Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christian Mythology: 7. Heaven – Myth: Heaven is a wonderful place

Whether at funerals, church gatherings, or personal conversations, Christians express such a longing for heaven. Rather than focus on some of the negatives of the present heaven such as:

Satan still goes there sometimes;
There is still knowledge of pain, sorrow, hell, and travail on earth there, and;
It will be destroyed one day:

I want to show you something so wonderful that very few Christians experience yet is available to every brother and sister in Christ.

Paul described an event in 2 Corinthians 12:1-5 where he spent some time in heaven. I won’t take this out of context and tell you that the circumstances which led to this will happen to all of us. I pray that they would! Rather, I want to take you to the throne of God in heaven by the way Jesus provided to each of us.

This is a very logical thing yet very real. Think about these things:

God is in heaven right now. Jesus is seated at His Father’s right hand.
When Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn in two.
By Jesus’ blood we have bold access to the holy of holies (God’s presence).
When we pray, we are literally in the presence of God.
Therefore, when we are in the presence of God, we are in heaven.

Well how does that work? Clearly we are planted firmly here on earth in our mortal bodies. Yes we are. But our spirits are in heaven right now and always.

When God saved us, He quickened our spirits and took them to heaven (“that where I am there you may be also”). He left behind His indwelling Holy Spirit within each of us. This is the Spirit to spirit connection which makes prayer possible and direct to our Father.

So you see, we can go to heaven anytime we want to. We don’t have to wait for our mortal bodies to die. We only have to die to self, maintain that vital spiritual relationship to God, and thus enable prayer without ceasing. We can spend as much time in heaven as we desire.

Now you can understand why Paul said some of the things he did in the passage above:

“…whether in the body…or out of the body, I cannot tell”

“caught up into paradise”

“of such a one I will glory (Jesus)”

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