Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Closing Thoughts on Heaven For Now

Those who disagree with my thoughts on heaven can feel free to pose questions about the comments in this entry.

1) John 14:1-3 suggests that Christ will receive his anointed followers home to himself. He has prepared a place for those disciples. That place is not on earth.

2) I wonder how those who reject the heavenly view understand 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 where Paul speaks of being absent from the body and present with the Lord. In what sense will people living on earth forever be absent from the body? I understand the corporeal language in those passages as a refeence to the human body of flesh and blood.

3) Albert Barnes understands the word "until" in Acts 3:21 this way:

"Until - This word implies that he would then return to the earth, but it does not imply that he would not again ascend to heaven."

I would submit that the verse in Acts somehow must have applied to Peter's audience: Jews who have long since been dead. For example, in 3:21, Peter told his listeners to repent in order that Christ might be sent to them. After all, the Messiah was appointed for the people of Abraham (his seed). Then later, the apostle uses "sent forth" language again in 3:26. But the words are referring to Jesus having come in the past. That's why I say that the verse may not clearly affirm that Christ will forever be on earth with his ecclesia.

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