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blythe_ann
05-03-2015, 09:11 PM
Hey ladies :).
We are doing a study on heaven for Sunday School. We're discussing how Heaven won't be like the "fluffy clouds, harps and choir robes" we have grown to think of. This particular study has a lot to say without saying a lot, so it leaves us with more questions than answers.

I find Heaven to be an interesting topic so, if we can do so without stepping on toes, I would love to hear your opinions on it.

Like, what do you think it will be like?
When do you think people go there?
Do you think what you do here determines what you will do there?
Are you disappointed about the choir robes (this is a joke)?
What about the whole marriage and relationships with other people thing?

snooch
05-03-2015, 09:27 PM
I think heaven is going to be like earth... only perfect. Revelation says that there will be a new Jerusalem, new heaven, and new earth. It describes a place with no seas, jeweled roads, where animals and people will live together peaceably, and where we will know one another. We'll have perfect bodies and new names.

I believe we are with Jesus in spirit as soon as we die, and we get our new bodies at the resurrection of the saints - so sometime during the tribulation, depending on your eschatological views ;). I personally think we'll be living in heaven/new earth at the end of the tribulation, and we'll be with Jesus in spirit until then.

The only thing we have to do to get there is believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is our savior!

Not disappointed at all about the choir robes LOL.

I just read the passage in Luke that talks about marriage in heaven. It's a much richer passage than the one in Matthew (I always forget these things until I read them again). I think we don't marry and aren't given in marriage in heaven, because we're the bride of Christ. Everything is so different when we are living with Jesus, ruling with him, and spending so much of our time learning from him and praising him. On earth, our marriages represent our relationship with Jesus - the whole thing in Ephesians about men loving their wives like Christ loves the church, the whole description of marriage, it's an earthly representation of what a perfect relationship with Jesus will be. When we get to heaven, we get the real thing. Here, our spouses (if we have them) are our primary relationship. In heaven, Jesus will be.

One other thing that you didn't mention but that kind of bugs me so I'm going to bring it up anyway. I don't like how some people teach their kids that a loved one who has passed away is now an angel in heaven watching over them. That's nowhere in the Bible and it really gives the wrong idea. When we die, we don't become angels. The Bible even goes out of the way to say that. I guess it's an easy concept for kids to understand, but then it's hard to unravel when they get older and really start asking about these things.

blythe_ann
05-03-2015, 09:29 PM
So here is my little opinion.

Prefaced with the most important part of this. I really think if God intended for us to have all answers on the afterlife, He would have made it really, incredibly clear. I think if everyone claims to know all of the answers, even those who have studied it extensively, I'm hesitant to believe them.

With that, from what little knowledge I have, I believe that when Jerusalem comes down on the new earth, we'll be on a new earth-- so, like earth, but hundreds of times better. Like, the best moments on this earth on steroids. I think it won't be a continuous church service, but I don't know what it will be like up there. I'm honestly okay with not knowing what eternity will look like, because everything I do know is positive :).
I also don't know exactly how and when the transitions happen. I'm cool with not knowing but like hearing the theories and thoughts.
I do believe what we do on earth does determine our post in heaven. Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, so to speak.
... Choir robes can be comfortable. ;).

I believe that we will have our relationships again in heaven but they will be 100 times better without sin. I believe this not based on any facts or Biblical knowledge, but because I just don't think we'd spend our entire lives on earth building relationships to have them torn away in death. In most churches I've been to, they don't agree with me. But, it was one pill I just refuse to swallow. Maybe it's a defense mechanism, and maybe I'm totally wrong and I'll be surprised in Heaven, but I think when I get there, it'll be so awesome I might not care. For now, though, I choose to believe that I will have my husband, my friends, my family, all of those who believe, with me. Maybe I'll even meet a few of you up there :).

blythe_ann
05-04-2015, 11:41 AM
Sorry, missed your post until this morning, snooch.
I agree with you about the people who have passed "watching over us" business. I have always thought that if THAT is Heaven... doesn't sound like much fun watching everyone else down here in a sinful world.

And I like your thoughts on marriage and would have to agree to an extent. I guess, I just have to believe that the people I know and love here, who believe in Him, will be with me in Heaven and we can be together. I'm not thinking my husband and I will even still have a physical relationship, but that we would be together.

snooch
05-04-2015, 11:46 AM
I believe that too. I think we are definitely going to know each other and will be together. I'm sure I'll be with my husband in heaven. His first (deceased) wife will be there too. I don't think he'll be married to either of us, but I don't think that will matter so much there. We'll all love each other with the perfect love we were intended to have before the fall. We don't know what that looks like because we've never experienced it. It will all be new to us, and perfect. :)

katzankatz
05-04-2015, 02:41 PM
When I think about eternity too much it makes my brain hurt. I just can't fathom how we will spend the rest of forever.

I believe we will be in a resurrected creation. It will be recognizable and familiar, but perfect. Kind of like it was when God first created the universe. I imagine I will finally be able to do some traveling :). Space travel sounds fun.:).

When we actual go to heaven, I don't know. Right when we die? The Bible talks about being absent from the body and present with the Lord. But where? There are good arguments from many sides. It's one of those things I haven't cared enough to think about it much.

I believe that what we do on earth now will affect our lives in heaven. I don't understand how that works though. Like, if I was a hard working missionary in Africa, witnessing and seeing many come to Christ through my ministry. So, would I get a nicer mansion than the other people who chose to not go to Africa. It almost suggests that we might have regrets.

And I will have to come back later and write more thought. I am too tired to think now.

blythe_ann
05-04-2015, 03:12 PM
Thanks, ladies. And snooch, you explained it much better than I did. We might not be married, but that won't matter, but I do think we'll be together. Thank you!

snooch
05-04-2015, 06:56 PM
I think I read the question about rewards wrong when I first read the OP. I definitely think our rewards will be different depending on what we do on earth. Scripture says every single thing we do will be thrown into the fire, and what survives is what will matter. I think the things that survive are the spiritual fruit we bear on earth - the preaching of the gospel that impacted others, the feeding of the poor, housing of the homeless, visiting the prisoners, caring for the widows and orphans, etc. Those are the things that will survive the fire and count in our favor.

The way I think of rewards is, our cups will be overflowing. Some of us will have smaller cups than others. But whatever size our cup is, it will be overflowing. And I do think we'll have some regrets, particularly when it comes to the people we don't see in heaven, but God will wipe away those tears.