Theme of the Week: Heaven: Beyond Harps and Clouds
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1)
Dig Deeper: Revelation 22
The biblical story began from nothing and ends with a new beginning built upon the creation damage we have done. Eugene Peterson wrote [in Reversed Thunder], "The sin-ruined creation of Genesis is restored in the sacrifice-renewed creation of Revelation."
Think about how the last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22, mirror Genesis 1 and 2: Rivers, mountains, and trees reappear in the garden of God in Revelation, as a matching bookend to the Bible's beginning. You can frame the big picture of Bible history in three epochs: First is mankind before the Fall, as told in Genesis 1 and 2; the location is Eden. Second comes the long episode of fallen mankind, narrated from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20; this saga occurs all over the sin-cursed earth. Third, we have redeemed humanity in Revelation 21 and 22, where the setting is earth made new again.
So we have two shining chapters at the beginning. Sandwiched into the middle is an arduous struggle to regain this lost estate, made possible by Christ's victory. Then we have two chapters at the end to restore redeemed humanity back where we first began. That is a simple but quite accurate timeline of Bible history.
—Michael Allen Rogers in What Happens After I Die?
My Response: How should my heavenly hope impact the way I live in the here and now?
Thought to Apply: Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes—the rest sit around it and pluck black-berries.—Elizabeth Barrett Browning (British poet)
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.
Copyright © 2014 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
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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