HOME



What Heaven Won't Be Like

 

The quality of heaven's society will of course be determined by the character of the folks residing there; and if certain undesirables were allowed, they would soon turn heaven into another earth; and that would not be a good thing.

1John 1:9 . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Forgiven sinners are still sinners and will continue to sin just like before. Forgiveness alone effects no changes to the base nature of one's innermost being. Forgiveness is like taking a bath. Though your body gets clean in a bath, your body isn't altered by it. Your come out of the tub with the very same body with which you stepped in.

Therefore forgiven sinners, as-is, are unsuitable for the heaven depicted in the 21st chapter of Revelation; especially forgiven liars seeing as how it's depicted as a place where people can be trusted to be forthcoming because there will be no dishonesty there.

Rev 21:8 . . All liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Nothing is said about habitual dishonesty in that passage. It's pretty cut and dried: "all" liars; which of course includes occasional liars, as well as chronic liars; or otherwise "all" serves no useful purpose as a word in the English language.

Rev 21:27 . . No one who practices lying, shall ever come into the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

That passage attests that "no one" who practices lying shall come into the holy city. If those words don't mean what they say then what's the point of bothering to spell them out?

One of the more common forms of dishonesty is dissembling, which can be defined as concealing your true feelings by deliberately giving people the impression that you feel some other way. Now that you know about dissembling, watch how often you do it in the weeks to come. I think you'll be surprised how often you've been practicing dissembling without thinking because it's so natural.

Here's some additional forms of dishonesty.

Whoppers
White lies
Deception
Side-stepping
Denial
Guile
Half truths
Making promises with no intention of keeping them
Slander
Pretense
Feigning innocence
Falsifying information
Putting up a front
Misleading information
Rationalizing
Embellishing
Deliberate omission of pertinent facts
Hyperbole
Semantic double speak
Insincerity
Sophistry
Spinning

If we can go by the Beatitudes, then we can safely assume that the heaven depicted in the 21st chapter will be a place of peace and kindness; which means there will be no cruelty of any kind; for example malicious gossip, demeaning comments, thoughtless remarks, name-calling, toxic rejoinders, discourtesy, chafing, quarrelling, bickering, mockery, relentless ridicule . . .

. . . fault-finding, nit picking, spite, carping, bullying, heckling, intimidation, wiseacre retorts, needling, taunting, biting sarcasm, petty ill will, yelling, ugly insinuations, cold-shouldering, calculated insults, snobbery, elitism, arrogance, subterfuge, antisocial behaviors, sociopaths, crime, war, despotism, oppression, injustice, human rights abuses, character assassination, etc, etc, et al, and ad nauseam.

It will also be a place of sexual purity.

Rev 21:8 . . But the vile and the sexually immoral— their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

The koiné Greek word for "vile" is bdelusso (bdel-oos'-so) which essentially means to stink; viz: disgusting.

When it comes right down to it; the heaven of Revelation 21 is not everyone's cup of tea. Some people would be very frustrated if they couldn't be themselves there. They'd really be out of their element.

What's it mean to be themselves? All that ugly stuff that I listed pretty much defines people being themselves; viz: doing what comes natural.

========================================================================

Q: You say people needn't be habitual liars in order to be classified as liars?

A: The Bible does not require people to be chronic liars in order to be guilty of dishonesty. All they need do is say things that aren't true, and once is enough; which goes for other kinds of sins too, for example:

A man need sexually assault a women only once in order to be guilty of rape.

People need kill somebody only once in order to be guilty of murder.

People need steal only one car in order to be guilty of theft.

People need to cheat only once on their spouses in order to be guilty of adultery.

People need to profane God's name only once in order to be guilty of blaspheme.

People need to neglect only one pet in order to be guilty of animal abuse.

============================================================================

Bottom line is: People's conduct will be the final determinant as to whether they will be permitted to enter and/or remain in the heaven depicted in the 21st chapter of Revelation; most especially whether they are 100% honest.

Rev 21:7-8 . . All liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Rev 21:27 . . No one who practices lying, shall ever come into the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

Seeing as how nobody is 100% honest, they how's anybody to get past the pearly gates?

The trick is: the two passages about dishonesty refer to an era beyond the resurrection era. In other words: people less than 100% honest who rise from the dead still less than 100% honest, will be marched off to the lake of fire. But people less than 100% honest who rise from the dead no longer less than 100% honest, will be permitted to enter and remain in the holy city.

Q: Is it possible to fix people so that those who don't always tell the truth rise from the dead always telling the truth?

A: Yes

======================================================================

Back in 1968, when I was a young single guy around 24 years old and living in a cheap, one-room basement apartment in Oregon, and working as a welder in a structural shop located in the old Kaiser ship yards across the Columbia river in Vancouver, I had lots of time to myself to think about things since I had no friends, nor any kind of social contact whatsoever other than at work. I wasn't distracted with a girl friend, nor by pals and beer buddies, nor by an obsessive hobby. It was just me, my 1961 Volkswagen, and a 305 Honda motorcycle that I rode all over northwest Oregon.

Anyway, long story short, sometime during that era I got to thinking that complying with God's edicts would be a whole lot easier if it came natural. I mean, pleasing God is easy for God because pleasing Himself comes natural to Him. So I thought to myself: if I were like God, then heaven would be in the bag because God is faultless; ergo: I would be faultless too.

Now, I'll grant that's a pretty childish way of thinking; but just imagine my amazement to discover that God has been thinking that very same way for years! In other words: a portion of the plan of salvation is dedicated to reconstructing people into what we might call chips off the olde block.

2Pet 1:3-5 . . His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature

When people rise from the dead with the divine nature, they will easily qualify to enter the holy city depicted in the 21st chapter of Revelation.

Q: But what about their human nature? What's to be done about that.

A: There is a supernatural circumcision mentioned at Col 2:11. In a nutshell, when Christ's believing followers die and cross over to the other side, they shed their human nature like a dead skin and go into eternity with only the divine nature they obtained via the Spirit birth about which Christ spoke at John 3:3-8. In point of fact, their human nature is a dead skin even before they depart.

Rom 6:3 . . Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Rom 6:6 . . Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him

Gal 2:20 . . I am crucified with Christ

Col 3:3 . . For you died when Christ died

========================================================================

Q: Does the Bible say how to obtain the divine nature about which Peter wrote?

A: Yes; actually the New Testament has quite a bit to say about obtaining the divine nature; however it's easy to miss because its described with different words.

Human nature is the essence of human life. In like manner, divine nature is the essence of divine life. According to John 17:3, there's only one true divine life and that's God. So then; seeing as how God is eternal, then divine life is eternal too; and there are lots of verses telling how to obtain eternal life; for example:

John 3:14-16 . . Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Christ illustrated the purpose of his crucifixion with an incident in Israel's history recorded at Num 21:5-9 wherein Yhvh's people became weary of living in the desert and eating manna all the time at every meal. But instead of courteously, and diplomatically, petitioning their divine benefactor for tastier food and better accommodations, they became hostile and confrontational.

In response to their insolence; Yhvh sent a swarm of deadly poisonous vipers among them; which began striking people; and those snakes were really lethal. In no time at all, much people of Israel died.

Then those not yet dead came to their senses and asked Moses to intercede. In reply; God instructed Moses to fashion an image of the vipers and hoist it up on a pole so that everyone dying from venom could look to the image for treatment.

The key issue here is that the image was the only God-given remedy for the people's bites— not sacrifices and offerings, not tithing, not church attendance, not scapulars, not confession, not holy days of obligation, not the Sabbath, not charity, not Bible study and Sunday school, not Torah studies, not tithing, not one's religion of choice, not self denial, not the so-called golden rule, not vows of poverty, nor the Ten Commandments, nor door-to-door missionary work, no; not even prayers. The image was it; there was no other hope.

Just as those snakes were really lethal, so is human nature; ergo: everyone who rises from the dead with human life will be doomed to the lake of fire depicted at Rev 20:11-15 seeing as how eternal life is the only kind of life with which God finds no fault— I mean if God were to find fault with eternal life; He would be finding fault with Himself.

Bottom line is: The divine nature (a.k.a. eternal life) is the final option; viz: there is no other kind of life in existence anywhere any place that's better; so if eternal life can't keep somebody sinless, then everybody is out of luck; including God.

 

 

Bumblbee.wmf (4108 bytes)

 

Musicnot.wmf (1656 bytes)