables us not to live as just people passing through the earth but citizens of a colony of Heaven here an now! Planting, cultivating, and seeing the life of Christ and the New Creation break into the present! We live in the divide, the time between times, and that is why we pray “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven“. We are amphibiously intertwined with eternity and exist as conduits for The Kingdom of God in the present!

Christ proclamation in the beginning of mark is so subversive and beautiful,

Mark 1v15“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

‘The Kingdom of God is at hand’ wow! It is in reach! So close you can feel it on your skin! How amazing is that! And if we are willing to turn away from what we think and look to Christ and trust Him we will see the Kingdom of God and all it’s glory expanding in every direction around us. He is the God of the living, the resurrected King of the Universe, not our souls chauffeur to the afterlife.

HE IS MAKING ALL THINGS NEW AND HAS CHOSEN TOO START WITH YOU!

Through whom, to whom, and for whom all things exist!
-Ryan

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