Continuing with Scot McKnight's book 'The Heaven Promise,' today I will share some highlights from chapter 14 "The First Hour in Heaven: The Promise of Reconciliation." The was an extremely good and encouraging chapter in my opinion.
"Heaven is permeated with grace and love and peace and reconciliation. In Heaven all things will be made right. I refer to the 'first hour' in Heaven because that is when we all will suddenly, fully, and eternally realize the many-directional fullness of God's promise."
"The first thing that will happen in Heaven, on the road up to the gates or at the gate or just inside the gates, is this: we will face God and one another and be fully reconciled."
"If Heaven is where everyone loves everyone well, then reconciliations are to be expected. You can't love if you are at war with one another. So the first thing that happens in Heaven is you will be face to face with everyone with whom you are at odds, and with everyone with whom you are in complete peace. We don't know if this will happen instantaneously, so that we will barely recognize it, or if this will happen in a powerful revelation in our deepest consciousness. Or perhaps it will be a little more like how reconciliation occurs right now (when it happens). But it will happen. Or it won't be Heaven. Heaven is where and when all things are made right."
"You have to be the real you... Which means we will be face to face with our enemies and those with whom relationships are anything but warm. Face-to-face meetings will lead to deep truth telling, confession, and admission. There will be no hiding and pretending or softening or reframing in an attempt to look better than we are."
In regard to two daughters, one of whom was molested by her father:
"Leslie and Laurie have done their best to forgive their father. Let us suppose the unfathomable, that on the far side of death at the gate of Heaven, they will be face to face with their father. That's the moment when truth will fall from the skies with lightning flashes of eternal horror revealing the sinfulness of it all. But the shout of horror somehow will have an echo of thunder that is all grace. Both horror and grace simultaneously."
"In that first hour. 'Forgiveness,' Leslie knows, 'requires remembrance. We cannot confess and name what was done without memory... There will come a moment when the perpetrator fully realizes what he has done and fully embraces his sin. The victims will find full vindication and justice and truth and grace and embrace. Not until then can the thunderous echo of eternal joy be heard in Heaven."
"Every sin we have committed, every evil system we have created, every moment we have rebelled against the goodness of God will be made right. We will be made right, and we will make things right with others."
"Truth must be settled in the first hour, and people must be reconciled. If there are tears in Heaven, they will occur in the first minutes of the first hour. If there are no tears in Heaven, it is because truth-telling-based repentance will be instantaneously swallowed up in the deepest kind of reconciliation. We will embrace each other in the kind of love God alone knows - the eternal interlocking dance of the Father, Son, and Spirit... We'll have a party and celebrate the grace of forgiveness and love and reconciliation."
"In Heaven we will remember our lives and comprehend them beyond what we now can remember. Our memories will be healed because they will be swallowed by the kingdom story that makes sense of all things."
"From the first hour on, we will understand everything that ever happened to us, everyone we knew. Every moment of every day, week, month, and year will suddenly make sense. And we will continue to explore our past as we enter more deeply into the story of God in Heaven's exploration of the lands beyond the future."
"So what happens first? To dwell in God's Heaven we must be reconciled with God, with ourselves, and with everyone else. To be reconciled we have to forgive and be forgiven. In the first hour, by an act of God, we will all be reconciled to love one another forever. I believe we will be fully conscious and fully cooperative in this grand and glorious moment."
I have no idea if what Scot writes in this book is actual fact or mere speculation, but I LIKE it! I liked reading it the first time, and then again when I typed it here. This is good, good stuff in my opinion.