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What is Heaven?
May 4, 2017
Relevance: Chapter 1, Restored by Grace


Heaven


The apostle John had a vision of heaven. He says in the book of Revelation, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God" (21:3).

According to John, heaven is God's home. The fullness of his presence is there. On earth, when we pray and connect with God, we have a heightened awareness of his presence and a taste of heaven. We don't just share home with God, says John. We are related to him as his people, and he will be our God.

"God is love" (1 John 4:16). He loves us before our relationship with him is restored. Paul says, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us … when we were God's enemies" (Romans 5:8, 10).

Regarding our part in the restored relationship of love, Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30). A psalmist expressed such a desire for God as he wrote, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:10). Our love for God is "like a fire, the heat of which will be felt in everything we say and do" (RG, 150).

Hell is a dreadful place because it is the eternal separation from God, the source of love. It implies that hell is at best a place of total indifference and therefore absolute loneliness, or at worst a place of ultimate hatred and therefore endless torture.

The people in heaven also fear hell, but they are there not because of such fear. They are there because they love and desire God, and they are reconciled to him through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ (See Romans 5:10).


Notes:


From Darkness to Light
170504, Ch.1, What is Heaven?
170512, Ch.5, Good and Evil
170519, Ch.5, Image of God
170526, Ch.6, All Have Sinned
170602, Ch.6, Isaiah Prophecies
170609, Ch.6, Lamb of God
170616, Ch.6, Decision Prayer

New Life in Christ
170623, Ch.7, Fruit of the Spirit
170630, Ch.7, Time with God
170707, Ch.7, Life Together
170714, Ch.7, Messiah's Return
170728, Ch.7, Audacious Faith
171006, Ch.7, Mark of the Christian
171027, Ch.7, Christian Identities

Growing in Christ
171110, Know the Bible
171210, Christ is Central
180302, Satan Exposed

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