This week the news reported more stories about politicians behaving badly, one a liberal and the other a conservative. As our world continues to deteriorate, there have been a lot of posts on social media about heaven.
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone agrees on where it is or how to get there. But, in the next life, everyone wants to be with God. Below are three hashtags that saturated social media this week.
Trending means the majority and not just Christians. The problem with Christian nationalism is it has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). It simply pursues earthly power and greatness; a power that puffs people up with pride and blinds them to truth.
Many believe the lie they can live their best lives now. They are ignorant of the things of Heaven. Surely, they understand this world is not heaven!
Years ago I heard a Georgia pastor explain, “This world is the closest to Hell Christians will ever get, and it is the closest to heaven lost people will ever get.” It’s almost as if the roles have been reversed these days.
God’s people want to live like hell is heaven. Christianity teaches heaven is where God lives (Exodus 20:1-26, Matthew 6:9, Revelation 20:6).
The Apostle Paul explains God’s people’s home is in Heaven and none of us can imagine how good Heaven will be (1 Corinthians 2:9, Philippians 3:20). That doesn’t sound like anything I see in the world today.
Jesus told the thief on the cross who acknowledged Him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).” Certainly, Calvary wasn’t paradise.
Jesus was telling the thief he was made right with God and would enter the new paradise, where man’s relationship with God is restored like it was in Eden before the fall. Judaism calls this new paradise, Gan Eden.
Gan Eden is where God’s people, spend eternity in the afterlife. It’s a place of great treasures and blessings. It’s a paradise much like the original garden where man walked with God. There is no more suffering or death.
However, Judaism teaches only the very righteous may enter Gan Eden. Judaism focuses more on works, while Christianity focuses more on a relationship with Jesus.
Jesus shared the Beatitudes to explain who is right with God and it is a stark contrast to what many people believe today (Matthew 5:2-12)
- Blessed are the poor in spirit.
- Blessed are those who mourn.
- Blessed are the meek (humble).
- Blessed are those who hunger.
- Blessed are the pure in the heart.
- Blessed are the peacemakers.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.
- Blessed are those who are insulted.
These aren’t new teachings, the Beatitudes simply restate the teachings of the Jewish psalmist, Jesus’ forefather, David (Psalm 34:18; 37:11; 51: 10-17, 146).
Jesus told the rich young man who wanted to go to Heaven, to sell his earthly things and give them to the poor (Luke 18:18-22.) Things can be blessings or curses.
The Georgia pastor also said, “I’d rather be in Hell and in God’s will, than be in Heaven and out of God’s will; because being out of God’s will is hell for me.” Jesus taught us to store up treasures in heaven, not here on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).
In heaven, everything is made right between God and His creation. God restores what was lost through the first Adam through the blessings of the second Adam. Earthly blessings don’t make us right with God and may do the opposite.
- Make us prideful
- Make us greedy
While in exile, the Apostle John had a vision of the goodness of Heaven (Revelation 21:1-4,) everything will be made right in Gan Eden.