LIVING FOREVER ON PLANET EARTH

Blog: Max Dawson
November 19, 2015
I have to confess to you that I am old-school when it comes to heaven. That is, I believe heaven is where God is. I believe that Christians are promised that they will ultimately be with God in heaven–forever.

I believe: Heaven is real. Heaven is for the redeemed. Heaven is where Jesus is now. Heaven is where I will go to be with Jesus. Planet earth is not heaven.

I bought a book this morning to read on Kindle. “The Real Heaven: It’s Not What You Think” by Joe Beam.

I am already regretting the pittance I paid for it. It is one more book written by an evangelical author that argues that planet earth is the dwelling place of the righteous in eternity–planet earth is heaven.

It used to be that this materialistic doctrine was pretty much limited to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But now, more and more “conservative evangelicals” are buying into this. It is one of the most popular doctrines about eternity that is being promoted today.

There is another doctrine that is often promoted right along side of it–the doctrine that there is no such thing as eternal punishment. Again, it used to be that the teaching that “there is no eternal hell” was pretty much limited to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But now an ever-growing number of “conservative evangelicals” have become enamored with the idea of annihilation–that is, the soul simply ceases to exist in eternity.

I am still trying to figure out why these changes in belief have taken place. I am not a scholar. I have no doctorate degrees. But I wonder about some things.

I wonder if people (even professed believers) are so in love with the material things of this world that they just cannot conceive of a new and better existence in another dimension called “heaven.” Could that be?

I also wonder if those same folks are so afraid to talk about God’s wrath and the place of eternal punishment that they now want to eradicate hell. Could that be?

I wonder…

A FINAL WORD

There are a lot of things I don’t know about heaven. But there are also some things I do know. I know that my treasure is to be laid up in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). I know that my hope is in heaven (Colossians 1:5). I know that I have an inheritance that is reserved in heaven (1 Peter 1:4).

I know that this planet earth and its works will be absolutely annihilated (2 Peter 3:10-11). The Bible could not be plainer. The very elements that make up this material planet will be dissolved.

I know that there is coming “a new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13). This language is found three more times in the Bible (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1). Each time it is found it speaks of a new order, a new arrangement that comes from God. Heaven will indeed be a new order for us. A different kind of existence.

I see nothing in the Bible about some of the concepts folks have about heaven–like floating on clouds and playing harps, or just hanging out in heaven being bored.

There is much more to heaven than that. I look forward to an exciting, wonderful, active eternity that will truly be a blessing like nothing we have ever experienced. Maybe we can explore more about that in a later edition. But for now…

I am old school. I want to go to heaven. I have already been to planet earth.

–Max