I Don’t Want To Live Forever In Heaven

Prison or Paradise?

Across the world Christians dream, sing and talk about the promise of an eternity in heaven with Jesus. But, is that even in the Bible, or is it a historical confusion that is far removed from what God has actually promised?

Plato’s promise

Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived around 400bc. He realised that if you wanted the population to get behind the republic and live sacrificially for the benefit of the community, they would need some encouragement. The answer was to encourage everyone that death, rather than reducing you to a less than human shadow (a popular belief at the time) could actually be a promotion. A time of reward and bliss.

The prison of the body

The idea that Plato and others put forward that this world isn’t the true reality started to grow. People began to believe that our bodies were a prison that we had to endure for as long as we were on earth. They were encouraged to look forward to being released from this physical prison, a release that only death could bring.

Free the soul

Because the world was thought to be a secondary reality it was believed that once the soul was released from the body, people could become their real selves, free from this apparently shadowy and corrupt world. This belief has so permeated Western history that many Christians still have the same thinking. However the Bible tells us that our bodies are amazing and an essential part of who we are, though they are currently broken by sin.

Creation redeemed

As we read through the pages of Scripture we discover a very different story to that put forward by Plato. Jesus didn’t come to simply get us to heaven, but to redeem all of creation from the effects of mans sin. Through the cross Jesus recued you, me, nature, the planets and stars, the whole lot. We can also add our bodies to that list, which though still suffering from the effects of death are in for a big change.

Our hope

When we read the word hope in the Bible, it is worth remembering that it isn’t the same as us ‘hoping to win the lottery’ or hoping things will turn out okay. Bible hope is a rock solid certainty that hasn’t happened yet, but upon which we can base our faith, emotions and decisions.

Revelation

However we read the book of Revelation we all agree one thing; God wins! When all is done heaven and earth will join and we will be in God and He will be in us forever, but in a physical world made perfect, rather than wandering around heaven in a disembodied state.

The best is yet to come

The New Testament tells us to set our hope fully on the appearing of the Lord Jesus. Our tendency is to set our hope on the things of this age, but they are temporary. However when He comes, all wrongs will be righted, justice will be done, every tear dried and all death, suffering and disease forever destroyed. It sounds too good to be true, but it is our future hope. The earth and the universe will be recreated and our bodies will be made to be like Jesus’ body. We don’t know exactly what we will be like or the details of what happens, but we will be like Him, and let’s face it, with God in charge it is going to be truly awesome.

Go well my friends 🙂

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About Mark Neale

Husband to Sandra, dad, grandpa, Christian educator, and a John Maxwell Team Member.
This entry was posted in The Grace of God and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I Don’t Want To Live Forever In Heaven

  1. Tyna says:

    very interesting,I was just discussing and disputing this topic with some Pentecostal believers and was giving same arguments that you have outlined in your post!Are there a church that believes like you,brother?I want to be there!

    • gotbygrace says:

      Hi Tyna,

      It is amazing how many people aren’t taught this, I wasn’t for many years. The Jehiva Witnesses believe this and use it as a way to undermine the average Christian.

      As for churches that believe this, I think you could possibly find one in any denomination. It depends on how well taught the leadership are.

      Be encouraged 🙂

      Mark

  2. Freedomborn says:

    Isaiah 65 17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

    2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    Yes it is sad that the J.W and those like them don’t understand the significance of the Scriptures but depend on mans fleshy understanding. They can’t see the reality of the RaptureRevelation 3:10 because they have no understanding of the first sickle and where we shall be when we are taken from earth but the Scriptures tell us clearly all God’s Truth and if we have His wisdom and Trust Jesus our only Teacher to lead us into all understanding then we will not be deceived. 1Corinthians2:9-16

    Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

    Of course Heaven is not really a large room or is it lots of Mansions made from earthly materials, Matthew 6:20 as some think and they also do not know what the Kingdom of God is or what the dwelling of the Lord is or the gates etc Heaven is a never ending dimension unable to be seen by human eyes only the heart.

    John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many Mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

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