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Forget Cloudland
Theme of the Week: Heaven: Beyond Harps and Clouds
Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: But we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth. Godliness will make its home there. All of this is in keeping with God's promise. (2 Peter 3:13, NIRV)

Dig Deeper: 2 Peter 3:3-13

Jesus spoke in Matthew 19:28 about "the new world" (ESV, et al.). The NIV interprets that phrase as "the renewal of all things." Other texts predict that our final destination is a return to Eden, redeemed by God, with its curse gone forever.

Isaiah spoke of a day when "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat" (11:6). Although that is a figurative picture, the language promises a final paradise on the earth.

Put to death mythology and fantasies you have collected about the "cloudland" version of heaven, and replace them with the concept that we will walk barefoot on Gulf of Mexico sands, camp out in the Maine woods, and climb Pike's Peak—all in God's new earth.

"This world is to be our home," [says Paul Marshall in Heaven Is Not My Home]. "We were made to live here. It has been devastated by sin, but God's plan is to put that right. Hence, we look forward with joy to newly restored bodies and living in a newly restored heaven and earth. We can love this world because it is God's, and it will be healed, becoming at last what God intended from the beginning."

—Michael Allen Rogers in What Happens After I Die?

My Response: How should a biblical perspective on heaven and the new earth impact the way I appreciate and treat all of God's creation?

Thought to Apply: All beauty in the world is either a memory of Paradise or a prophecy of the transfigured world.—Nicholas Berdyaev (Russian religious and political philosopher)

Content taken from What Happens After I Die? by Michael Allen Rogers ©2013. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, crossway.org.

Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Creator, may I keep my eyes wide open for glimpses of heaven, knowing that the very best you have to offer is yet to come.

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EDWARD J Shannon III

April 24, 2014  7:02am

This whole notion of returning to Eden is very strange. Keep in mind, even before the fall, Adam worked in Eden tending the animals and plants. Are we then going to be naked cave dwellers? Or is heaven going to be industrialized, hence creating pollution? The author's premise just seems too simplified!

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