Heaven & Hell 1

  1. We have never seen the earth as God made it. Our planet as we know it is a shadowy, halftone image of the original. But it does whet our appetites for the New Earth, doesn’t it? If the present Earth, so diminished by the Curse, is at times so beautiful and wonderful; if our bodies, so diminished by the Curse, are at times overcome with a sense of the earth’s beauty and wonder; then how magnificent will the New Earth be? And what will it be like to experience the New Earth in something else we’ve never known: perfect bodies? - From location 2057 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  2. Earth cannot be delivered from the Curse by being destroyed. It can only be delivered by being resurrected. - From location 2065 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  3. Will a loving God send a man to hell? The answer from Jesus and His teachings of the Bible is, clearly, “Yes!”  He does not send man willingly, but man condemns himself to eternal hell because…he refuses God’s way of salvation and the hope of eternal life with Him. - From page 173 of Billy Graham in Quotes by Franklin Grahamand Donna Lee Toney
  4. The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of redemption—both for mankind and for the earth. Indeed, without Christ’s resurrection and what it means—an eternal future for fully restored human beings dwelling on a fully restored Earth—there is no Christianity. - From location 2084 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  5. Ephesians 1:9- 10 - And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment— to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
  6. A non-physical resurrection is like a sunless sunrise. There’s no such thing. Resurrection means that we will have bodies. If we didn’t have bodies, we wouldn’t be resurrected! - From location 2092 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  7. The point at which Adam became nephesh is when God joined his body (dust) and spirit (breath) together. Adam was not a living human being until he had both material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual) components. Thus, the essence of humanity is not just spirit, but spirit joined with body. Your body does not merely house the real you—it is as much a part of who you are as your spirit is.  - From location 2100 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  8. Revelation 21:1- 27 - Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “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. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me:“It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
  9. The biblical view of human nature, however, is radically different. Scripture indicates that God designed our bodies to be an integral part of our total being. Our physical bodies are an essential aspect of who we are, not just shells for our spirits to inhabit.  - From location 2110 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  10. Death is an abnormal condition because it tears apart what God created and joined together. God intended for our bodies to last as long as our souls.  - From location 2112 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  11. Real believers understand that there is far more to life than just the few years we live on this planet.
    Your identity is in eternity, and your homeland is heaven. When you grasp this truth, you will stop worrying about “having it all” on earth. God is very blunt about the danger of living for the here and now and adopting the values, priorities, and lifestyles of the world around us. When we flirt with the temptations of this world, God calls it spiritual adultery. The Bible says, “You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way.”  - From the book “The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  12. We are unified beings. That’s why the bodily resurrection of the dead is so vital. And that’s why Job rejoiced that in his flesh he would see God (Job 19:26). - From location 2114 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  13. There is a kingdom which is the kingdom of hell. We do not mean by this that somewhere in the universe there is a geographic territory known as hell over which Satan presides, along the lines John Milton painted in Paradise Lost. There is a geographical hell, just as there is a geographical heaven. But Satan does not rule there. God rules hell. That is what makes hell so horrible. On the other hand, this does not mean that there is not a satanic, hellish kingdom. On the contrary, there is; and it is this we are speaking about. It is of this kingdom that Jesus spoke when he referred to a kingdom being divided against itself and therefore being unable to stand (Mark 3:23–26). It is a “spiritual” kingdom founded on hate, pride, jealousy, anger, and cunning. It is the opposite of Christ’s kingdom at every point. Is this Christ’s source? Is this the source of his kingdom? We recall that the Pharisees thought so. Just before Christ’s words about Satan’s kingdom being divided against itself, they had said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons” (Mark 3:22). - From the commentary on John 18:36 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  14. When God sent Jesus to die, it was for our bodies as well as our spirits. He came to redeem not just “the breath of life” (spirit) but also “the dust of the ground” (body). When we die, it isn’t that our real self goes to the intermediate Heaven and our fake self goes to the grave; it’s that part of us goes to the intermediate Heaven and part goes to the grave to await our bodily resurrection. We will never be all that God intended for us to be until body and spirit are again joined in resurrection. (If we do have physical forms in the intermediate state, clearly they will not be our original or ultimate bodies.)  - From location 2116 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  15. Praise God that, through Jesus Christ, there is another perspective of death! For those who know Jesus—who have something above the sun awaiting them—death is…• not an enemy but a friend• not something to be feared but something to be anticipated• not the end but the beginning• not the cessation of hope but the fulfillment of hope• not painful but painless—it has no sting• not a defeat but a victory

    The Lord Jesus Christ, through His death and victorious resurrection, has defeated death. He has removed its painful sting. He now gives us hope. Death does not defeat us, not if we have truly trusted Christ as our Savior and Lord. Death delivers us from the woes and the limitations of this life into the glorious presence of the Lord. It transports us from the empty existence of life under the sun to the delights that Christ has prepared for us above the sun.

    The difference in perspective is in a name—the Name above every name—Jesus. He makes all the difference. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Re. 14:13). - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 9:2 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  16. Any views of the afterlife that settle for less than a bodily resurrection—including Christoplatonism, reincarnation, and transmigration of the soul—are explicitly unchristian.  - From location 2120 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  17. Resurrected bodies are not intended just to float in space, or to flit from cloud to cloud. They call for a new earth on which to live and to work, glorifying God. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body, in fact, makes no sense whatever apart from the doctrine of the new earth.  - From location 2127 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  18. The Bible says, “We are Christ’s ambassadors.” Sadly, many Christians have betrayed their King and his kingdom. They have foolishly concluded that because they live on earth, it’s their home. It is not. The Bible is clear: “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.” God warns us to not get too attached to what’s around us because it is temporary. We’re told, “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.”  - From the book “The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  19. Wishful thinking is not the reason why, deep in our hearts, we desire a resurrected life on a resurrected Earth instead of a disembodied existence in a spiritual realm. Rather, it is precisely because God intends for us to be raised to new life on the New Earth that we desire it. It is God who created us to desire what we are made for. It is God who “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It is God who designed us to live on Earth and to desire the earthly life. And it is our bodily resurrection that will allow us to return to an earthly life—this time freed from sin and the Curse.  - From location 2135 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  20. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Becoming a new creation sounds as if it involves a radical change, and indeed it does. But though we become new people when we come to Christ, we still remain the same people.  - From location 2141 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  21. Conversion does not mean eliminating the old but transforming it. Despite the radical changes that occur through salvation, death, and resurrection, we remain who we are. We have the same history, appearance, memory, interests, and skills. This is the principle of redemptive continuity. God will not scrap his original creation and start over. Instead, he will take his fallen, corrupted children and restore, refresh, and renew us to our original design. - From location 2148 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  22. The New Earth will still be Earth, but a changed Earth. It will be converted and resurrected, but it will still be Earth and recognizable as such. Just as those reborn through salvation maintain continuity with the people they were, so too the world will be reborn in continuity with the old world (Matthew 19:28). In fact, writes Bavinck, “the rebirth of humans is completed in the rebirth of creation. The kingdom of God is fully realized only when it is visibly extended over the earth as well. - From location 2157 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  23. God, man or the devil: these are the three possible sources of hope.  The strategy of the invisible warfare has been planned by God in order that these questions shall be answered, once and for all, in the presence of all created beings whether human, celestial of infernal.  Human history is the record of the attempts of man and Satan to do something for man.  When asked why an omnipotent God permits the holocaust of human history, the answer from the Word of God must be that He permits it in order to demonstrate to the universe that neither Satan nor man can do anything for themselves or for each other.  If it were otherwise, these two forces, which are at enmity with each other and both against God as their common enemy, could say either separately or together: “We have done it.  We have succeeded in organizing ourselves and are no longer dependent upon God.We have demonstrated our capacity and ability.  We have established a kingdom, and we do not need the plans of God for His kingdom of heaven over earth…” There is a third possibility which is most certainly the expression of Biblical thought.  It is that God both cares and has the power, but that He is planning something which demands the coming chaos of man’s world in order to demonstrate to all that help is to be found in Himself alone.  God knows that the world is in terrible condition.  God has the power to alter it, but will not do so today because of His greater purpose.  God cares tremendously.  This is evident in Calvary. But He knows that His care can be manifest today only to the select company of individuals who have accepted the principals that rise from His eternal decrees.  These admit the principal of their own spiritual bankruptcy and have turned utterly to the Lord Jesus Chris as God’s  one and only answer to the problem.  There is a sense, therefore, in which God does not exercise any care over the rebels who people this world.  Something of this is seen in the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ: “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine”  (John 17:9)…. This is why the worldlings, seeing the disasters of human suffering, draw the conclusion that God is not caring for His creation.  they do not understand God; they do not understand the difference between the creatures who refuse the Lordship of God and those who have bowed to it in Christ and have thus become the children of God.
    In short, they do not recognize that there is a war on, and that God neither will nor can yield.  There must be the unconditional surrender to Him of His universe.  He is Lord of all strategy, an, when in His Judgments certain lessons have been made obvious to the dullness of the fallen creation, He will move to end the present phase of the struggle and bring in the righteousness which shall, most certainly, come to the creation in the moment God has chosen for it.  Meanwhile, the war goes on, and it is fought entirely under a set of rules which has been drawn up by God and which He is able to enforce, even now, upon the reluctant enemies in the armies of Satan and in the camp of humanity. - from pages 94 & 95 of the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  24. If we don’t grasp redemptive continuity, we cannot understand the nature of our resurrection. “There must be continuity,” writes Anthony Hoekema, “for otherwise there would be little point in speaking about a resurrection at all. The calling into existence of a completely new set of people totally different from the present inhabitants of the earth would not be a resurrection.  - From location 2161 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  25. Likewise, it is we, the very same people who walk this earth, who will walk the New Earth. “And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, emphasis added).  - From location 2166 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  26. The empty tomb is the ultimate proof that Christ’s resurrection body was the same body that died on the cross. If resurrection meant the creation of a new body, Christ’s original body would have remained in the tomb. When Jesus said to his disciples after his resurrection, “It is I myself,” he was emphasizing to them that he was the same person—in spirit and body—who had gone to the cross (Luke 24:39). His disciples saw the marks of his crucifixion, unmistakable evidence that this was the same body.  - From location 2170 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  27. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19). John clarifies that “the temple he had spoken of was his body” (v. 21). The body that rose is the body that was destroyed. Hence, Hank Hanegraaff says, “There is a one-to-one correspondence between the body of Christ that died and the body that rose.  - From location 2174 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  28. “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Ph. 3:20-21).
  29. “The self-same bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ.” The Westminster Confession, one of the great creeds of the Christian faith, says, “All the dead shall be raised up, with the self-same bodies, and none other.” “Self-same bodies” affirms the doctrine of continuity through resurrection.  - From location 2178 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  30. This, then, is the most basic truth about our resurrected bodies: They are the same bodies God created for us, but they will be raised to greater perfection than we’ve ever known. We don’t know everything about them, of course, but we do know a great deal. Scripture does not leave us in the dark about our resurrection bodies.  - From location 2181 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  31. There is no human logic in the doctrine of heaven; the only logic is to be found in the punishment of sin by a holy God and the separation of the sinner from His holy Self.  That He was able, in the depth of His being to find a way whereby sin could be put on a substitute and the sinner go free, is one of the greatest glories of His nature which He has been pleased to reveal to us.  Again and again we must cry out: “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God; how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out! - from pages 122-123 of the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  32. We’re told a great deal about Christ’s resurrected body, and we’re told that our bodies will be like his. The Lord Jesus Christ . . . will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20-21) Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2, RSV) And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49).  - From location 2192 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  33. It was that Adam was under sin and the Curse, and Christ was untouched by sin and the Curse. Jesus was and is a human being, “in every respect like us” (Hebrews 2:17, NLT), except with respect to sin.  - From location 2198 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  34. Though Jesus in his resurrected body proclaimed, “I am not a ghost” (Luke 24:39, NLT), countless Christians think they will be ghosts in the eternal Heaven. - From location 2200 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  35. If Jesus had been a ghost, if we would be ghosts, then redemption wouldn’t have been accomplished. - From location 2204 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  36. Jesus walked the earth in his resurrection body for forty days, showing us how we would live as resurrected human beings. In effect, he also demonstrated where we would live as resurrected human beings—on Earth. Christ’s resurrection body was suited for life on Earth, not primarily life in the intermediate Heaven. As Jesus was raised to come back to live on Earth, so we will be raised to come back to live on Earth (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 21:1-3). - From location 2205 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  37. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Th. 4:16-18).
  38. The risen Jesus walked and talked with two disciples on the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13-35). They asked him questions; he taught them and guided them in their understanding of Scripture. They saw nothing different enough about him to tip them off to his identity until “their eyes were opened” (v. 31). This suggests that God had prevented them from recognizing Jesus earlier, which they otherwise would have. The point is that they didn’t see anything amiss. They saw the resurrected Jesus as a normal, everyday human being. The soles of his feet didn’t hover above the road—they walked on it. No one saw bread going down a transparent esophagus when he swallowed.  - From location 2208 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  39. The fact that Jesus picked up his relationships where they’d left off is a foretaste of our own lives after we are resurrected. We will experience continuity between our current lives and our resurrected lives, with the same memories and relational histories.  - From location 2236 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  40. Once we understand that Christ’s resurrection is the prototype for the resurrection of mankind and the earth, we realize that Scripture has given us an interpretive precedent for approaching passages concerning human resurrection and life on the New Earth. Shouldn’t we interpret passages alluding to resurrected people living on the New Earth as literally as those concerning Christ’s resurrected life during the forty days he walked on the old Earth?  - From location 2237 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  41. When Paul speaks of our resurrection bodies, he says, “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).  - From location 2242 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  42. When Paul uses the term “spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44), he is not talking about a body made of spirit, or an incorporeal body—there is no such thing. Body means corporeal: flesh and bones. The word spiritual here is an adjective describing body, not negating its meaning. A spiritual body is first and foremost a real body or it would not qualify to be called a body. Paul could have simply said, “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spirit,” if that were the case.  - From location 2250 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  43. Judging from Christ’s resurrection body, a spiritual body appears most of the time to look and act like a regular physical body, with the exception that it may have (and in Christ’s case it does have) some powers of a metaphysical nature; that is, beyond normal physical abilities.  - From location 2254 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  44. When Paul says that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” he’s referring to our flesh and blood as they are now: cursed and under sin. Our present bodies are fallen and destructible, but our future bodies—though still bodies in the fullest sense—will be untouched by sin and indestructible. They will be like Christ’s resurrection body—both physical and indestructible.  - From location 2261 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  45. A body need not be destructible in order to be real. Our destructibility is an aberration from God’s created norm. Death, disease, and the deterioration of age are the products of sin. Because there was no death before the Fall, presumably Adam and Eve’s original bodies were either indestructible or self-repairing (perhaps healed by the tree of life, as suggested in Revelation 22:2). Yet they were truly flesh and blood.  - From location 2264 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  46. Inside your body, even if it is failing, is the blueprint for your resurrection body. You may not be satisfied with your current body or mind—but you’ll be thrilled with your resurrection upgrades. With them you’ll be better able to serve and glorify God and enjoy an eternity of wonders he has prepared for you.  - From location 2271 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  47. The gospel is far greater than most of us imagine. It isn’t just good news for us—it’s good news for animals, plants, stars, and planets. It’s good news for the sky above and the earth below.  - From location 2278 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  48. Colossians 1:18-20 in The Message: “He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.”  - From location 2298 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  49. The power of Christ’s resurrection is enough not only to remake us, but also to remake every inch of the universe—mountains, rivers, plants, animals, stars, nebulae, quasars, and galaxies. Christ’s redemptive work extends resurrection to the far reaches of the universe. This is a stunning affirmation of God’s greatness. It should move our hearts to wonder and praise.  - From location 2302 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  50. The creation hopes for, even anticipates, resurrection. That’s exactly what Scripture tells us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  - From location 2311 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  51. The “redemption of our bodies” refers to the resurrection of the dead. Paul says that not only we but “the whole creation” awaits the earthwide deliverance that will come with our bodily resurrection. Not only mankind in general but believers in particular (those with God’s Spirit within) are aligned with the rest of creation, which intuitively reaches out to God for deliverance. We know what God intended for mankind and the earth, and therefore we have an object for our longing. We groan for what creation groans for—redemption. God subjected the whole creation to frustration by putting the Curse not only on mankind but also on the earth (Genesis 3:17). Why? Because human beings and the earth are inseparably linked. And as together we fell, together we shall rise. God will transform the fallen human race into a renewed human race and the present Earth into the New Earth. - From location 2317 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  52. Why does the creation wait eagerly for our resurrection? For one simple but critically important reason: As mankind goes, so goes all of creation. Thus, just as all creation was spoiled through our rebellion, the deliverance of all creation hinges on our deliverance. The glorification of the universe hinges on the glorification of a redeemed human race. The destiny of all creation rides on our coattails.  - From location 2334 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  53. We are so accustomed to the cycle of death in nature that we assume it is natural and has always been as it is. The Bible appears to say otherwise: “Death came through a man [Adam]” (1 Corinthians 15:21). I see no biblical evidence for the assumption that God designed his creation to fall into death, or that animal death predated mankind’s fall. Do artists deliberately inject decay into their work?  - From location 2354 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  54. Isn’t it reasonable to suppose that the pristine conditions of God’s original creation were such that humans and animals would not die, stellar energy would be replenished, and planets would not fall out of orbit? What if God intended that our dominion over the earth would ultimately extend to the entire physical universe? Then we would not be surprised to see the whole creation come under our curse, because it would all be under our stewardship. - From location 2358 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  55. The redemption of the earth is, in spite of all, still bound up with man. . . . Man is the instrument for the redemption of the earthly creation. And because this remains God’s way and goal, there can be a new heaven and a new earth only after the great white throne, i.e., after the completion and conclusion of the history of human redemption. - From location 2363 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  56. What I believe was not part of his ideal world was the suffering and death of living creatures. I see no evidence that suffering and death could be part of a world God called “very good.  - From location 2373 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  57. Did the lion “eat straw like the ox” as we are told he will one day (Isaiah 11:7)? Was it true in Eden as it will be on the New Earth, “[Animals] will neither harm nor destroy” (Isaiah 11:9)? Many think otherwise, but I believe the answer is yes.  - From location 2377 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  58. Paul says, “the whole creation” has come under mankind’s curse, and God will deliver the whole creation by our resurrection.  - From location 2385 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  59. We should expect that anything affected by the Fall will be restored to its original condition. Things will no longer get worse. When they change, they will only get better. That will be true of our bodies and our minds and human culture in the new universe. And there are no grounds to imagine that the link between mankind and the universe will cease. Why shouldn’t it continue for all eternity?  - From location 2391 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  60. If “the whole creation” is as comprehensive as it appears, then there is not an amoeba or chromosome or DNA strand or galaxy unaffected by mankind’s fall. That is the bad news. Paul follows with the good news—that what went down with mankind in the Fall will come back up with us when Christ’s redemptive work is completed. The God who raised Jesus will in turn raise his people and the universe.  - From location 2395 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  61. There is such a close biblical connection between the inhabitants of the earth and Earth itself that the phrase “the world” (kosmos) is sometimes synonymous with people: “God so loved the world,” and “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ” (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:19). - From location 2398 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  62. In Romans 8 we see that the redemptive work of Christ not only rescues people who believe in him, it rescues the world itself. Just as we will die, the earth will be destroyed; and just as we will be raised, the earth will be renewed.  - From location 2403 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  63. John Piper writes, “What happens to our bodies and what happens to the creation go together. And what happens to our bodies is not annihilation but redemption. . . . Our bodies will be redeemed, restored, made new, not thrown away. And so it is with the heavens and the earth.”  - From location 2404 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  64. The fallen but redeemed children of God will be transformed into something new: sinless, wise stewards of the earth. Today the earth is dying; but before it dies—or in its death—it will give birth to the New Earth. The New Earth will be the child of the old Earth, just as the new human race will be the children of the old race. Yet it is still us, the same human beings, and it will also be the same Earth.  - From location 2417 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  65. It is no coincidence that the first two chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1–2) begin with the creation of the heavens and the earth and the last two chapters (Revelation 21–22) begin with the re-creation of the heavens and the earth. All that was lost at the beginning will be restored at the end. And far more will be added besides. - From location 2423 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  66. Anticipating eternal life as resurrected beings in a resurrected universe has present, practical implications. “Therefore [in light of our eventual resurrection], my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  - From location 2439 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  67. How do we know that our labor in the Lord is not in vain? Because of our bodily resurrection. Just as we will be carried over from the old world to the new, so will our labor. In a sense, not only our bodies but our service for Christ will be resurrected. J. B. Phillips renders 1 Corinthians 15:58 as follows: “Let nothing move you as you busy yourselves in the Lord’s work. Be sure that nothing you do for him is ever lost or ever wasted.”  - From location 2441 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  68. We have the assurance of Scripture that all believers will survive the fire of testing and be raised. But it is not only ourselves that will outlast this world and be carried over to the new one. It is what we do with our lives. Our righteous works will follow us to Heaven (Revelation 14:13). Not only will some things that God has made survive his judgment, but so will some things we have done. Products of faithful lives will endure. They will be purified and “laid bare,” so their beauty will be forever seen. God’s fire will not destroy the whole Earth; it will destroy all that displeases him. But there is much that pleases him, and these things will endure the fire, to be reconstituted after the final resurrection of the dead. Not only acts of obedience and spiritual sacrifices, but also everything good will last forever and be carried over from one world to the next.  - From location 2454 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  69. God promises to resurrect not only humanity but also the creation that fell as a result of our sin. Because God will resurrect the earth itself, we know that the resurrection of the dead extends to things that are inanimate. Even some of the works of our hands, done to God’s glory, will survive. I may be mistaken on the details, but Scripture is clear that in some form, at least, what’s done on Earth to Christ’s glory will survive. Our error has not been in overestimating the extent of God’s redemption and resurrection but underestimating it.  - From location 2485 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  70. If we understand the meaning of resurrection, it will revolutionize our thinking about the eternal Heaven. God, whose grace overflows, may be lavish in what he chooses to resurrect.  - From location 2491 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  71. A radio preacher, speaking about a Christian woman whose Christian husband had died, said, “Little did she know that when she hugged her husband that morning, she would never hug him again.” Though the preacher’s words were well intentioned, they were not true. He could have said, “She’d never again hug her husband in this life,” or better, “She would not be able to hug her husband again until the next world.” Because of the coming resurrection of the dead, we will be able to hug each other again—on the New Earth.  - From location 2495 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  72. We do not just say what we believe—we end up believing what we say. That’s why I propose that we should consciously correct our vocabulary so it conforms to revealed biblical truth. It’s hard for us to think accurately about the New Earth because we’re so accustomed to speaking of Heaven as the opposite of Earth. It may be difficult to retrain ourselves, but we should do it. We must teach ourselves to embrace the principle of continuity of people and the earth in the coming resurrection that Scripture teaches. - From location 2506 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  73. (Hence, we don’t think of Heaven as a place where people will hug, and certainly not in these bodies.) But in Heaven we won’t be shadow people living in shadowlands—to borrow C. S. Lewis’s imagery. Instead, we’ll be fully alive and fully physical in a fully physical universe.  - From location 2511 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  74. In one sense, we’ve never seen our friend’s body as truly as we will see it in the eternal Heaven. We’ve never been hugged here as meaningfully as we’ll be hugged there. And we’ve never known this earth to be all that we will then know it to be.  - From location 2513 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  75. Jesus Christ died to secure for us a resurrected life on a resurrected Earth. Let’s be careful to speak of it in terms that deliver us from our misconceptions and do justice to the greatness of Christ’s redemptive work.  - From location 2515 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  76. The long arm of the King moved with swiftness and power. The hope of reward that kept the sufferers sane was vindicated at last. No child of heaven was touched by the sword this day, for the universe could not tolerate the shedding of one more drop of righteous blood. Heaven released fury. Earth bled fear. It was the old world’s last night. At the Lion’s nod, Michael raised his mighty sword and brought it down upon the great dragon. His muscles bulging at the strain, Michael picked up his evil twin and cast the writhing beast into a great pit. The mauler of men, the hunter of women, the predator of children, the persecutor of the righteous shrieked in terror. The vast army of heaven’s warriors cheered.  - From location 2525 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  77. The sound of a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and loud peals of thunder, shouted, “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” . . . All eyes turned to the King. The entire universe fell silent, anticipating his words. “I will turn the wasteland into a garden,” the King announced. “I will bring here the home I have made for you, my bride. There will be a new world, a life-filled blue-green world, greater than all that has ever been. The Shadowlands are mine again, and I shall transform them. My kingdom has come. My will shall be done. Winter is over. Spring is here at last!” A great roar rose from the vast crowd. The King raised his hands. Upon seeing those scars, the cheering crowds remembered the unthinkable cost of this great celebration. - From location 2537 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  78. When the song was complete, the Audience of One stood and raised his great arms, then clapped his scarred hands together in thunderous applause, shaking ground and sky, jarring every corner of the cosmos. His applause went on and on, unstopping and unstoppable. Every one of them realized something with undiminished clarity in that instant. They wondered why they had not seen it all along. What they knew in that moment, in every fiber of their beings, was that this Person and this Place were all they had ever longed for . . . and ever would. - From location 2550 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  79. If God were to end history and reign forever in a distant Heaven, Earth would be remembered as a graveyard of sin and failure. Instead, Earth will be redeemed and resurrected. In the end it will be a far greater world, even for having gone through the birth pains of suffering and sin—yes, even sin. The New Earth will justify the old Earth’s disaster, make good out of it, putting it in perspective. It will preserve and perpetuate Earth’s original design and heritage. - From location 2561 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  80. But because God will dwell with his people on the New Earth, these Scripture passages do refer to Heaven. “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. . . . The earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19). Just as Adam was made from the dust of the earth, we will be remade from the dust to which we returned at death. God’s people are not looking for deliverance from Earth, but deliverance on Earth. That’s exactly what we will find after our bodily resurrection. - From location 2585 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn
  81. It’s necessary for us to take a closer look at the Millennium, which has been the subject of considerable debate throughout church history. Revelation 20 refers six times to the Millennium, describing it like this: The devil is bound for a thousand years (v. 2). For a thousand years, the nations are no longer deceived (v. 3). The saints come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years (v. 4). The rest of the dead don’t come to life until after the thousand years are ended (v. 5). The saints will be priests and kings for a thousand years (v. 6). Satan will be loosed at the end of the thousand years, and he will prompt a final human rebellion against God (vv. 7-8). Theologians differ over whether the Millennium should be understood as a literal thousand-year reign, and when it will occur in relation to the second coming of Christ. Christians generally hold one of three views about the Millennium: postmillennial, premillennial, or amillennial. From a postmillennial viewpoint, Christ’s Kingdom is spreading throughout the world, and God’s justice will prevail across the earth prior to Christ’s return. After his reign is established through his people for a long duration (not necessarily a literal thousand years), Christ will physically return to an already utopian world. - From location 2591 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn  
  82. From a premillennial viewpoint—which would include much of dispensational theology and the teaching of a variety of scholars throughout church history—the Millennium will be a literal thousand-year reign of Christ, which will begin immediately upon his return when he defeats his enemies in the battle of Armageddon. During these thousand years, God’s promises of the Messiah’s earthly reign will be fulfilled. Redeemed Jews will live in their homeland, and (according to some teachings) the church will govern the world with Christ. The Millennium will end with a final rebellion, and the old Earth will be replaced by, or transformed into, the New Earth.  - From location 2602 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  83. From an amillennial viewpoint—including most Reformed theology and the teaching of many scholars throughout church history—the Millennium isn’t a literal thousand years, nor is it a future state. Rather, the events depicted in Revelation 20:3-7 are happening right now as Christ’s church reigns with him over the earth, in victorious triumph empowered by his death and resurrection. The saints rule over the earth from the intermediate Heaven, where they dwell with Christ. - From location 2607 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  84. The Millennium question relates to whether the old Earth will end after the return of Christ, or a thousand years later after the end of the Millennium. But regardless of when the old Earth ends, the central fact is that the New Earth will begin. The Bible is emphatic that God’s ultimate Kingdom and our final home will not be on the old Earth but on the New Earth, where at last God’s original design will be fulfilled and enjoyed forever—not just for a thousand years. Hence, no matter how differently we may view the Millennium, we can still embrace a common theology of the New Earth.  - From location 2622 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  85. A dominant theme in Old Testament prophecies involves God’s plan for an earthly kingdom of righteousness. This pertains to the earth in general and Jerusalem in particular. Isaiah, for example, repeatedly anticipates this coming new world. The Messiah “will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom . . . forever” (Isaiah 9:7). David’s throne was an earthly one, with an earthly past and an earthly future.  - From location 2627 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  86. “See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him” (Isaiah 62:11). This statement reappears in Revelation 22:12, in the words of Jesus Christ: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” The preoccupation with God’s establishment of an earthly kingdom couldn’t be more clear than it is in Isaiah 65: “‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. . . . But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. . . . They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. . . . The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,’ says the Lord” (vv. 17-19, 21, 25).  - From location 2643 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  87. The New Earth will be the setting for God’s Kingdom. The New Jerusalem will be where people come to pay him tribute: “‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure. . . . All mankind will come and bow down before me,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 66:22-23).  - From location 2651 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  88. It’s worth restating that we should expect Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah’s second coming and the New Earth to be literally fulfilled because his detailed prophecies regarding the Messiah’s first coming were literally fulfilled (e.g., Isaiah 52:13; 53:4-12). When Jesus spoke to his disciples before ascending to Heaven, he said it was not for them to know when he would restore God’s Kingdom on Earth (Acts 1:6-8), but he did not say they wouldn’t know if he would restore God’s Kingdom. After all, restoring the Kingdom of God on Earth was his ultimate mission.  - From location 2657 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  89. David’s throne is not in Heaven but on Earth. It is God’s reign on Earth, not in Heaven, that is the focus of the unfolding drama of redemption. That earthly reign will be forever established on the New Earth. God has a future plan for the earth and a future plan for Jerusalem. His plan involves an actual kingdom over which he and his people will reign—not merely for a thousand years but forever (Revelation 22:5). It will be the long-delayed but never-derailed fulfillment of God’s command for mankind to exercise righteous dominion over the earth.  - From location 2663 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  90.  An explicitly messianic passage tells us, “His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10). - From location 2669 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  91. Similarly, the apostle John notes that when believers die, what they have done on Earth to Christ’s glory “will follow them” into Heaven (Revelation 14:13). These are earthly things that will outlast the present Earth. “Those purified works on the earth,” writes Albert Wolters, “must surely include the products of human culture. There is no reason to doubt that they will be transfigured and transformed by their liberation from the curse, but they will be in essential continuity with our experience now—just as our resurrected bodies, though glorified, will still be bodies.”  - From location 2704 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  92. On the contrary, Satan has been decisively defeated. God will reveal the full dimensions of that defeat when he shall renew this very earth on which Satan deceived mankind and finally banish from it all the results of Satan’s evil machinations.”  - From location 2718 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  93. As we saw in chapter 12, Romans 8:19-23 inseparably links the destinies of mankind and Earth. As such, the earth will be raised to new life in the same way our bodies will be raised to new life.  - From location 2732 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  94. Even if we didn’t have dozens of other passages such as Isaiah 60 that refer to it so clearly, Acts 3:21 would be sufficient. It tells us that Christ will “remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” When Christ returns, God’s agenda is not to destroy everything and start over, but to “restore everything.” The perfection of creation once lost will be fully regained, and then some. The same Peter who spoke these words in Acts 3 wrote the words about the earth’s destruction in 2 Peter 3—apparently he saw no conflict between them. Albert Wolters says, “Redemption means restoration—that is, the return to the goodness of an originally unscathed creation and not merely the addition of something supracreational. . . . This restoration affects the whole of creational life and not merely some limited area within it.”112 It will be as if an artist wiped away the old paint, stained and cracking, and started a new and better painting, but using the same images on the same canvas.  - From location 2734 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  95. The cleansing with fire will be more thorough than the Flood in that it will permanently eliminate sin. But just as God’s judgment by water didn’t make the earth permanently uninhabitable, neither will God’s judgment by fire. - From location 2755 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  96. God’s fire of judgment will consume the bad but refine the good, exposing things as they really are. - From location 2760 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  97. “The word used in the older and better manuscripts conveys the idea of a process that does not so much destroy or burn up, but uncovers or lays open for discovery the creation, now in a renewed state of pristine purity.”114 Likewise rejecting “burned up” as the best translation,  - From location 2761 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  98. In Romans 8. The new heavens and earth will issue from God’s sovereign and redemptive work. . . . It will involve the renewal of all things, not the creation of all new things . . . [and] it follows that the life to come in the new creation will be as rich and full of activity in the service of the Lord as was intended at the beginning.”  - From location 2766 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  99. When Revelation 21:1 speaks of “a new heaven and a new earth,” it indicates a transformation of the entire universe. The Greek word kainos, translated “new,” indicates that the earth God creates won’t merely be new as opposed to old, but new in quality and superior in character. According to Walter Bauer’s lexicon, kainos means new “in the sense that what is old has become obsolete, and should be replaced by what is new. In such a case the new is, as a rule, superior in kind to the old. - From location 2773 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  100. Paul uses the same word, kainos, when he speaks of a believer becoming “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The New Earth will be the same as the old Earth, just as a new Christian is still the same person he was before. Different? Yes. But also the same.  - From location 2779 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  101. According to the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy), the fire doesn’t obliterate the wood but transforms it into different substances, including charcoal and carbon dioxide. What we consider annihilation is not what it appears.   - From location 2782 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  102. Beale says, “All of the Old Testament works toward the goal of new creation, and the New Testament begins to fulfill that primary goal. . . . Redemption is always subordinate to creation in that it is the means of reintroducing the conditions of the new creation. All events since the fall are to be seen as a process leading to the reintroduction of the original creation. Dumbrell is correct in understanding new creation as the dominating notion of biblical theology because new creation is the goal or purpose of God’s redemptive-historical plan; new creation is the logical main point of Scripture.”  - From location 2801 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  103. The earth’s death will be no more final than our own. The destruction of the old Earth in God’s purifying judgment will immediately be followed by its resurrection to new life. Earth’s fiery “end” will open straight into a glorious new beginning. And as we’ll see later, it will just keep getting better and better. - From location 2805 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  104. The life we now have as the persons we now are will continue in the universe in which we now exist.  - From location 2809 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  105. What we really want is to live forever in a world with all the beauty and none of the ugliness—a world without sin, death, the Curse, and all the personal and relational problems and disappointments they create. - From location 2814 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  106. In other words, the emphasis in the present heaven is on the absence of earth’s negatives, while in the future heaven it is the presence of earth’s positives, magnified many times through the power and glory of resurrected bodies on a resurrected Earth, free at last from sin and shame and all that would hinder both joy and achievement.” - From location 2826 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  107. We love newness—yet in each case, what is new is attached to something familiar. We don’t really like things that are utterly foreign to us. Instead, we appreciate fresh and innovative variations on things that we already know and love. So when we hear that in Heaven we will have new bodies and live on a New Earth, that’s how we should understand the word new—a restored and perfected version of our familiar bodies and our familiar Earth and our familiar relationships. - From location 2839 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  108. A common misunderstanding about the eternal Heaven is that it will be unfamiliar. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. - From location 2842 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  109. But the Bible portrays life in God’s presence, in our resurrected bodies in a resurrected universe, as so exciting and compelling that even the youngest and healthiest of us should daydream about it.  - From location 2862 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  110. No wonder Satan doesn’t want us to learn the truth about Heaven. If we fall in love with the place and look forward to the future that God has for us, we’ll fall more in love with God, and we’ll be emboldened to follow him with greater resolve and perspective. - From location 2863 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  111. The moment we set foot on the New Earth, we’ll know it’s exactly where we belong. But we don’t have to wait until we die to learn about Heaven. - From location 2873 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  112. Home is where we’re with the ones we love. Heaven will be just like that. We’ll be with people we love, and we’ll love no one more than Jesus, who purchased with his own blood the real estate of the New Earth. It won’t be long before we settle in there. Because we’ve already lived on Earth, I think it will seem from the first that we’re coming home. Because we once lived on Earth, the New Earth will strike us as very familiar.  - From location 2891 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  113. Home is a place where we fit right in. It’s the place we were made for. Most houses we live in on Earth weren’t really made just for us. But the New Earth will be. - From location 2895 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  114. In Heaven, what kind of a place can we expect our Lord to have prepared for us? Because he isn’t limited and he loves us even more than we love our children, I think we can expect to find the best place ever made by anyone, for anyone, in the history of the universe. The God who commends hospitality will not be outdone in his hospitality to us.  - From location 2898 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  115. We will still be people when we die and go to Heaven. This isn’t a disappointing reality—it’s God’s plan. He made us as we are—except the sin part, which has nothing to do with friends, eating, sports, gardening, or reading.  - From location 2969 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  116. What we love about this life are the things that resonate with the life we were made for. The things we love are not merely the best this life has to offer—they are previews of the greater life to come. - From location 2974 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  117. We may imagine we want a thousand different things, but God is the one we really long for. His presence brings satisfaction; his absence brings thirst and longing. Our longing for Heaven is a longing for God—a longing that involves not only our inner beings, but our bodies as well. Being with God is the heart and soul of Heaven. Every other heavenly pleasure will derive from and be secondary to his presence. God’s greatest gift to us is, and always will be, himself. - From location 2991 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  118. When Moses said to God, “Show me your glory,” God responded, “‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you. . . . But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’ . . . ‘When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen’” (Exodus 33:18-23).  - From location 3002 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  119. The obstacles to seeing God are daunting: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). It’s only because we’ll be fully righteous in Christ, completely sinless, that we’ll be able to see God and live.  - From location 3009 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  120. Not only will we see his face and live, but we will likely wonder if we ever lived before we saw his face! To see God will be our greatest joy, the joy by which all others will be measured. - From location 3011 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  121. This is the wonder of our redemption—to be welcomed into the very presence of our Lord and to see him face-to-face. What will we see in his eyes? Though we cannot experience its fullness yet, we can gain a foretaste now: “We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19); “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV). We shouldn’t read these verses casually, for they tell us something wonderful beyond comprehension—that the blood of Jesus has bought us full access to God’s throne room and his Most Holy Place. Even now, he welcomes us to come there in prayer. In eternity, when we’re resurrected beings, he will not only permit us to enter his presence in prayer, but he will welcome us to live in his presence as resurrected beings.  - From location 3017 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  122. God, who is transcendent, became immanent in Jesus Christ, who is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). God the Son pitched his tent among us, on our Earth, as one of us (John 1:14). So whenever we see Jesus in Heaven, we will see God. Because Jesus Christ is God, and a permanent manifestation of God, he could say to Philip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Certainly, then, a primary way we will see the Father on the New Earth is through his Son, Jesus. Jonathan Edwards emphasized Christ as the member of the Godhead we will see: “The seeing of God in the glorified body of Christ is the most perfect way of seeing God with the bodily eyes that can be; for in seeing a real body that one of the persons of the Trinity has assumed to be his body, and that he dwells in for ever as his own in which the divine majesty and excellency appears as much as ’tis possible for it to appear in outward form or shape.”  - From location 3027 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  123. Yet Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). And in Revelation 22:4, when it says “they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads,” it appears to be referring to seeing the face of God the Father.  - From location 3034 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  124. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday [when he lived on Earth] and today [when he lives in the intermediate Heaven] and forever [when he will live on the New Earth, in the eternal Heaven]” (Hebrews 13:8). Christ didn’t put on a body as if it were a coat. He didn’t contain two separable components, man and God, to be switched on and off at will. Rather, he was and is and will be always a man and God.  - From location 3053 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  125. We need not wait till the New Earth to catch glimpses of God. We’re told his “invisible qualities” can be “clearly seen” in “what has been made” (Romans 1:20). Consider the trees, flowers, sun, rain, and the people around you. Yes, there’s devastation all around us and within us. Eden has been trampled, burned, and savaged. Yet the stars in the sky nevertheless declare God’s glory (Psalm 19:1), as do animals, art, and music. But our vision is hampered by the same curse that infects all creation. One day both we and the universe will be forever cured of sin. In that day, we will see God.  - From location 3065 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  126. In Heaven, the barriers between redeemed human beings and God will forever be gone. To look into God’s eyes will be to see what we’ve always longed to see: the person who made us for his own good pleasure. Seeing God will be like seeing everything else for the first time. Why? Because not only will we see God, he will be the lens through which we see everything else—people, ourselves, and the events of this life.  - From location 3070 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  127. What is the essence of eternal life? “That they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Our primary joy in Heaven will be knowing and seeing God. Every other joy will be derivative, flowing from the fountain of our relationship with God.  - From location 3073 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  128. Asaph says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25). This may seem an overstatement—there’s nothing on Earth this man desires but God? But he’s affirming that the central desires of our heart are for God. Yes, we desire many other things—but in desiring them, it is really God we desire. Augustine called God “the end of our desires.” He prayed, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”  - From location 3079 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  129. Scripture says we are to put our hope not in material things but “in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). If he provides everything for our enjoyment, we shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying it, should we?  - From location 3093 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  130. Because of the current darkness of our hearts, we must be careful not to make idols out of God’s provisions. But once we’re freed from sin and we’re in God’s presence, we’ll never have to worry about putting people or things above God. That would be unthinkable. - From location 3099 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  131. When we find joy in God’s gifts, we will be finding our joy in him.  - From location 3108 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  132. All secondary joys are derivative in nature. They cannot be separated from God. Flowers are beautiful for one reason—God is beautiful. Rainbows are stunning because God is stunning. Puppies are delightful because God is delightful. Sports are fun because God is fun. Study is rewarding because God is rewarding. Work is fulfilling because God is fulfilling.  - From location 3109 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  133. Ironically, some people who are the most determined to avoid the sacrilege of putting things before God miss a thousand daily opportunities to thank him, praise him, and draw near to him, because they imagine they shouldn’t enjoy the very things he made to help us know him and love him.  - From location 3112 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  134. God is a lavish giver. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). The God who gave us his Son delights to graciously give us “all things.” These “all things” are in addition to Christ, but they are never instead of him—they come, Scripture tells us, “along with him.” If we didn’t have Christ, we would have nothing. But because we have Christ, we have everything. Hence, we can enjoy the people and things God has made, and in the process enjoy the God who designed and provided them for his pleasure and ours. - From location 3114 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  135. God welcomes prayers of thanksgiving for meals, warm fires, games, books, relationships, and every other good thing. When we fail to acknowledge God as the source of all good things, we fail to give him the recognition and glory he deserves. We separate joy from God, which is like trying to separate heat from fire or wetness from rain.  - From location 3119 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  136. We shouldn’t ignore or minimize God’s lavish, creative gifts, but we should enjoy them and express heartfelt gratitude to God for all of life’s joys. When we do this, instead of these things drawing us from God, they draw us to God. That’s precisely what all things and all beings in Heaven will do—draw us to God, never away from him. - From location 3124 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  137. Every day we should see God in his creation: in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the friendships we enjoy, and the pleasures of family, work, and hobbies. Yes, we must sometimes forgo secondary pleasures, and we should never let them eclipse God. And we should avoid opulence and waste when others are needy. But we should thank God for all of life’s joys, large and small, and allow them to draw us to him. That’s exactly what we’ll do in Heaven . . . so why not start now? - From location 3126 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  138. God doesn’t want to be replaced or depreciated. He wants to be recognized as the source of all our joys, and he wants us to draw closer to him through partaking of his creation. My taking pleasure in a good meal or a good book is taking pleasure in God. It’s not a substitute for God, nor is it a distraction from him. In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, it’s what I was made for: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”  - From location 3131 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  139. There will always be more to see when we look at God, because his infinite character can never be exhausted. We could—and will—spend countless millennia exploring the depths of God’s being and be no closer to seeing it all than when we first started. This is the magnificence of God and the wonder of Heaven.  - From location 3136 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  140. Augustine wrote in The City of God, “We shall in the future world see the material forms of the new heavens and the new earth in such a way that we shall most distinctly recognize God everywhere present and governing all things, material as well as spiritual.” In the new universe, as we study nature, as we pursue science and mathematics and every realm of knowledge, we’ll see God in everything, for he’s behind it all.  - From location 3144 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  141. Eden’s greatest attraction was God’s presence. The greatest tragedy of sin and the Curse was that God no longer dwelt with his people. His presence came back in a small but real way in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and the Temple. After the Exile, Ezekiel saw God’s shekinah glory—his visible presence—leave the temple and the city, a sad day for Israel (Ezekiel 11:23). - From location 3151 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  142. God promised Simeon, a “righteous and devout” old man who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Christ’s birth, that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. The culminating joy of Simeon’s life was to see Jesus when Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple (Luke 2:25-32). We too have been promised that we’ll see Jesus. As Simeon lived his earthly life in anticipation of seeing Jesus, so should we. All else—in this world and the next—will be secondary to beholding our Lord. To see Jesus—what could be greater? “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). - From location 3157 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  143. Being with him. Gazing at him. Talking with him. Worshiping him. Embracing him. Eating with him. Walking with him. Laughing with him. Imagine it! - From location 3164 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  144. As there is nothing greater or better than God himself, God has promised us himself. God shall be the end of all our desires, who will be seen without end, loved without cloy, and praised without weariness. - From location 3166 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  145. In Eden, God came down to Earth, the home of mankind, whenever he wished (Genesis 3:8). On the New Earth, God and mankind will be able to come to each other whenever they wish. We will not have to leave home to visit God, nor will God leave home to visit us. God and mankind will live together forever in the same home—the New Earth. - From location 3190 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  146. God declares this truth in Scripture: I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (Leviticus 26:11-12) My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Ezekiel 37:27) I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:16).  - From location 3192 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  147. How did Satan hold the power of death?  This statement raises a problem because Scripture assert that God alone has charge of the issues of life and death )Luke 12:5).  Satan took the lead in introducing sin into the world by his successful temptation of Adam (Rom 5:12).  Satan has the "power of death" because he introduced sin which causes death.  Death is the fruit of sin (Rom. 5:21).  The death and resurrection of Christ has rendered powerless the one who was formerly the master of death.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 2 v. 14  p. 29. 
  148. Our life in heaven is not merely an eternity of vacations but a new experience of face-to-face contact with God (1 John 3:2–3; Rev. 14:13). Heaven is a place of rest, but not of listless laziness. In heaven God will provide a new earth in which we can live, work, and glorify God (Rev. 21:1). Chief among our labors will be the privilege of offering praises to God (Rev. 5:12–13).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 1715.
  149. Hell is a place of punishment designed for Satan and the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 20:10). However, it will also be inhabited by those who do not accept God’s gift of redemption in Christ (Revelation 20:12-15). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2519.
  150. In hell, people are fully conscious and retain all of their capacities and desires with no hope for any fulfillment for all eternity (Luke 16:22-31). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2523.
  151. Apart from trusting Christ for salvation, any person’s eternal future will be spent in hell. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2526.
  152. Because God is fair, hell won’t be the same for everyone. The severity of punishment will vary with the degree of truth known and the nature and number of sins committed. This is no consolation, however, since the “best” of hell will still be hell—eternal exclusion from the presence of God and the soothing light of his grace.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2527.
  153. As he was about to leave this world, Jesus said to his disciples, “There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. . . . When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:2-3, NLT). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2552.
  154. We were made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person. Heaven is the place. And Jesus is the one building that place for us. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2555.
  155. Heaven will have an endless supply of fresh water and delicious food. No famine or drought. Christ promised we would eat and drink with him—along with Abraham and others (Matthew 8:11). We’ll meet and converse with other inhabitants of heaven. Not only Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but Moses, David, Ruth, Esther, Mary, and Peter.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2568.
  156. We’ll converse with angels. Because angels are “ministering spirits” who serve us (Hebrews 1:14), we’ll get to know those who protected us during our years on earth. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2571.
  157. We’ll enjoy and share with others the treasures we laid up for ourselves in heaven while we lived on earth (Matthew 6:19-21). We’ll open our dwelling places to entertain people (Luke 16:9). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2572.
  158. There will be no temple, no church buildings. Christ will be the focus of all. Worship will be unaffected, without pretense or distraction. We’ll be lost in our worship, overcome by God’s magnificence and the privilege of being his children.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2576.
  159. Will we learn in heaven? Definitely. We’re told that in the coming ages God will continuously reveal to us the “incomparable riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:7). When we die, we’ll know a lot more than we do now, but we’ll keep learning about God and his creation and each other throughout eternity. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2580.
  160. Will we remember our lives and relationships on earth? Of course. (We’ll be smarter in heaven, not dumber!) Remembrance is important to God, which is why the heavenly city has memorials of people and events of earth (Revelation 21:12-14). It’s also why God keeps in heaven “a scroll of remembrance,” written in God’s presence, “concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name” (Malachi 3:16). The pain of the past will be gone. But memories of being together in the trenches, walking with Christ, and experiencing intimate times with family and friends will remain. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2583.
  161. Will we know our loved ones in heaven?  Certainly. We’ll know even those we didn’t know on earth, just as Peter, James, and John recognized Moses and Elijah when they joined Jesus (Luke 9:28-33), though they could not have known what they looked like. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2587.
  162. Heaven will offer much-needed rest to the weary (Revelation 14:13). What feels better than putting your head on the pillow after a hard day’s work or kicking back to read a good book with a cold drink by your side? - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2591.
  163. But rest renews us, revitalizes us to become active again. Heaven will offer refreshing activity, productive and unthwarted—like Adam and Eve’s work in Eden before sin brought the curse on the ground. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2592.
  164. In heaven, we’re told, “his servants will serve him” (Revelation 22:3). This means we’ll be active, because to “serve” means to work, to expend effort, to do something. Service involves responsibilities, duties, effort, planning, and creativity to do work well. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2594.
  165. We’ll lead and exercise authority in heaven, making important decisions. We’ll reign with Christ (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 3:21), not temporarily but “for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). “Reigning” implies specific delegated responsibilities for those under our leadership (Luke 19:17-19). We’ll rule over the world and even over angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2596.
  166. When God brings heaven down to the new earth, he “will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). What an intimate picture—God’s hands will touch the face of each individual child, removing every tear. The same verse says, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” As the Irish poet Thomas Moore put it, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2599.
  167. For Christians, death is never the end of a relationship but only an interruption to be followed by glorious reunion. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2611.
  168. Heaven is the Christian’s certain hope, a hope that can and should sustain us through life’s darkest hours. But this doesn’t happen automatically. We must choose to think about heaven and center our lives around it: “Set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand. . . . Let heaven fill your thoughts” (Colossians 3:1-2, NLT).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2613.
  169. Not all Christians will hear the master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). Not all of us will have treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Not all of us will have the same position of authority in heaven (Luke 19:17, 19, 26). We will have differing levels of reward in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). There is no hint that, once given or withheld, rewards are anything other than eternal and irrevocable.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2812.
  170. At death, a Christian doesn’t leave home. We go home: “We . . . prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Consider the paradox—our true home is a place we’ve never been! (Had we been there we could hardly bear to live here.) Home is where our Father is. Though content to be about our Father’s business here in these motel rooms we call bodies, we’re never entirely at home. How can we be? Our true home is so far superior, the spiritual family there so vast and rich. The Great Reunion awaits us. We long for it. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3752.
  171. The phrase kingdom of heaven (3:2) is found thirty-three times in Matthew.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 34.
  172. Two Sets of Books "If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."REVELATION 20:15 NIV   These are sobering words—the most sobering words imaginable. The Bible says that in Heaven there are two sets of books. One set records every detail of our lives: everything we have done since the day we were born. All of that will be held against us at judgment. But Scripture tells us there is another book in Heaven: the Book of Life. When we come to Christ—when we receive Him, when we come to the cross where He died for us, when we believe that He is risen and we receive Him into our lives—our names are blotted out of the first set of books. God no longer even remembers our sins because they have been blotted out by the blood of Christ, shed on the cross for us. The moment our names are blotted out of the first set of books, God writes them in the Book of Life. Only those whose names are recorded there will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Is your name written in the Book of Life? Make sure by opening your heart to Christ and committing your life to Him without reserve. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 293). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  173. Why Books about Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and movies about such as "Heaven is for Real" are dangerous. - From the Christain Resource Institute website article:  Heaven Is Real, but Heaven Is for Real Is Really Not, Article ID: HIR20140416 | By: Hank Hanegraaff  
    1. There is nothing new under the sun. From the time occult parapsychologist Raymond Moody coined the moniker “Near-Death Experience” (NDE) to the present, bestsellers on NDEs have abounded—Embraced by the Light by Betty Eadie; Beyond Death’s Door by Maurice Rawlings; Life after Life by Raymond Moody; The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Kevin Malarkey; 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper; My Journey to Heaven by Marvin J. Besteman; Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander—to name just a few.
    2.   The following are ten reasons I consider the movie Heaven Is for Real to be a dangerous diversion:
      1. It is more than noteworthy to point out that NDEs are predictably contextualized by the backgrounds and belief systems of those who experience them. As such, they hardly provide a unified conclusion regarding the matters of life and death, heaven and hell, and most importantly the nature of God. Muslims encounter the Holy Spirit as the archangel Gabriel. Buddhists are inexorably guided down the pathway to nirvanic realization of “no self.” And the Burpos, who interpret the Bible literalistically, are now convinced that God the Father has enormous wings, blue eyes, and yellow hair, and God the Son is wingless, with sea-green-bluish eyes, brown hair, and a rainbow-colored horse. And the Holy Spirit? Well, He is bluish! Who would have thought?
      2. The subjective recollection of NDErs are wildly divergent and mutually contradictory. Logically, while they can all be wrong, they cannot all be right. Orthopedic surgeon Mary Neal, in the wake of a drowning accident, felt her soul being inexorably pulled toward the entry of a “great and brilliant hall,” in which the dead are given “a final opportunity to choose God—or turn away—for eternity.” Conversely, in Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, Dr. Eben Alexander experiences an afterlife in which such choices are wholly unnecessary—“You have nothing to fear.” “There is nothing you can do wrong.” This, writes Alexander, “is not only the single most important emotional truth in the universe, but also the single most important scientific truth as well.” In short, Neal, Alexander, and, for that matter, the Burpos and a host of other NDErs paint entirely different and conflicting portraits of the afterlife.
      3. There is a substantive difference between clinical death and biological death. Put another way, to be almost dead and absolutely dead are two entirely different propositions. We may rightly suppose that what is experienced during clinical death and what will be experienced at the climax of death are not one and the same. The point here is that NDEs do not provide definitive knowledge of what happens after death in that NDErs by definition have not actually experienced biological death. In short, a near-death experience is the subjective recollection of an experience that occurred during a state of unconsciousness precipitated by a medical crisis, such as an accident, suicide attempt, or cardiac arrest. As such, an NDE is notoriously unreliable as a means by which to determine what awaits us when “the silver cord is severed” (Ecclesiastes 12:6).
      4. There is a clear and present danger in turning to Burpo rather than the Bible respecting those things that allegedly will happen in the future. Has Burpo indeed been shown the future? Is he really a direct eyewitness who is now empowered to settle theological issues that the body of Christ has struggled with throughout its history? Has he really had face-to-face communication with the resurrected Christ, John the Baptist, David, Peter, John, and even the archangel Gabriel? If so, Burpo is a treasure to the body of Christ like unto the Bible. If not, we should dismiss the subjective recollections of a three-year-old and instead hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
      5. While Christ does not tell us the time of His second appearing, Colton is more than happy to! Indeed, according to Colton, it is within the lifetime of his own father. As a result, Pastor Burpo not only knows that he will be alive during the final battle of Armageddon but also that he will personally slay monsters during this cosmic battle with either a sword or a bow and an arrow.
      6. Among the biblical writers who “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21), not one dared say that like their Lord they could speak authoritatively about heaven from firsthand knowledge. Nor, in contrast to Burpo, did one of them dare prophesy the century of Christ’s return!
      7. In the 14th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, Dr. Luke chronicles the near-death experience of Paul. While it may have been useful to concoct a miraculous resurrection from the dead in the narrative, Luke does no such thing. Instead, he matter-of-factly notes that Paul—revived from near-death—“ got up and went back into the city” (Acts 14:20). While one might well imagine Paul writing an epistle after being “caught up to Paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2), he did not so much as countenance the thought. Rather, he humbly refrained from boasting about his celestial experience so that “no one will think more of me than is warranted” (v. 6). In point of fact, unlike Colton Burpo, Paul was not permitted to speak of his “surpassingly great revelations” (v. 7).
      8. The Burpos are greatly biased by the subjective specter of hyperliteralism. As such, it is not surprising that Colton returned from his alleged trip to heaven with stories of massive pearly gates, brightly colored horses, and a Holy Spirit that is, well, “kind of blue.” Tragically, such exacting literalism is pandemic within the contemporary Christian community. Thus, it is not uncommon to see heaven described as a translucent cube measuring 1500 miles in each direction. One wonders if, by the same token, the present earth is set on pillars. After all, does not the Bible say that God shakes the earth from its place, and makes the pillars tremble?
      9. Psychological factors, including fantasy proneness, may play a part in some NDEs. While it is impossible to say definitively that such is the case with the Burpos, statistically one out of every twelve Americans is predisposed to creating a fantasy out of thin air—and then believing it to be true. Such fantasy proneness is referred to as Grade Five Syndrome. While Grade Five personalities are generally intuitive and intelligent, they also have vivid, visual imaginations. Thus they are highly susceptible to the power of suggestion. A complex of characteristics, including the capacity to believe contradictory experiences, a propensity for the unusual, and an eagerness to trust and please others, makes Grade Five personalities particularly susceptible to NDEs, out-of-body experiences, and the occasional difficulty in distinguishing fantasy from reality.
      10. Finally, there is the very real issue of apostolic authority. God Himself set the conditions by which new revelations of life after life must be ratified—namely, confirmation by those who were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In point of fact, with the death of the apostles, there can be no new revelations—much less new revelations that compromise, confuse, or outright contradict “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Paul is the quintessential test case. The apostolic community validated him as an eyewitness to the Resurrection and as an apostle. Thus, revelation received through him—unlike revelations received through modern revelators—may be deemed reliable and binding on the body of Christ.
      11. I do not doubt that some of those who claim to have been to heaven (or hell) have had a subjective experience. But that is precisely the point. Subjective experiences are notoriously unreliable; thus, they must be tested in light of an objective frame of reference—which in Christianity is the Bible. Again, Colton Burpo may genuinely believe that God has yellow hair and big wings. But we do well to “test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). As Elizabeth Hillstrom, professor of psychology at Wheaton, has wisely warned, "It is possible that some NDE accounts are grossly exaggerated or are even outright fabrications, concocted for profit, publicity or attention. Currently there is a very strong market for book-length accounts of NDEs, and unfortunately many readers are willing to accept such accounts at face value. This creates a situation that is ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous storytellers.”
  174. To speak of heaven is not a trifling matter. It is quite literally everything we look forward to and everything we long for. Thus, when people say they have been there and know precisely what it entails, we are all ears. Inevitably we are told that heaven is somewhere up there. If you travel upward from the perspective of Jerusalem (downward from Tonga), we will inevitably encounter the heavenly city. Upon their return, many near-deathers speak of entering the heavenly city through pearly gates and walking on pure gold. But is that true? Is heaven really up there somewhere? Does it really have a street of gold? And if so, how exactly do we get there?  - From the Christain Resource Institute website article:  Heaven Is Real, Article ID: HIR20140418 | By: Hank Hanegraaff 
  175. First, from a biblical perspective, we may rightly say that heaven is where God is. When my father died in 1997, we buried his body in a cemetery in Michigan. Not so the nonphysical aspect of his humanity. His nonmaterial spirit is even now where God is. He once prayed, “Our Father, which art in Heaven.” He is now in that very space. The best, however, is yet to come. For one day, “the dwelling of God will be with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3–4). In the meantime, he, along with a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1), is enjoying the presence of God.
  176. Furthermore, heaven is where we are. Heaven is not a place altogether other than this universe; it is this universe restored. That, ultimately, is the hope of Christianity: the resurrection of our physical bodies, and the renewal of the physical universe. The Easter of earth. The grand and glorious promise of the biblical worldview is that we will once again walk this physical planet. Therefore, when the Bible speaks of “a new heaven and a new earth,” it is describing a universe that, though renewed, stands in continuity with the one we presently inhabit. Put another way, at the second appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this universe will be thoroughly transformed. Though its elements will be destroyed by fire, like a mother in labor, the present cosmos will give birth to a perfect creation. Just as there is continuity between our present body and our resurrected body, so too there will be continuity between the physical universe and the one we will inhabit throughout eternity.
  177. Finally, we might rightly say heaven is where God is and where we are. At present there is, as it were, a veil that separates the habitation of God from the habitation of humanity. In the redemption of all things, that veil will be removed. Christ will then be available to us physically as He is now available to us spiritually. The Shekinah glory that once filled Solomon’s temple will fill the new heavens and the new earth. When the veil is removed, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Sacred space will fill our place.
  178. So where is heaven? Is it up there somewhere? A place made of jasper with pearly gates and a street of pure gold? Heavens, no! The language is a heavenly condescension to our earthly inadequacies. The Bible’s descriptions are not intended to communicate what heaven looks like any more than hair “white like wool, as white as snow” is intended to tell us what Jesus looks like. Rather, such descriptions are intended to communicate what heaven is like. As with the golden bowls full of incense (prayers of the saints); the golden lampstands (churches); and fine linen (righteous acts of the saints); so the metaphors describing the heavenly city magnify a far more majestic and glorious reality. A reality far grander than a fourteen-hundred-cubic-mile Jerusalem constructed of jewels and jasper. Heaven involves our earth—these fields, these mountains, these rivers, our place—united as one with God’s space. When the veil is removed, heaven and earth will be conjoined as one. God will walk with us just as He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day.
  179. In light of the biblical depiction of the “new heavens and the new earth,” it is simply incredible to think that Christians willingly accept the paltry substitutes offered up by modern near-death experiencers. Such is the biblical illiteracy of our day! When movies such as Heaven Is for Real supplant the heaven that is real, transformation is sorely needed. I find it tragic that ministries such as Focus on the Family extol this movie, exuding, “Colton’s heaven is assuredly Jesus’ heaven….That’s what the film offers, and it does so in a compelling and sometimes emotional way. What it doesn’t offer is much that will convince theological skeptics—John MacArthur and Hank Hanegraaff among them—that God routinely invites people up into His presence for a visit when they’re at death’s door” (Focus on the Family’s Plugged In, “Heaven Is for Real”; NOTE: Ron Reno, Vice President of Ministry Values at Focus on the Family, has since communicated to me that no slight was intended in these words and they have changed the wording in their review to make that plain).
  180. Let me be clear, this is not about being sensitive to personal criticism—Lord knows I deal with it all the time. Nor is this meant to dismiss a worthy ministry. What ultimately is being criticized is historic Christianity—the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)—and that not on a peripheral issue but on the hope of heaven itself. Rather than dismiss theological skepticism, we would all be better served to test this transcendently important matter in light of Scripture, holding fast to only that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
  181. For definitive discussion on Near-Death Experiences, see my book AfterLife: What You Need to Know about Heaven, the Hereafter, and Near-Death Experiences (Worthy, 2013), in which I answer such question as:
    1. What is heaven?
    2. Where is heaven?
    3. When do we receive our resurrected bodies?
    4. What will our resurrected bodies be like?
    5. Will earth be resurrected?
  182. New York TimesThe Boy Who Came Back from Heaven Bestselling Book, : A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life beyond This World—The Story Behind the Story - From the Christain Resource Institute website article:  The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven The Story Behind the Story - Article ID: BFH20140423 | By: Hank Hanegraaff
  183. Backstory. Subsequent to three-year-old Colton Burpo’s return from heaven, six-year-old Alex Malarkey traveled there as well. As such, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven (Tyndale, 2010) purports to be the true story of Alex’s direct experience with angels, demons, and, yes, the devil himself. Along the way he is alleged to have encountered “one hundred and fifty pure, white angels with fantastic wings, green demons with long fingernails and hair made of fire, and an earless devil, replete with three heads, a nasty nose, and moldy teeth.”
  184. Like Colton, Alex was allegedly permitted to see God.  But in sharp distinction, he was not permitted to see God’s face. As Alex is alleged to have written, “I was in the presence of God. He had a body that was like a human body, but it was a lot bigger. I could only see up to His neck because, like the Bible says, nobody is allowed to see God’s face or that person will die.”
  185. Story behind the story. According to Alex’s mother—his precious care-taker—these words are not the words of Alex at all. As she put it in a Facebook message to me, “Hank, my son is being exploited…My son has tried to speak (as best he could) on the wrongs of this book but he has been silenced.”
  186. After surviving a horrific car accident, being in a coma for two months, and to this day continuing to struggle with the after effects of brain trauma, Alex cares more deeply about truth than he cares about himself. Even though the most expedient thing to do is to promote the published story, Alex and his mother are deeply committed to communicate truth instead. Here is in part what she wrote in her letter to me:
    1. Dear Hank,  My name is Beth Malarkey. I am the mom of Alex Malarkey who is the subject of the book The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven. I wanted to let you know that I agree, as does Alex himself, that the book is deceptive and biblically wrong…Thank you for standing for and teaching truth!

      Says Beth, “These heaven books are dangerous and destructive!”

      In addition, on Easter Sunday, Beth wrote a blog post titled, “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven…not quite.” Here’s what she says in part: I am not a medical professional. The letters after my name are M.O.M.  My lessons have been learned on the road of life.

      This past week a movie based off the book Heaven Is for Real came out…and [I] am strongly opposed to the movie. Let’s just say that the Burpo book and the book that has Alex’s name listed as coauthor (The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven)…have a few things in common.

      It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book, The Boy who Came Back from Heaven,
       not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned…. (a few strategically placed Scriptures do not make a book biblically sound).

      ...When Alex first tried to tell a “pastor” how wrong the book was and how it needed [to be] stopped, Alex was told that the book was blessing people.

      ...Alex is the ONLY one who ha
      s endured not only a horrific set of injuries, but [has endured] having his journey capitalized on. His struggles are NOT past tense nor is the “story.” The ones making money from the book are NOT the ones staying up through the night, struggling for their breath, nor were they the ones at six years old, waking up unable to move or breathe….What I have walked through with Alex over the past nine years has nearly broken me personally and spiritually. I have wept so deeply for what I have watched my children go through, been made aware of how…biblically illiterate I was, which allowed me to be deceived! Sure, I had read my Bible A LOT, but I had not studied it. I had listened to teachings but probably enjoyed more ear tickling than I am still even aware of (for that I repent and have experienced deep sorrow). I am so thankful that God is so merciful and patient. I am thankful that God allowed me to go ahead and fall for the junk that I did (and it was that junk) for I am fully aware of what it feels like to be pulled in. There are many who are scamming and using the Word of God to do it. They are good, especially if you are not digging into your Bible and truly studying it.

      ...Alex did not write the book and it is not blessing him! Saying that it is blessing others …is…justification of wrong!

      ...Alex’s name and identity are being used against his wishes…Alex has tried to publically speak out against the book… he is opposed to [it] and knows [it] to be in error according to the Bible. How can this be going on? …How did it get this far?

      I have spoken to Beth and Alex at length and believe with all my heart that the real story is not selling and sensationalism respecting heaven—but faith forged in the fires of adversity! And that story as yet has not been told.