Recently, a used bookstore opened up near my home. Being someone who loves to find books at reasonable prices, I stopped in during my lunch break. After browsing for a few minutes (actually it was more like an hour), I purchased a copy of Heaven by Randy Alcorn and went on my way.
I haven't had a lot of time to really sit down and dig through it yet, but in the first few chapters I have found a great deal to reflect upon. One profound topic Alcorn has touched upon briefly is the nature of Heaven, what it is, and what it is not. That's what I want to write about today.
Often we do not think of Heaven. Perhaps it comes up in conversation as the setting for jokes about lawyers and priests, or maybe we see it caricatured on television as a cartoonish place where fat cherubs with halos recline on clouds while playing harps and whistling lullabies. But what is the real Heaven like--and more pertinent to our lives--what connection do we have to that place? These are questions that I do not intend to answer in this post, but they have sparked a fresh inquiry for me into the nature of resurrection and eternal life in Heaven.
As a Christian, I am ashamed to a degree that I haven't considered Heaven, the ultimate and eternal destination and home for all who believe upon Jesus Christ, more often and more profoundly than I have. Why this is, I do not know. Scripture cannot be blamed, for it certainly speaks a great deal about it. I suspect it has something to do with the rampant naturalism and materialism that permeates our culture, but that is not a reasonable excuse. We can think and speak of Heaven more, and we ought to. To set our minds and conversation on Heaven is to set them on nothing less than Christ Himself. Framed in that perspective, Heaven ought to fill our days with hope and the "eager anticipation" to see the Lord that Paul spoke of.
To conclude today's thoughts, consider the first human being God created, Adam. God created Adam, and declared him to be very good. God created him from the dust of the Earth, and made him to consist of flesh, and bone, and blood. God breathed His spirit into Adam, and he became a living being. Adam was both a physical and a spiritual being, without sin. In a sense, he lived in Heaven. Flesh. Blood. Bones. Not just some spiritual being with a spiritual body, but a real body, just like yours and mine. So it will be for us who know Christ as Lord and Savior. In Heaven, we will not have quasi-physical bodies, but real, resurrected flesh and bone bodies just like we have now. Just like Adam had before the Fall when he walked with God in the Garden of Eden. We, too, shall walk with Jesus on the New Earth, side by side, in the rich culture of the redeemed located in the New Jerusalem. To that eternal day, I fix my gaze and set my hope.