Thursday, April 17, 2008

7th Heaven...17th Heaven?

I spend a lot of time reading books about heaven. One might ask why I "waste" so much time on something that is totally in God's hands. Well, I figure the more I know about heaven, the greater incentive I'll have to go there.

But the problem is the Bible's incredible near-silence on the matter. Jesus barely broached the subject. He spoke way more about hell. And I have all the usual questions I want answered: Will heaven be in heaven or on a re-created earth? Will we know each other? Where are the dead in Christ currently? And dozens more.

The situation I'm currently up against is a book on the hereafter by noted Church of Christ scholar, F. LaGard Smith. He is absolutely brilliant. I had just finished books by Randy Alcorn and Max Lucado on heaven - and I had decided that (1) the dead in Christ are in Paradise, a step below heaven, and (2) heaven would be here on a renewed, regenerated earth, with the New Jerusalem as its centerpiece - a massive, literal city. But LaGard steps into this lovely picture and kicks down the easel. He makes a convincing case that the dead in Christ are "asleep" (N.T. terminology) and will arise when Christ comes again. He also shoots down the earth as the locale for the New Jerusalem. He says heaven will be in such a different dimension so totally beyond our grasp that it precludes accurate description. And that the earth will be totally destroyed, down to the last atom, forever.

Of course, whichever side is right, it's going to be beyond belief. I just wish the New Testament came with pictures.

1 comment:

Lynn Leaming said...

I don't remember where I heard this but it was years ago "that if it took 6 days for God to create earth" and 2000 years ago Jesus said "I go to prepare a place for you" What an amazing place it is going to be. Amen. I can't wait to see it with you.