Afterlife SeriesSeries

Heaven

Afterlife  Series Part 3 – Heaven

The Bible has promised heaven to the righteous or doer of good things and those to whom the Father will give mercy. We are living on a brief term on this earth according to Paul’s letter to the Philippians 3:20-21—”But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” If Paul was talking about our destination after our life, heaven, Jesus never said that!

We ought to be citizens of heaven and inheritors of the New Earth. It means that our destination after everything is set. The new earth, the new heavens, the New Jerusalem, and other new things are new. For those who will make it, the reward is the new earth. No ministers or pastors spoke of our future, where we are now, standing, and where we will die. They overlooked or intentionally did not preach or teach this doctrine because they were unsure if we would inherit the earth or heaven.

Apostle John stated in Revelation 5:10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” We will be on earth because our rulership is here as kings and priests. Becoming a King is no joke, but if that’s how God trusted us, He did to rule our kingdom. Yes, it’s true! God will give us our domain to rule from everlasting to everlasting.

Do you still have a doubt? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ’s preaching never mentioned the word heaven. Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall INHERIT THE EARTH”—Matt. 5:5.

The new earth is different from the old one. Everything will be different; there will be no need for sunshine in the morning, we don’t need to go to work, no need to eat and go to bed at night, no family to care for, and no sickness or death. There will be no more worries, stress, and anxiety and no happy and sad days because every day is happy, and becoming old is not part of the new earth. God’s new design for humans is still to be revealed.

When Jesus was transformed into His heavenly glory before the eyes of some of His disciples, “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light”—Matthew 17:2. And yet His looks never changed. Our hope for heaven will never fail because failure will not be in our minds. After all, when we feel the never-ending joy, exactly where we stand now is heaven on earth reformed and transformed into New Earth.   Thank God for our hope of eternal joy—the gift of salvation, our hope in Jesus Christ, a savior and a deliverer.

What do we have to know to avoid confusion and doubt?

He (Jesus) said, “And no man has ascended to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). When Jesus said “No Man,” he meant not anyone has gone to heaven, but the one who came down. Who are we to have the courage to raise our own opinion when we know that he is the way, the truth, and the life of being a new creation? Do we believe Jesus Christ when he said we are earth’s inheritors or the ministers who said heaven is a beautiful place to be in a new life? These ministers themselves have never been there.   When they meet Jesus, do you think these ministers can still claim what they falsely minister to lost souls?

The Bible says that David is still with us now. Therefore, David is not in heaven, but what about those faith heroes listed in the Book of the Hebrews like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, the Judges, the Minor Prophets, and the Apostles could not be in heaven as Jesus said. These people with great minds testified that they went to heaven and saw their loved ones, the beautiful garden, angels, and the presence of Jesus. They have their motive of interest to profit financially and be famous for gaining popularity by publishing books, making movies, public appearances, and other ways to make money.

Heaven is honest in a couple of aspects of its existence. First, heaven is the holy of holies where God is and the sacred earth or places where the reward of the saved will be. If there is one man who at least made it to heaven, I believe it was Adam. Adam is the son of God; Luke 3:38—Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam is the son of God.

Our inheritance is over the earth, the kingdom of heaven under the government of God that will be ruled by Jesus Christ and his kings in the kingdom that gives providence and priests in the church that intercedes between men and God.

Many Christians do not understand John 3:13, “And no man hath ascended to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Why do most Christian believers believe in John 3:16 and not John 3:13? There is a simple explanation: 3:16 is centered on salvation, and we are brainwashed on salvation. To this day, for centuries, salvation has been all that has been preached in service.

And Jesus spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.

Back in the 14th century, when Dante Alighieri, an Italian poet, wrote the Divine Comedy wherein many early church fathers took the idea of heaven, purgatory, and hell (Paradiso, Purgatorio, and Inferno), Dante’s poem explores ideas of the afterlife in Christian belief. To this date, Catholics and Protestant Christians have this fear on their shoulder. It should be stopped so the generation after us will not suffer from false beliefs. The Eastern superstitious belief passed those beliefs to us, but since we did not pass them on to others, they died in our generation.

Where did the righteous Old Testament people go? Where are they? Are they in the other dimensions waiting for judgment day, or are they with Jesus Christ for the first time? When Jesus died, great power was released, and people who were dead were raised and made alive, and they all walked! “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:45–53

We keep heaven as it is—the joy of hope that when life ends, new heaven begins.

Part 1 Life After This Life Series

Part 2 Resurrection Afterlife Series

Part 3 Heaven Afterlife Series

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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