I started a continuing ed program with Concordia Seminary, one of my alma maters, concerning Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven. The book is about the reality of our ultimate destination. Dr Jeff Gibbs, one of my professors at Concordia, and just an outstanding teacher, as well as the author of some great commentaries. discussed at school and at a conference in my district, that our ultimate destination is not heaven he repeatedly emphasized it is the New Jerusalem. As Alcorn points out we were made by God to be corporeal, that is very physical beings. We are made to be spiritual too, it is how we are connected to God, but we were made to be physical in the Garden of Eden and since God intends the New Jerusalem to be physical, the perfect reality that the Garden was supposed to be, we are destined to be in perfect physical bodies. Our bodies will be made to be forever, no physical disability, no sickness, no old age, I will be able to make a jump shot, by jumping more then three inches in the air!
Since I am doing this group I have no doubt that I will be motivated to write about heaven/New Jerusalem, but for right now, I want to make my own observation about who and why those who will be there, will be there.
Is there any doubt in your mind that the prevailing attitude about heaven in today’s society is that it’s all about me, it’s all up to me, I decide where I go, what happens to me, isn’t that the attitude? The reality is that there are two ultimate realities, heaven/The New Jerusalem, or Hell. Think what you want, but it’s up to God, He’s revealed through His Word this reality and the fact that those who are living for God in the world, in the present reality, will be residing with Him in the eternal reality, the New Jerusalem.
If we go to be in the New Jerusalem where He is a visible reality and is the only rule, doesn’t it stand to reason that He will only accept those people who have lived in the present reality by His rule, through faith in Him? If these people knew Him as Lord in this reality, won’t they be the ones who will continue to know Him in the eternal reality?
Let’s cut to the chase. God created a perfect world, our sin, our need to be “god” caused us to be evicted from perfection. Why? We weren’t/aren’t perfect and therefore not suited to the perfect reality. We were put into the present reality, where there are those who are still sure that they are “god” and are not suited to the eternal reality. Then there are those that God has made suited, they are made perfect through His Son, Jesus, they are saved and destined to the perfect world that is the New Jerusalem.
We have revelation of God’s plan through the Bible, we have lots of folks out there who like to create an ultimate revelation that exists only in their imagination. The ultimate reality is the New Jerusalem with a short phase of existence in heaven. Those who God has destined to the eternal physical reality, who are made perfect in Jesus Christ will exist forever in the New Jerusalem. Those who have been faithful to God in life, through faith in His revelation and His Son Jesus, will be the only suitable inhabitants of the New Jerusalem. If others decide that they are above God, their own little “god” who makes his/her own decision and has decided that God’s ultimate reality doesn’t suit them, then they have made their own choice to exclude themselves from the New Jerusalem and to condemnation. Why would God include anyone in the resurrection that has already rejected Him? There is one reality, it’s God’s, not yours or anyone else’s just His and His ultimate/eternal reality is the very physical reality of the eternal New Jerusalem.