Article of the Month

April 2015

"Is this Heaven?"

"It's Iowa."

 

From this month’s title, it is clear that this article will be on the lighter side — but not that it will sacrifice making an important point.

The two-sentence quote which forms the title of this article comes from the motion picture “Field of Dreams.”  The only connection we wish to make is that the questioner obviously had a concept of heaven indistinguishable from the cornfields of Iowa!  This is, interestingly, not uncommon.  It is not infrequent at funerals to have the minister picturing the departed as baking cakes, playing golf, or doing innumerable earth-oriented things “in heaven.”

The Biblical portrayal of the realm of spirit beings has nothing in common with such portrayals.  But heaven is not our focus in this article.  It is our contention that the vast majority of the human race will never be changed into spirit beings.  Nor do they have some kind of “immortal soul” that floats out of the body to any place.  Their undefined and inner hope is exactly what is implied in “The Field of Dreams.”  Mankind instinctively loves, identifies with, and wants to perpetuate his connection with the earth and its charms.  That is exactly what will happen; and it is exactly what is requested for the race when the prayer is offered, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:10)

The Bible was written primarily as a handbook for those whom God is calling out of the earth — those whom He wishes, indeed, to become spirit beings and to be a part of His own intimate personal family.  “Church” is from a Greek word which means “called out.”  The Church (those who go to heaven) ARE THE EXCEPTION to God’s plan for mankind.  That is why He calls His Church a “new creation.”  It is something new and different.  It isn’t a part of the old creation which was intended for the earth.  It is a part of a new creation intended for heaven—but not to bake cakes and to play golf!  It is being “called out” from what the rest of mankind will have as its inheritance.  The first assignment of the spirit-born Church will be to participate with Jesus in raising ALL of the dead and giving them the opportunity to gain everlasting, trouble-free, and joyful life ON EARTH.  In other words, if they like Iowa, that’s what they will have!

We are not here being flippant.  Nor are we supplying supportive scriptures and arguments.  It is just helpful now and then to take the simplest look at the most complex of questions.  This article is making only one point:   Mankind will awaken, be helped into perfection, and will forever enjoy the home which he enjoys and which was specifically designed for his liking.  How lovely!  No, it won’t be heaven.  But it will be heavenly in the eyes of those who love Iowa, or France, or China, or anywhere that the beauties suit that individual.  And none of it will be plagued by disease, death, worry, poverty, “natural” disasters, or anything that is harmful or unpleasant.  

That’s all!  It’s very much worth contemplating.


 

 

 

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