Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Jesus and the Apostle Peter teach on heaven

Sunrise No. 2
John 14:2 "In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."

2 Peter 1:11 "for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantlysupplied to you."

Yesterday we considered what Jesus and the Apostle Peter teach on Hell. Today's post features in brief what both taught on Heaven. 

1. Heaven is God's throne or abode
Matthew 5:34; 5:45; 6:9; 11:25; 12:50; 16:17 and 18:4 refer to the third heaven as God's primary base of operations. Undeniably God's Sovereignty extends over and through every square inch of creation. In 2 Peter 1:12, we read of the Holy Spirit being sent from Heaven - "It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look." Peter is perhaps thinking of the Day of Pentecost in which he was preaching some 30 years prior and in which the Holy Spirit had descended. The Spirit's descent signaled the presence of God being with His church as well as in Heaven. 

2. Heaven is a place.
Jesus taught the physical/spiritual reality of Heaven as a locatable place somewhere in the created order. He taught both the reality of the current heaven (Matthew 5:3, 20; 6:20; 19:21; Luke 10:20; John 17:24) and the One He is preparing (John 14:2-3). Heaven is a destination, a home, for the believer (John 14:2; Mt 5:8,5:12; 8:11; Mt 13:43; 25:34,46). The Apostle Peter also wrote of the reality of Heaven as a place. (1 Peter 1:4; 1:11) Peter also wrote of what will be the New Heaven as well. (1 Peter 3:13). Both Jesus and Peter refer to Heaven as having an entrance, thus lending further to its reality. (Matthew 25:34; 2 Peter 1:10)

3. Heaven has angels
The third commonality of the teaching on Heaven shared by Jesus and Peter is that it is a place occupied by angels. Jesus refers to angels that represent in some fashion children in Matthew 18:10. According to Matthew 22:30, Angels in heaven do not have offspring. Jesus speaks elsewhere of angels in Luke 12:10 and 15:10. In Luke 16:22 Jesus reveals that angels are somehow involved in escorting a believer's soul into the presence of God. The Apostle Peter too speaks of angels in Heaven as being curious beings about believer's salvation here on earth. 

Closing thoughts
Today we aimed to explore what Jesus and Peter taught regarding heaven. In our brief study we discovered three common points:

1. Heaven is God's throne/abode
2. Heaven is a place
3. Heaven has angels

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