Thursday, October 29, 2015

God's six promises about heaven

Part 3 of Scot McKnight's book 'The Heaven Promise' highlights what he refers to as 'God's Six Promises About Heaven.' They are:
  1. God Will Be God
  2. Jesus Will Be Jesus
  3. Heaven Will Be the Utopia of Pleasures
  4. Heaven Will Be Eternal Life
  5. Heaven Will Be an Eternal Global Fellowship
  6. Heaven Will Be an Eternal Beloved Community
Today I will also put forth a few things I lifted from chapter 8 on "The First Promise: God Will Be God." He begins with...
"Sketches of Heaven begin well when they begin with God - on the Throne, in the Center of all centers, the Star of all stars, the Light of all lights, and the Glory of all of Heaven's many glories. Which leads you and me to a rather obvious conclusion: Heaven is designed for and only comfortable for God-lovers.

God shapes Heaven for those who delight in him so much they want to dwell in his presence and gaze upon his ever-expanding beauty all eternity long. It is not selfish on God's part to be glorified; it is right and good. In fact, it is gracious of God to grant us such endless basking in his love. If God really is God, then Heaven will be when God will be fully God to everyone and everything."

He then speaks of "face time" with God. Something not even Moses had. As he says on pp. 60-61, "I believe God's full presence is unendurable for humans in the here and now, but at the end of history, we all will have face time with God. We won't merely endure God's glorious presence - it will be our greatest joy."

Scot likens the experience of God in Heaven to those "magic eye" books and pictures that were popular a decade or two ago. Remember those pictures where you would stare at a bundle of dots and if you could look at it just right the dots morphed into a three-dimensional picture? If you were lucky enough, that 3-D image would cause you to lose all peripheral vision and, in a way, allow you to almost enter INTO the picture. As Scot says... 

"When we encounter God fully under the power of a transformed body - very similar to Jesus's resurrection body - the dots will suddenly be seen through a deeper experience of life. At that moment, all the dots suddenly will make sense. Most importantly, we will become absorbed with the depth of who God is."

He continues, "Heaven is for those who long to gaze upon the beautiful face of God." Amen.

God, in heaven, will be the All in all of everything that ever was and ever will be. He quotes J.I. Packer, "The hearts of those in heaven say, 'I want this to go on forever.' And it will."

The final section I noted was on p. 65:
"As the resurrection body magnified into glory Jesus's earthly body, so the new Heavens and the new earth will magnify into glory what we see in the heavens and the earth now. Which is to say: creation itself will experience God's full salvation to become the creation it was designed to become. The new Heavens and the new earth are the old heavens and the old earth redeemed, restored, and renewed into the form they will have forever and ever."

For this... I can't wait.