So, you’re a Christian. Cool. Did you know that puts you “in sales”? Well, actually you’re trying to give away the product, but it is still a matter of persuading people to make a decision. Smart consumers today want to be informed about the product so they can make a sound decision. What is it you are trying to get people to sign up for? Forever.
Let’s say you’re in real estate, looking for a home for your clients, a married couple. You find the perfect place, and say to them: “I’ve found your dream home. It has everything you could ever want or need. The only condition is that if you move there, you must stay forever.” You can see them momentarily furrowing their brows as they try to conceive of “forever” and soon give up. They do realize, however, that it is a long time. Do you think they would have any questions about the place where, if they choose it, they will live forever?
So, knowing the real estate standard of “location, location, location,” they ask, “Where is the home located?” How will most Christians answer that vital question? “It’s in heaven.”
This answer leaves room for much speculation, but the general idea of floating around somewhere forever does, for most people, introduce at least the possibility of eventual, and eternal, boredom.
“What’s the place like?” That’s also a logical question, especially when forever is involved. “Uh, well, it has pearly gates and streets of gold.” “Sounds a little slippery, but I guess that’s OK.”
Their next question might be: “What will we do there?” The average Christian “salesman” would be hard-pressed to give a definitive answer, and might say, “I’m not exactly sure.”
Wait a minute, we should be able to figure out at least something about what everlasting life will be like just by putting together a couple of basic biblical truths. First, God is love. Second, God created people. So, whatever people really enjoy is probably what we’ll be doing. Why would a loving God make this life so diversified, so potentially meaningful and enjoyable, and then make everlasting life anything less?
The idea of all believers living in “heaven” is, appropriately, nebulous. Why? Because “nebulous” literally means “full of clouds” and in contemporary language means “difficult to grasp.” Have you ever looked up every biblical use of the word “heaven”? If you do, you will never find it used to describe anyone’s everlasting address. Check for yourself.
So then where did this idea come from? Not from the book of Genesis, which is fairly foundational. If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, they would have lived forever on a perfect earth because that was God’s original intent.
The whole Bible can be summed up as the story of two men, the First Adam (Adam) and the Last Adam (Jesus Christ). In regard to Paradise, which biblically is always a place on earth, not in heaven, the First Adam trashed it and the Last Adam will restore it. The Lord Jesus will rule this earth (renovated after the Tribulation) for 1000 years, and that is where Moses, the Apostle Paul, and you will be. Then the Lord will create a new earth, where all believers from all time will live — forever.
Having only a vague idea of where and how we will spend eternity not only makes it very difficult to motivate others to “sign up,” it can also seriously dilute our own mental resolve to joyfully live our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ in this world, no matter the cost. Everyone knows that “hope” is an indispensable element of life. In fact, without hope in their lives, many people actually give up and die. Biblically, “hope” is the expectation of something good that God has promised. Understanding what God says about the Christian’s hope is vital to each believer living a radiant life as a light in the midst of darkness.
Going from spiritual darkness to spiritual light is an exciting journey, and, because knowing “…the truth will make you free,” it is also one that leads to an enhanced quality of life. Our website contains more information about this topic, including where the erroneous idea of living forever in heaven came from, an overview of end times chronology, the “Rapture,” the various judgments that will include all people who have ever lived, Armageddon (we win!), each Christian’s rewards in the Millennial Kingdom and in the Everlasting Kingdom (and the difference between the two), why believers will inherit a highly-renovated earth (not clouds and sky), what it will be like, and some of the things we will do there.
To the degree that we understand these marvelous truths, we can live with an effervescence that bubbles up from a fountain of hope within us, the hope of living forever in a perfect world with God, the Lord Jesus and all believers of all time. God is love, and He never intended for the world to be in the sorry state it is today. In the hope He has given us, we have His guarantee that via His Son, Jesus Christ, He will restore Paradise and all its goodness for us to enjoy forever. See you there!