Monday, November 05, 2007

Straight on your heaven theories?

I kinda thought I had nailed down this heaven the point that I taught classes on it at church. The crux of my teaching was that even though we don't know a lot about heaven, just trust God and he will make even floating on a cloud seem like cloud 9.

But I've been reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn and I'm coming over to his ideas. This book is a real tome, a scholarly but readable volume that is the result of 25 years of study on the matter by Alcorn. What he has shown is while the Bible is not expansive on the topic, it is much more illuminating that we've suspected. And it's not just Revelation, either. The O.T. is illustrative and so are various N.T. books.

Here in a nutshell is what Alcorn says. There is an intermediate heaven to which we go when we die. It is not our final destination. Our final destination, coming after the judgment, is a new earth. This new earth is actually our present earth except with evil and the consequences of evil forever removed. We will have physical bodies which will have sight and hearing just as now. The pattern here is Christ's resurrection body, the one that was just like his former physical body in many respects and totally unlike it in other respects. There will be trees, mountains, and music. There will be work and relationships, all in total perfection.

Alcorn doesn't spend but a paragraph or so on 1000-year reigns or the lack thereof. He feels it is inconsequential to the discussion.

I'd like to expound on this in subsequent blogs...I just don't know whether I can adequately handle the matter in such a limited space and still do it justice. If you're brave, get the book and settle in for a study that may take months. I'm not even halfway through and I've spent dozens of hours reading and pondering its theses.

One thing is for sure. I'm hyped up about the prospects!


Blake Perkins said...

How in the world does someone come up with a new earth? Does he mnention what state our physical bodies will be in? I may have to borrow this book.

Tim Perkins said...

II Pet. 3:13 and Rev. 21:1 are two of several scriptures that mention this.

Alcorn feels our new bodies will be perfected versions of our current bodies...after Jesus rose again, he was recognizable for who he had been, but he also had the capability to disappear, walk through walls, etc.