Bonnie Alba
Heaven a secret? (Part 2)
By Bonnie Alba
August 5, 2010

"I pity the man who never thinks about heaven." ~ British theologian J.C. Ryle

"I thought we couldn't know what Heaven will be." ~ anonymous comment

Why should we think about Heaven? Simply because God and Jesus Christ are there? Of course, but God doesn't stop there.

Author Randy Alcorn notes, "Our misguided attempts to make Heaven 'sound spiritual' (i.e.. non-physical) merely succeeds in making Heaven sound unappealing."

Over the last 150 years, teachings on Heaven have eroded to the point that Christians and even church leaders have no wish to go there soon. Embedded in the present world, they become no heavenly good. They put their trust in themselves or another, or some cause-philosophy.

For example, we've been taught that we 'cannot' know what Heaven will be because "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him..." — Usually the preacher-teacher stops or glosses over the rest of the verse "...but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Then there's always Deuteronomy 29:29 where Heaven is included in the secret things: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God" — rest of the verse — "But the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever."

Colossians 3:1, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on (keep seeking) things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." Second verse, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." This is a repeated, therefore, emphasized command — not a suggestion or recommendation.

It's not just about striving for the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23a) and ridding ourselves of sin. What are those "things above" we are commanded to set our minds on, besides God and Christ? God and Christ are not things, are they? It's also about "... longing for a better country [or city] — a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:16a).

We should have a desire to go to Heaven, to see and dwell with God in His Glory and Jesus Christ who gave us the way to the eternal Heaven. And we, including the church, should live as aliens, strangers and pilgrims, for our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20).

Then what else should we know about the things in Heaven? We will be both physical and spiritual.

Alcorn noted, "Adam was not a living, human being until he had both material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual) components. Our physical bodies are an essential aspect of who we are, not just shells for our spirits to inhabit."

As for what we shall be after the resurrection, author R.A. Torrey writes, "We will not be disembodied spirits in the world to come, but redeemed spirits, in redeemed bodies, in a redeemed universe."

The differences between the present Earth and the eternal New Earth to come consist of three things:

** Sin. Sin originated with Adam and Eve through the lie of Lucifer, angel gone bad. We are all born with sin nature.

** Curse. The Holy and Righteous God subjected the Earth and universe to "futility" instead of its perfect, eternal state, subjecting us to the Laws of Thermodynamics which negated eternity. We now experience decay, disorder and chaos, pain, suffering and death.

** Presence of God. God was there at the beginning. But when sin entered into the creation, He could no longer be present "in it." God pronounced the Curse until the end time.

Without God's provision of his son, without Jesus Christ's sacrifice, without Christ's resurrection, as Apostle Paul put it — "then we are to pitied more than all men." 1 Corinthians 1:15-19.

We will live in a heavenly world without sin where the curse is no more. Hard to imagine.

In his 1857 "Foretastes of the Heavenly Life" Charles Spurgeon wrote "Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country; this world of woe is but the stepping stone to a world of bliss. And, after death, what cometh? What wonder- world will open upon our astonished sight?"

Heaven is not a secret. It is what we are to long for — to seek and study all the scriptures that God has written for our benefit.


Heaven, Randy Alcorn, Tyndale, 2004
Heaven or Hell, R. A. Torrey, Whitaker House, 1985s
Revelation 12-22 Commentary, John MacArthur, Moody Press, 2000
Scripture quotes: New American Standard Bible/New International Version

© Bonnie Alba


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Bonnie Alba

(Editor's note: Bonnie Alba passed away on February 12, 2017. You can read her obituary here.)

Bonnie Alba is a "politically incorrect" researcher-writer. Since 1995, her articles have appeared in California newspapers. Previously she served in various Department of Defense positions for over 16 years... (more)


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