We need special equipment to scale the heights of Him and dive into the depths of Him. But guess what? You already have this special equipment. It’s called your spirit. And He lives inside of your spirit. – Milt Rodriguez, Christ in 3-D
For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. – [Hbr 13:14 NASB]
I’m not writing this blog post as a review of the the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Instead, this blog post is in response to people’s obsession with heaven, which the aforementioned book exposed. So many religions are about trying to get to heaven or someplace similar(with a different name). Heaven may be the goal of religion, but is God’s goal to get us to heaven?
Getting to heaven is not our goal, nor is it God’s desire for us.
If you are living to get to or to help others get to heaven when they die, you’re living opposed to God’s desire. While people are trying to reach heaven, God desires to live on earth.
God’s desire to live on earth is one of the main narratives of Scripture. In the Garden, you see that there is gold, bdellium, and onyx stone.1 Paul tells us to build with gold, silver, and precious stones.2 Likewise, the New Jerusalem is made of gold, pearl, and precious stones.3 The Garden was to be the construction yard and we are now building God’s City. Look throughout the Scriptures and you will see God’s desire everywhere. Abraham was looking for a City who Architect and Builder is God.4 There is the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple, Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and the rebuilding of the temple. Jesus tabernacled among us, He said that He was the Temple, and He said that we are a City on a Mountain. Paul said that we are the Temple and that we are building God’s House. Also, there are Bethel(House of God) and Bethany(House of Figs), which were both pictures of God’s House.
Is there a place called heaven? Yes, there are heavenly places and we are already seated there in Christ!5
Additionally, those of the Bride, who overcome in this age by blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, will be caught up to God and to His throne, for casting down Satan. This corporate Man Child is the first fruits of the Lord’s harvest. He is the New Man, a living testimony against the Deceiver, wearing the full armor of God for casting Satan down.6 Yet, this Man Child will not stay in heaven, but will come with the Lord Jesus, when He comes to rule the earth.7
I want to add that not everyone agrees that we go to heaven or hell, when we die. In my opinion, we go to a place for the dead, or Hades, with a positive side and a negative side. The positive is referred to as paradise8 in Scripture and Paul considered it as a place separate from heaven. He was taken away to the third heaven and he was taken away to paradise.9 But, it is not so important that you agree with that or not.
It is much more important that you see God’s desire to live on earth and that you are already seated in the heavenly places in Christ. When you read of the New Jerusalem, which is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s desire, you see that it is coming out of heaven to the new earth.10 Right now, we are building this City with God, by the Spirit. We are building this City in the heavenly places, so that it may fill the new earth. This City is the mingling of God and Man, a mutual Home for each other and in each other.
Do you see, brothers and sisters? God wants to live in and among us on earth. God is Spirit, but He desires a physical Body, through which, He may express Himself. That is why we have a spirit, so that we may be united with God; so that He may enter into us and form us into an expression of Himself.
It doesn’t matter so much if you agree with all of my interpretations of Scripture. I want you to see God’s desire to live and express Himself on earth, in and through us. If we are all seeking to leave earth for heaven, how will our Father have His desire on earth?
1 Genesis 2:12
2 1 Corinthians 3:12
3 Revelation 21:18-21
4 Hebrews 11:10
5 Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6
6 Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 12:5-9
7 Revelation 19:11-16
8 Luke 23:43
9 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
10 Revelation 21:2
Before, I get into the blog post today, I want to share the deep writings of a wonderful brother in Christ, T. Austin-Sparks. All of his writings are free at The Online Library of T. Austin-Sparks. He was a mature saint, who suffered much, and through whom, Christ has been magnified to many. I highly recommend T. Austin-Sparks’ writings, The School of Christ, The Stewardship of the Mystery Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and The Centrality and the Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, I think you will see more of Christ in all of his writings.
Brothers and sisters, I have always loved the song Silent Night. Since it is such a simple song, it is one of the first songs, that I am learning to play on the guitar. I realized that I don’t really care for the words too much anymore, considering Jesus Christ is far greater than that song shows Him to be. Thus, I wrote a new hymn to the tune of Silent Night called: Jesus Christ, Life and Light. Enjoy Him!
Jesus Christ, Life and Light
You’re our Calm, You’re our Sight
Around the Head, the saints gather
Holy ones loving each other
Rest in our Father’s House
Jesus Christ, Life and Light
Demons quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven within
Living stones sing Jesus, our Kin
Christ the Lord is displayed
Jesus Christ, Life and Light
In You there is no night
We look to You with unveiled face
Receiving Your Life as our Grace
Marriage of Christ and His Bride.
- Entering Into God’s Rest by T. Austin-Sparks (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
At our organic meeting on Sunday, a brother in Christ asked a question that I would like to attempt to answer. The question was this, “If all babies go to heaven, then why should we try to stop abortion”. I know this is a hot button subject with many, so if you would like to comment, I would appreciate respectful and gentle answers. My first thought, concerning the question, is that I am not sure that all babies go to heaven. I have heard some Scripture quoted that alludes to this idea, but there seems to be no definite answer on the subject. I do know that God is good and just. Therefore, I trust Him and His judgment on this subject. But, that is not where I want to go with this post.
The real issue is an idea that Christian leaders have propagated for a long time. This idea is that our faith is about getting people into heaven. This falls far short of the goal, which is that Christ would be all and in all. Jesus Christ endured the cross, suffered death, and was resurrected for the joy of honoring His Father by having His glorious image displayed in all of creation. We are the firstborn of a new creation that is consumed by a Person, Jesus Christ. When the day of the Lord comes, that great day of disaster and shame for the people and powers of this world, the old creation will be judged and destroyed. In its place will be a creation that utterly and fully radiates the image of God. When we start from the position of God’s eternal purpose in Christ, we can see that abortion does not help to display the image of Christ.
In conclusion, if all babies do go to heaven, supporting the abortion of babies so that they would go to heaven is building the kingdom with one hand, while tearing it down with the other. We are not to sin that grace may abound. In the same way, we do not support the murder of the innocent, so that there will be more people the kingdom of God. May Christ be all and in all.
Today, on the day of my birth, I am reflecting on my anticipation of death. I look forward to death. Though, it may be painful, the joy of putting off this body will be more worth it than is imaginable.
Now, I am limited in my sight of Jesus. I can see Him through my brothers and sisters in Christ. I can see Him through the Holy Spirit, who declares His greatness and riches. I can see Him through the testimony of those who physically saw Him. I can see Him by faith.
Someday, I will see His fullness. On that day, the joy in my heart will be complete. I will be at home with Christ. No more pain, no more sorrow. I will spend all eternity in utter bliss, reflecting the image of my Creator and my Lover, with my brothers and sisters in Christ. What love there will be on earth! All of our deepest needs and desires will be met in our Beloved. He will enjoy us and we will enjoy Him. There will be such a holy passion among us, that we cannot yet understand it.
In this life, we get just a mere taste of the life to come. We are still hungry and thirsty for righteousness. We are still hungry and thirsty for Jesus. Though we taste our Lord now, and He satisfies us. Someday, we shall feast on Him, and know His fullness.
I feel sorrow for the sadness, that my death will cause in those who love me. But, I am convinced that the One who has comforted me, will comfort them in my absence. It is better that I am removed from anyone who relies on me for anything, so that they may utterly rely on our dear Father. I don’t think that my death will be soon (by earthly standards), for God has much work to do in me still.