Glimpses of Eternity
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I've been reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn. An excellent book, I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to be challenged to go deeper into God's Word. Some things that have been brought to light for me are probably things that a lot of people have known for years and therefore are of no consequence to them. How blessed they are to have known these things all along!
Mr. Alcorn's book illuminates God's Word specifically in regards to what heaven is now and will be at the Resurrection. I’m going to “talk” about a couple of points that God’s allowed me to see a little more clearly.
God is spirit. He created the heavens and the earth. Therefore God existed before and OUTSIDE of heaven.
In Genesis God tells how He created the world and mankind. He formed man from the dust of the earth AND THEN breathed life into the form. There was never a time when mankind existed without a corporeal body. God placed man in the Garden of Eden: a place where our corporeal bodies would best exist. God walked with man in the Garden.
According to Genesis, the Tree of Life is in the Garden of Eden. According to Revelations, the Tree of Life is in heaven along with the New Jerusalem. Therefore, it stands to reason that the if the tree of life planted in the Garden of Eden is now in the current version of heaven, then we can assume that the Garden of Eden is in heaven. Perhaps it's even within the walls of the New Jerusalem!
Mr. Alcorn contends (and I agree with him), that heaven is a physical place created by an infinite God for created beings; angels and humans and animals. We also know that there are at least two human bodies in the current heaven: Jesus’ body and that of Elijah who never died. I know that those who have died and gone to heaven are not present in their resurrected bodies as yet, but it is possible and entirely probable that they have some sort of corporeal body; a temporary dwelling if you will. There are many verses that refer to physical things, such as the white robes in which the martyrs are clothed. A spirit being would not have a body to clothe.
This is the type of exciting insight I am getting from Mr. Alcorn’s book.
Another thought I’ve had is that God created man in His image. God is a triune being: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Is it possible that God created us as triune beings also? Body, Soul, and Spirit? To be created fully in His image? I do not completely understand the difference between the Soul and the Spirit, but what I’m beginning to understand is that the Soul refers to a person’s mind, will and emotions—their personality. Is the Spirit created within mankind, the place where man’s longing for God and eternity resides? The place where the capacity to worship begins and is only fully realized at the indwelling of the Holy Spirit once we’ve believed in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior?
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” (Blaise Pascal)