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Will Christians go to Heaven
Will Christians go to Heaven?
How many times have you heard people say they're going to heaven? From where does this concept comes? Well, I will step out of the norm and say openly that no scripture support this concept. I can categorically and positively affirm that no human being has ever or will ever go to Heaven! If we understand heaven as in the air, there are several levels of heaven i.e. the birds fly in heaven, and above them the interplanetary sphere and so on. But where God now dwells, no man will, no believer will. Yes we Christian will be lifted up - but we will meet Christ halfway up - as He already will be on His way down to earth to reward the faithful. Never at any point do the Gospels or Paul say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are all going to heaven. I've often heard people say, 'I'm going to heaven soon, and I won't need this painful corrupt body there, thank goodness. That's a very damaging distortion, all the more so for being unintentional.
This teaching about us going to heaven is a misconception taught by misguided bible scholars over time. They have not done their homework and has mislead many. Often I'm asked to explain why I reject that typical sentiment found even among some of the world most notably preachers and theologians. I told them there are several important respects in which this wildly held view is unsupported in any of the gospels or Paul's writings. First, the timing, some churches teach that when we die, we enter an intermediate state, clearly wrong and not scriptural - you're ether alive or dead! The Apostle Paul is very clear that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead already, but that nobody else who is dead has yet to be raised. Secondly, our physical state. The New Testament says that when Christ does return, the dead will be resurrected - experience a whole new life. Some even taught that we have a separate soul is different and independent of the body, the body die but the soul lives, again a wrong concept. The teaching goes way back into pagan cultures but found its way into modern teachings by a fallen church, those misguided church fathers who believes it was OK to mix religious practices with pagan customs. God rejected those teachings in Old Testament and quite frankly, the principle is, if one take a bottle labelled arson and relabelled it as honey the content is still deadly! In Genesis at the point where God created Adam, the text clearly declared that God breathe the breath of live into him and the man became a living soul! It was not part of Adam that started to live, all of him became a fully functional human being! In Ezekiel 18 we're told " the soul that sin it shall die" The Hebrew from which "soul" is interpreted refers to "life" or "person" so the reference is the whole person shall lose his life because of unrepentant sins. Also, the location. At no point do the resurrection narratives of the four Gospels say, 'Jesus has been raised, therefore we are all going to heaven. It says that Christ is coming back here on earth, a second coming, to bring it all together, appearing in the heavens where all eyes shall behold Him. Settled on Holy Mount Zion - The New Jerusalem, restore the world to what it was before Adam and Eve cause sin to enter, and in an act of new creation or regeneration of the world - behold all things will become new.
In the book of John, Jesus himself is quoted as saying, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." (John 3:13). Ever heard the term "a text without a context is a pretext?" Well, many keen bible watchers has at length examined teachings of the "secret rapture" and Paul statement "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (Thess. 4: 17), to mean we're going away in a secret rapture to heaven. First, when Paul refers to caught up to meet Christ he's referring not to a secret rapture, because it will be a open visible event! It will be accompanied by loud voices and trumpets blast, certainly not secret. The meeting Christ in the air, will be visible to all and at the point when Christ is coming down! Yes we will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air, but we will return to live with Him on the earth! Secondly, "and so shall we ever be with the Lord" do not mean living in Heaven! It means Christians will be in the Lord's presence for a thousand years on earth! In the sermon on the mount Christ specifically taught His followers, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5: 5). The misguided teachers forget the text that say we will reign with Him in the new Jerusalem. This same Jerusalem which is being fought over by the Jews and the Arabs will be taken over, when all things are renewed and become the city of God and where Christ will reign! Many modern culture seems very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what can term the life after death in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth. Jesus' resurrection marks the beginning of a restoration, "...he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead" (Col. 1: 18), that he will complete upon his return. Part of this will be the resurrection of all the dead, who will 'awake,' be embodied and participate with Christ in the renewal of Jerusalem and the world
The Muslim invaders of Jerusalem believed the prophecy that Christ was returning there when they occupied the city so they built a great wall in the 1050's AD with the aim of blocking the coming Messiah from entering the city. The wall is still there to see today. So where will the new Jerusalem be? "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea...And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband...And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God... And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (Rev. 21: 1-3, 10). In the chapter John saw this great city coming down from heaven - a picture of loveliness, so beautiful John was struck with awe. Another statement from the bible, "behold all things will become new", this is not about Heaven but earth. Heaven is already a picture of Holiness and beauty - a place where chaos cannot enter. Remember, that Satan tried to bring chaos in heaven and the arch angel Gabriel fought against him and threw him out - Christ gives a picture of Satan defeat when He declared, "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18). In Revelation Satan's final defeat will take place where he now dwells on earth causing misery to untold millions of humans around the world. Christ will usher in a new era of peace on earth - the "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2: 14), will not just be a Christmas time phrase but peace all year round and forever. A place where "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD" (Isa. 65: 25). Satan's down fall will be complete and final and "the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of God and His Christ" who will reign with the faithful for a thousand years - in the New Jerusalem! "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it...And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof...And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it...And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there...And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it" (Rev. 21: 22 - 26).
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