TOWARD HEAVEN: THE ULTIMATE REALITY
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Release Date: January 2018. Pages: 140
Our present hope in Christ is clearly not to be equated with the future hope of heaven. So heaven is not here—at least not at the moment! There is more.
There are many questions that we must address in order to delineate the meaning of heaven. In particular, we must note two premises:
1. It is foundational to the discussion that we acknowledge that the triune God is OMNIPRESENT, inter alia. That means that God (He/They) is (are) everywhere all the time. Hence if heaven is where God is, then it could be argued that heaven is here since God is here!
2. Heaven is not a location so much as a condition. It is evident that if God is everywhere, including here, then there are some other factors that must be considered, since we are still looking for Christ to “come from heaven”—which implies a location—and that He went “to heaven” and is at His Father’s right hand—which also implies location.
Notwithstanding the introductory discussion, what is Heaven—the Ultimate Reality? This is heaven as the hope of the Christian, as distinct from the understanding of heaven here and now. And whilst an ultimate location is relevant, the conditions are more important.
Eschatology—and a future “in heaven”—is only a part of the total program of God. A careful study of a diagram of The Kingdom of God is used in order to gain the perspective of God’s plan from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega—the Beginning and the End. (Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet).
Let us note carefully, that the “from everlasting” refers to the part of eternity before God chose to create the world for the period of “this world order”. That retrospective part of eternity constitutes a state that we can call “heaven”.
In that “retrospective” part of eternity, True Heaven is the existence of God in pure holiness, and without the interference of sin in any shape or form. He reigns supreme. This is absolute perfection—BEFORE the creation, and “this world order”.
In spite of the period—“this world order”—God must be able to reinstate this absolute perfection—because He is God. Thus Heaven as The Ultimate Reality must be the reinstatement of this absolute perfection but now including mankind, but with the total removal of sin.
The only difference between the “from everlasting” to the “to everlasting”—from our perspective—is the permanence and perfection of added physical aspects.