WHAT WILL HEAVEN REALLY BE LIKE?

If the early Easter sermons were like some sermons in churches today,

the world would not have been turned upside down.

Can you even imagine John and Peter preaching:

“Easter means that just as spring follows winter, there is always hope.”

Never!

Instead, they plead with us about the risen Lord:

We heard him, we touched him, this is no fairy tale!

Rather, as Paul says,

“If Christ had not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

(1 Corin. 15:17)

What scriptures did the risen Christ show the two on the walk to Emmaus to help them grasp the gospel, to grasp why He really came?

He must have helped them understand that

He came not to deliver that generation from the Romans,

but to deliver all generations who would believe from the curse of sin and death.

Whereas the first Adam ushered in division, decay, and death —

the second Adam was going to

crush the head of the serpent

reverse the curse

and begin the “renewal of all things.”

In the Hebrew, the word paliggenesia according to Strong’s is:

3824 /paliggenesía (“renewal, rebirth”) is used twice in the NT referring to: a) the re-birth of physical creation at Christ’s return

 

One day both we and all of physical creation will be not just returned to how it was before the fall, but to something so much better.

One day creation will no longer groan,

but the trees of the field will clap their hands,

and we will be changed.

As John says,

“We are God’s children now, and what we will be

as not yet been made plain, but we know that when we see Him,

we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.”

(1 John 3:2)

When this happens, we will look at our troubles on earth like Teresa of Avila put it:

What we will be and what heaven will be is the mystery we will explore,

though we see through the glass darkly now,

let us look at the glimpses of light He has given us!

Sunday:

  1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
  2. What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

 

 

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study

I would rather we get our glimpses of heaven from Scripture than from books that recount near death experiences. While those people may indeed have glimpsed something real, there is so much out there that is not to be trusted, let’s just stick with Scripture to glean things here. There is plenty in Scripture — and please bring in passages you love that I don’t mention that give us light about heaven, for I’ve only chosen a few of my favorites so as not to overwhelm you.

 Concerning what we will be like:

4. Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-42 and state the main point.

5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

   A. Find three differences between the bodies we have now and the bodies we will have in verses 42-45.

   B. Contrast the first Adam with the second Adam according to this passage.

6. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

     A. When will we be changed?

     B. How should this knowledge affect your life? How does it actually affect you?

7.  We know we will be like Him when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2) What was Jesus character like? And

     what was His body like after the resurrection? What does this tell you about what we will be like?

Repeatedly the disciples only recognized Jesus by His voice — even the 2nd or 3rd time they saw Him after the resurrection — so there must have been something quite different about Him. That has me pondering. I have thought so much about this since my husband died over 12 years ago. I know his soul is with Jesus — but His resurrection body is still to come. I have also pondered the following passages in Job, for they give us glimpses into what is going to happen and what heaven will be like. See what you can discover yourself!

8. Read Job 14:14-15 and describe the scene that will one day happen to you — and the emotion of God behind it.

9. Read Job 19:25-27 and describe what you learn from this about our new bodies and also about heaven.

10. What other change will be in us according to Hosea 2:14?

Personally, I am thankful that the language used to describe heaven in Revelation is metaphorical — symbols of the very best. For I don’t want streets of gold. I want paths through forests filled with forget-me-nots.

I also would miss the sun with its glorious sunsets.  I think it is why I love this line from one of Sara Grove’s songs that so ministered to me when Steve died:

I don’t know that there are harps in heaven,
Or the process for earning your wings.
I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels,
Or any of those things.
But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be pretty good.
Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be very good.
 
11. What do you know about what we will be like and what heaven will be like from Scripture?

Thursday-Friday: Article and Optional Sermon

Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, was a wonderful eye-opening comfort to me. Here is a short article from him on how we zillions of people might be able to walk, alone, with Jesus in heaven. Read and comment.

How Can Millions of People All Be with Jesus in Heaven and Receive Personal Attention?

 And here is a wonderful but optional sermon from Keller on the subject — it is not free, but the 2.50 supports ministries in New York and the sermon is worth far more: The Hope of Glory

12. Share your notes and comments on any of the above.

Saturday: Share your most recent God Hunt!

 

COMMENTS (71) Post a New Comment ↓
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR LIZZY —

Your other-centeredness causes you to remember all of our birthdays — so let us bless you today. How I pray for this to be a year of amazing God Hunts. May God bless your new child, bond him to you, give him health, and be with your whole family in the adjustment. You are such a blessing to us here!

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    What an unexpected gift to wake up and see this–thank you dear Dee. One of the greatest, undeniable ways I sense His deep love for me is through His provision of you, your teaching in my life, and my blog sisters here, Such evidence of His personal involvement and care for my sanctification and growth. thank you!! :)

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    Dee beat me to it! Happy Birthday dearest Lizzy!! God has ambushed me several times through you. Your Love for others-always thinking of how you can meet a need, encouraging and lifting up others with how He has come to you in his word. Your clinging to Him in this rough valley you are in now-your playdough heart has encouraged me and others so. :) Oh and your son is a reflection of you and Jon for he is the sweetest, kindest young man-you are a woman of excellence. I love you my friend.

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    Happy birthday Lizzy!

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What stands out to you from the above and why?          Much!   The opening paragraphs ignited my passion for the Word.   It IS stunning to think on what the sermons in the early church were like; we have some of that teaching in our Bibles, but to hear it for the first time and from people who had walked with and learned directly from Jesus.  AND to be with those who knew Him personally, but were still grasping, growing solidifying their faith and understanding.      This brings me back again to the summer when I was 16 and came home from Bible Camp and read the NT from cover to cover.  I had never felt such power in the words of Jesus and Paul and the apostles as I did that summer. Though I’d heard the words and been in church multiple times every week since a young child, it DID seem new to me.    It changed my life from being a head knowledge Christian to a heart follower of Jesus.    

 

I’m also stirred again by the thought of the heavens and earth being restored to splendid perfection.    I’m enjoying two varieties of lilies in my yard right now.  I have about eight more to bloom.  They are so gorgeous and it’s nice to have them come at different times, but every year, I try to visualize what it would be like to have them ALL bloom at once.  All the color.  All the variations.  All in one place at one time.   And of course, with that dream…….I imagine them blooming ALL summer long.   I thought of this yesterday and thought it will probably be like this on the new earth.  At least it will be beauty beyond what I can imagine or describe in this life.  And then, of course, the people….ALL varieties, ALL colors, ALL beautiful, ALL in one place at one time because ALL who are there are redeemed.  That is beauty beyond description.   THANKING God for His redeeming love and for the words and teaching of those early chosen followers who brought it to us in His power.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

This promise: “One day both we and all of physical creation will be not just returned to how it was before the fall, but to something so much better.”

2. What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

I don’t know if this is what you’re meaning, but I think of the refining power of His work in me—because of the Spirit I am able to be convicted of my sin and have the power to confess and have faith that He will use it for good. I have seen Him do such a beautiful work in especially my marriage over 23 years—it is now something I never could have imagined, I didn’t even know could exist here, and I pray we have more years of growth ahead–but it has come through Him showing us our sin, and providing a safe place in Him to grow and be refined, as through fire. That sanctification I guess, is a gift He has brought—making us more like Him. Also I sense Him changing my heart’s desires. I used to long for chaos-free “calm” and did everything in my power to try to get to it. Now He has us welcoming a 3 year old with major needs—and I keep thinking “this is not me!” and yet, it is—it is His desire placed in my heart. And that is both humbling and exciting. Sorry for the length!

 

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    Lizzy, I love this from you. “I sense Him changing my heart’s desires. I used to long for chaos-free “calm” and did everything in my power to try to get to it. Now He has us welcoming a 3 year old with major needs—and I keep thinking “this is not me!” and yet, it is—it is His desire placed in my heart. And that is both humbling and exciting.”

    It can identify a bit as I welcome grandkids into my home for 6 weeks this summer. I will pray for you that though your outward world may be chaos, that your inner world will have the calm of the unhurried Holy Spirit’s presence.

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    Lizzy, I so resonate with you on the change from longing for the ‘chaos-free calm’ into embracing the chaos as long as I am calm on His gentle breast, hearing His every heart beat.  Oh, and happy birthday to you, sweet sister.

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What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life?         Compassion for the poor and needy – those whom Jesus called ‘the least of these’  (though I confess I always have difficulty with that description – for they are no ‘less’ than I am….but I understand what was meant.)   I know that the passion I have to call and write to legislators on a semi regular basis to advocate on their behalf does not come ‘naturally’ but out of being compelled by His Spirit.  Some days I feel, ‘what’s the use?’  but then I see another gross injustice and His Spirit stirs my soul so I cannot stay silent.  Of course, physically acting on those passions is what He desires of me also.  This comes in several ways but I continually feel I fail to do as much as I could.    I do try to look at every issue in our country through the lens of those who do not have the privilege that I experience and act as I believe Jesus would on their behalf.  Of course, it is overwhelming.  So, then I must run to the solace of the Savior and entrust the sorrows of this world to HIM.  

 

(I do find it interesting that in some writing I found that my mom did, she wrote that I was ‘always looking out for anyone who had problems’ or something to that effect.  That was in reply to a question in a memory book that I gave her memories of mothering.   So God must have placed this passion in me at a young age.)

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Dee,

Thank you for the study this week, pondering the reality of heaven.   Balm to my heart as I ponder my amazing dad’s life, suffering, and recent death.

Two songs that have come to mean so much to me and that  speak to this reality of heaven:

 
Steven Curtis Chapman ~  Heaven is a Place

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9JTwJ_1lzE

 
Twila Paris ~ A Visitor from Heaven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-OXA3RRXRE

 

 

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2. What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

 

He has given me a glimpse of Him (hope) through the birth of my two grandchildren. What a blessing to look into their eyes and see the joy of their innocence! How very sweet! Thank you Jesus!

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What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into your life? I have the Holy Spirit WITHIN me. Without Christ, I am dead, lifeless, unable to think clearly, unable to escape the darkness surrounding us in the world. Sometimes the darkness around us seems so smothering; it is so corrupt, so all-consuming. But Christ … while we were dead in our sins has made us ALIVE and LIVES IN ME. What I see is a dim reflection, but, praise God, I can see glimpses of joy, of beauty. I can know His love for me, unworthy as I am, and He is changing me because of that LOVE. One day I will fully escape. This is GLORIOUS!!!

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    Indeed, this is glorious, Diane. And my prayers for you with those grandkids for six weeks.

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Sunday:
1.     What stands out to you from the above and why?
Oh, wow! Heaven-been thinking about that today as I “recover” from the hectic pace of contest this past week. There was so much expected of me to be in charge of 6 students and taking care of logistics. In the past, another person was in charge but he could not come this time.
I am also all for friendly competition but when bad attitude comes out in the open, I realized how much we all need Jesus. I long for the day when One day both we and all of physical creation will be not just returned to how it was before the fall, but to something so much better. Then it is not dog eat dog and “crab pulling down the other crab” to get to the top. I am happy for all my kids to have placed well at Nationals including a team of three winning bronze. I do wish they were more kind to each other and to others. Nothing of serious matter but just the reality that these kids don’t know Jesus judging by the way they behaved this last week. Our youth needs our prayers.
On the positive side, we did have fun getting around Louisville and doing things together.

 
2.     What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into your life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.
 
A growing steadiness of heart in trusting the Lord to be in charge. And a sense of His presence and guidance in a moment to moment basis.
 
 

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    I like what you said, Ernema, about ‘a growing steadiness of heart in trusting the Lord to be in charge…’  I so need that, control-freak that I am!

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1.  What stood out is the fact that right now we see through a glass dimly.  We squint and try hard to bring it into focus, to really grasp it.  But we cannot.  Yet God does not say we are foolish to want to understand.  He gives glimmers and glimpses and encourages us based on what we know of Him.  Like the Sara Groves song, to know that everything else is very good.

I like the quote from Teresa of Avila. Even the most miserable life will look like one bad night…

 

2.  A change the new Adam has already made in my life. Mental health. Before Him, I was a totally messed up person emotionally. He took me and rebuilt me. Not that I don’t have my moments, but I enjoy a stable, balanced mental health.  And for me, that is huge.

 

4.  Our resurrected bodies will not be clones of what we are now. What we are is just a seed of what we will be. To me, it is a reminder to trust God for what we do not yet know.

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    I just got around to reading the comments and Mary B I like this comment of yours. “What we are is just a seed of what we will be”. 

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Oh, I love this topic, and especially the opening.  Couldn’t help but to almost laugh as I thought of Paul preaching a Casper Milktoast sermon like you suggested, Dee!  :)

I love the passage in I Corinthians 15 as I’m now officially aging in my 50’s!  :) :) It really is amazing how quickly our bodies break down and fall apart, and there is really not much, ultimately, we can do about it.  How depressing for those who have no hope beyond the grave!

But, oh, the hope for those of us who do have that hope!  The passage says that flesh and blood CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God!  And then, it states, “this corruptible MUST put on incorruption, and this mortal MUST put on immortality.”  (emphasis mine).  It dawned on me in a glorious way one day that this is the reason for all the body breakdown I’m experiencing.  My body is simply MOLTING!!!  Putting off the old, in preparation for the new!!  What a painful process the molting is – but, oh, to awake one morning with HIS likeness, I will be completely satisfied!  Forever beautiful!!!  Thank you, Jesus!!

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    Casper Milktoast sermon! :-)

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4. Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-42 and state the main point. 

The body we have in heaven will be imperishable and unique to us.

5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 
   A. Find three differences between the bodies we have now and the bodies we will have in verses 42-45. 

The body we have is weak, dishonorable, and natural. The body we will have is strong (powerful), glorious and spiritual. I think of how Jesus was portrayed when He revealed Himself to the disciples.

   B. Contrast the first Adam with the second Adam according to this passage.

The first Adam was born of dust (of the earth) and was a living being, and the second Adam was born of heaven and was a “life-giving spirit.”

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5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

   A. Find three differences between the bodies we have now and the bodies we will have in verses 42-45.

My body today: perishable; sown in dishonor and weakness; natural; prone to sickness, disease

My body in Heaven: imperishable; raised in glory and power; spiritual, eternal!

 B. Contrast the first Adam with the second Adam according to this passage.

The first Adam: from the earth, a man of dust, became a living being

The 2nd Adam: from Heaven, a life-giving Spirit

 

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My God Hunt. My son-in-law has a boat at my place that came off the lift in a storm and was being bashed against the rocks. I sent out a cry for help to my church and men came running. Truly, God is my Husband. It will be pricey to fix, but God is my Provider too. (I’m pretty confident my son-in-law does not read this blog — hope to have it all fixed and on the lift before he visits — you can pray for that!)

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    OH NO! Oh Dee! That is awful. So good to hear how God came running! We will be praying!

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    So sorry to hear about the damage to your son-in-law’s boat, Dee. Storms can be so ferocious! I’m glad there were God’s helpers around.

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      Thanks, Diane — in the scheme of things I know it isn’t big — yet I was so thankful for the rescue!

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4. Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-42 and state the main point.   the differences between our mortal bodies and the imperishable body we will be given in eternity…..the beautiful analogy of a seed being buried and then raised to life.  
5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
   A. Find three differences between the bodies we have now and the bodies we will have in verses 42-45.
perishable (mortal)   to   imperishable   (immortal)
sown in dishonor    to    raised in glory
sown in weakness   to    raised in power
sown a natural body   to   raised a spiritual body

Yesterday in church we sang these words…….”When my spirit clothed immortal wings it’s flight to realms of day,   This my song through endless ages,  ‘Jesus led me all the way.’  

This wknd I remembered the anniversary of my dad’s death – the day he made that flight to realms of day.    The song ministered to my spirit as it recounts the truth from this chapter.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

That He will make all things new and we get to see glimpses of that this week on the blog-exciting!

2. What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

One?? :))) I am a mess how can I put just one? :))))

A contrite heart. Before He gave me His Holy Spirit I was blind to my sin and my brokenness. Yet right before I came to know Him I knew I couldn’t stand before Him in my sin and I wanted to know Him-only He can do this.

After He sealed me with His Spirit He not only gave me a contrite heart, He filled me with His Love for I became other-centered-totally opposite of what I was before. Yep, I was one of those dramatic conversions but I believe He did it this way so that those who knew me before could be ambushed by His Love, His power-so they could see in my life that He is Alive!  He ushered in a few immediate changes. He opened my eyes to understand His Word and gave me this thirst-this longing after Him and His Word quenched my thirst. He started making me other-centered. His mark of love, and I started keeping commitments-whereas before I was known as, “well we invited her but who knows if she’ll come.” -He ambushed my best friend through His power in my life-she knew it was Him and sensed His Love.

Lately,  He is ushering into my life more patience for He is helping me to sincerely listen and love more-which I still need more help with-but He is changing me hallelujah! He is alive!

This isn’t tied up in a nice bow for He has so much more to do in me for my soul still wanders minute by minute.  We peer through a glass darkly still and we/I are definitely not totally transformed to be like Him yet. It both thrills me, makes me tremble, and humbles me when I start to imagine when I am face to face-when he removes Baal from my lips and I am like Him-when He is my joy in full-no dim glass anymore.

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I have to share. He ambushed me at church yesterday with His Love. He started out with a whisper and then engulfed me.  We were singing-and the song had nothing to do with His Glory- but this became radioactive-He gave up His glory so He could clothe me in it.  This went from a whisper to an engulfing feeling of His Love. His Glory is all over me and it was nothing I did but He did because He is crazy about me. Oh.

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    Best kind of God Hunt, Rebecca.

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My uncle spoke 2 weeks ago at his son’s funeral of a vision of heaven that he had . I won’t go into all of the details, but my very quiet, nominal-Christian, 80 year old uncle, who before this day would have scoffed at anyone who spoke of having visions, got up in front of everyone and told about how light flooded the room he was in and he heard my cousin laughing and saying “Dad, I’m happier than I’ve ever been!”. He wasn’t sleeping, but when he became aware of his surroundings again he said that something flooded him from his head to his toes and he has had perfect peace ever since. My aunt and cousins say that he is a changed man.

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    Wow, Dawn!

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    At his funeral his daughter talked about how he prayed with her every night. I just say this to say that he was a kind, loving yet tormented person and we are not without hope, God will have mercy on those whom He chooses. That was also my God hunt.

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      That is so comforting, Dawn.    I also tend to really take notice when something completely out of ‘normal’ happens to a person whose previous manner would not have had this kind of response.  This is amazing and beautiful.

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I have grandchildren here so I am mostly on the run, but following here. I just want to post a God Hunt post. A friend sensed that I was struggling and sent me a very kind, unexpected gift of Keller sermons, hoping to inspire me. I haven’t listened to them yet, but her act of kindness is so sweet and touches my aching, lonely heart in places where God KNEW I needed a HUG! Precious!

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    Yay!

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6B.  We will be changed, and how should that affect me?  Maybe be less concerned about this body and more concerned about Kingdom business.  How does it really affect me?  I have a peace, knowing that someday I will no longer be shackled to this body.  I heard once of a tombstone with a saying I want on mine.  Here lie the remains of (name), which kept her from doing a better job in this life.

 

7.  Jesus’ character is God’s character .  It is loving, merciful, just, gracious, righteous, and so on. All of them are ‘omni’ – all knowing, all loving, etc.  We will not be omni anything, but we will accurately reflect who He is.  In His resurrection body He had the scars of crucifixion, He could go through walls, and eat, and instantly be somewhere else. What that tells me is that we really can’t comprehend right now what we will be like, any more than a baby in the womb can understand what life after birth will be.

 

My God hunt over the weekend was being invited to someone’s home for the noon meal after church, and being told that they consider us good friends.  A balm, to be sure.

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    Loved your God Hunt, Mary. Amazing what an act of kindness can do for our hearts.

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6. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 
     A. When will we be changed? 

It will happen in a moment; when the trumpet sounds.

     B. How should this knowledge affect your life? How does it actually affect you?

I should always be ready because it could happen at any time. I am usually going about my day unaware that it could happen, focused on my earthly obligations. I need to be focused on the Lord.

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1 What stands out to you from the above and why?

Especially two things, the rebirth of all creation, There is so much now, in nature, that is breathtaking and awe inspiring. It is sweet to ponder what will be when “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea”

And the image of ‘through a glass darkly’, The “or we will see Him as He is” reveals that now we don’t “see him as he is”
I look forward to this day, when the knowledge of the glory of God will fill me and all of us and everything will be changed.

 
2 What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

Hope, I have hope that comes from outside of me. He pulls me out of the pit of self and gives me hope.

Hope that I matter both less, (in regards to my fear of man) and more (regarding my true identity) than the enemy squawks at me that I do.

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    You have someone so precious there so you see more through that dark glass than many!

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    Hope that I matter both less, (in regards to my fear of man) and more (regarding my true identity) than the enemy squawks at me that I do.

    What a great quote, Chris.  Thank you.

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5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
   A. Find three differences between the bodies we have now and the bodies we will have in verses 42-45.
Sown in dishonor; raised in glory
Sown in weakness; raised in power
Sown a natural body; raised a spiritual body
 
   B. Contrast the first Adam with the second Adam according to this passage.
First Adam a living being (natural body)
Second Adam a life giving spirit)
6. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

     A. When will we be changed? In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet
     B. How should this knowledge affect your life? How does it actually affect you?
Someday this body will no longer experience decay-that gives me hope and a longing for Heaven. I am just passing through and my earthly journey will have a glorious destination.
Two verses come to mind: Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Here is a wonderful version of Psalm 23 by Stuart Townend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN4tPkX0MG0
I corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–. biblehub.com
 
 

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    Thank you, Bing……for that beautiful video.   I played this a lot last summer when we had a sermon series on Psalm 23.  I had forgotten it.  (my memory is so lacking recently)     It speaks truth to my soul on this very weary day I am having.

     

    I also love this rendition of Psalm 23 ;  ‘Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy’….    by  Shane & Shane.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxLlpViTcic    I learned this one last summer also.  It stuck with me for weeks.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxLlpViTcic

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What stands out to you from the above and why? 

The quote by Teresa of Avila

“From heaven even the most miserable life will look like one nad night in sn inconvenient hotel.”

I am reminded that our former pastor would say for a believer in Jesus who is going to live in Heaven that life here in this earth is the closest thing to hell we will ever experience.  But for the nonbeliever who rejects Jesus that life here on earth is the closest thing to Heaven they will ever experience.

 

2. What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

A change that the new Adam has ushered into my life is hope. I believe because of Jesus and what He did on the Cross we are never with out hope in any situation. I think often of this phrase from an old hymn “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness “.  One of my favorite verses is Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

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    I love the saying of your former pastor about this life, Bev. It gives one pause to ponder.

    “for a believer in Jesus who is going to live in Heaven that life here in this earth is the closest thing to hell we will ever experience.  But for the nonbeliever who rejects Jesus that life here on earth is the closest thing to Heaven they will ever experience.”

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    Bev — great quote from your pastor.

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I really love the introduction to this lesson.  I’ve read it several times since Sunday.         Whereas the first Adam ushered in division, decay, and death —the second Adam was going to crush the head of the serpent, reverse the curse and begin the “renewal of all things.”

 

I wish that when people read the Bible as ‘literature’ they would see the amazing symmetry and depth of not just the ‘words’ but the WORD.   Because it’s completely astonishing……even if you only take it at face value.   But when the face value penetrates the heart, it’s indescribably really.   Because then it becomes not just an incredibly well written ‘plot’…..but a life transforming truth.

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 7.  We know we will be like Him when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2) What was Jesus character like? And  what was His body like after the resurrection? What does this tell you about what we will be like?

1 John 3:2 is an amazing comfort.  I know that our resurrected bodies are not with us the moment we pass from the life to eternity and YET,  we ‘shall be like Him’.…What that means completely, I surely can’t say, but it does mean to me, that we will have full knowledge of being in His presence and we will not be disembodied spirits.  I believe we will be in perfect peace and joy……’In thy presence is fullness of joy’  (Psalm 16:11)    Jesus’ resurrected body was very real; very physical…..Thomas touched his hands and feet,  He cooked and ate fish with them,  Mary instantly recognized Him when He called her name…….and yet, it was mysterious and able to do things a mere human body cannot…..He simply ‘appeared’ to those gathered in the upper room….He appeared – somehow incognito – to His followers on the Emmaus road …  and of course, He ascended into glory in a manner which meant he was not at all a mere human either.  If we are ‘like HIm’ when we first enter His presence upon leaving this earth,  I think it has to be something both familiar yet mysterious and too wonderful for words.  

“…..when my spirit clothed immortal wings its flight to realms of day.  This my song, through endless ages, Jesus led me all the way.’   (Fanny Crosby)
This speaks to me for the second time in the past 3 days.  Not only is it a spendid hope of heavenly bliss…..’the realms of day’…..but just as Jesus leads us through this weary life and through the valley of the shadow of death……he also leads the way into eternity and into the spiritual- yet physical body of which we shall bear HIs likeness.

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I also would miss the sun with its glorious sunsets.    

 

Oh Dee.  I’m jumping ahead here, because this sentence hits an intensity with me.   I’ve shared this before, but when my dad died, I was the saddest I have ever been.  I cried endlessly for weeks.  He was so young and had only been sick one year.  I was 37 and had three school age children who adored their grandpa and an infant who would never get to know him.   It was June 24th when he died, so right around this time of year.   A few weeks after, I was home and saw a glorious sunset.  My heart burst with sorrow.  I cried, ‘it’s not fair….dad is missing this beautiful sunset.’   and though I have never before nor ever since, heard God’s voice, audibly…..I felt I did that night.   I heard…..’but Wanda…..don’t you know?   ‘eye has not seen and ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him’   (from I Cor 2:9)   It was a turning point in my grief and has comforted me many, many times since.

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    Oh Wanda — that story gave me goosebumps.

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I would rather we get our glimpses of heaven from Scripture than from books that recount near death experiences.

 

Yes.  Thank you!  I have written a lot here (my fourth answer in a row….but I am not sure I can join you the rest of the week) but I have a burning question.  I don’t know if anyone will see this…..but here goes:

At first, when the most commonly known of these ‘back from heaven’ accounts came out….I passed them off until I saw how immensely widely read they were and decided to read them also.  Here’s my observation.   And I ask, because I’d really like to know if anyone out there has a resource or an answer.    I noticed that the books making the rounds in the USA anyway, were both written by ‘heartland’, white, protestant pastor’s families.   And I thought,  ‘if God were choosing to show Himself and heaven to someone who died and came back to tell….surely he would not choose only one demographic.’     But, is it just because in the US and other developed countries, you can gain instant free publicity to move your account forward that we are hearing only these accounts?  (I mean, overnight….you can be on all the morning TV shows, radio, books, movies and surely social media.)  But what about if this experience happens to someone in an impoverished African nation or the slums of Calcutta or ???   I remember when the ‘JESUS’ movie was being shown worldwide by (was it Campus Crusade?) and there were published reports of miraculous experiences all over. My question is this:  ARE there reports (oral…..word of mouth…..in churches….) of near death or died and coming back from heaven experiences in places unlike the USA?  to people unlike the above demographic?  I thought that maybe those in pastoral ministry would have read or heard of this in their conferences and clergy literature if there were.  I asked my pastor a few years ago, when one popular movie of such came out.  He did not have an answer.  Does anyone know?    I agree 100 percent that our glimpses of heaven should come from scripture and not such accounts….but I think there would be so much more credence if the accounts came from a wide variety of places.

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    Wanda,

    I looked it up and I think they only make movies of it when it is a white person. lol! :) But yes I am sure there are accounts from all over the world. One person who is Indian-family from Inida- wrote a book of her experience although she was born and raised in Britain-Anita Moorjani. I am sure if I had time to look up more that we would find others of other nationalities. That said, i agree with you that 100% our glimpses of heaven should come from Scripture which is 100% reliable. That doesn’t mean some of these people didn’t experience something but, as you said,  we can’t rely on it as proof. :)

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    I’m guessing you are correct in thinking that there are other accounts in other cultures, just no media to back them up. Your post made me think of the Virgin  Mary sitings that our Spanish Catholic brothers and sisters are known for 😉.

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8. Read Job 14:14-15 and describe the scene that will one day happen to you — and the emotion of God behind it.
My body, all of me will be renewed.
God longs for us-wow! He is so patiently waiting for our renewal.
9. Read Job 19:25-27 and describe what you learn from this about our new bodies and also about heaven.
I know that my redeemer[c] lives,     and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d] 26 And after my skin has been destroyed,     yet[e] in[f] my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him     with my own eyes—I, and not another.     How my heart yearns within me!
28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him,
 
This earthly skin will be no more but I will still have a fleshly body. Is it kind of like metamorphosis? Like the hard shell coming off and a soft body, fluid in its movement, hard heart turned to play dough like (thank you, Lizzy)
 
In Heaven we will be seeing God with our own eyes and not die. Oh what a wonderful time that would be!

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8. Read Job 14:14-15 and describe the scene that will one day happen to you — and the emotion of God behind it.

 

A blessing to read these verses this morning!   I don’t remember verse 15 at all.  It is amazing!   That God would speak through Job….telling us that He Himself, would call His ‘creatures’ back to Himself.  What a picture of His love for us.   This squares with the visual of Him coming running over the mountains for His Beloved from the Song of Songs.   How beautiful it is.

(and anything in Job astounds me as it was written before the prophets or psalms so Job had only divine inspiration and His own personal encounters with God from which to draw.   Yet, there is so much rich theology.)

 

In our church, we just had two very sad deaths.   Both were women about my age.   One lived only 10 months after being dx with ALS. The other  suffered a brain aneurysm and as she lived alone, she wasn’t found until maybe a day or two later.   Both were in good health before these life threatening conditions happened so quickly.    So, many are in a season of grief in our ‘smallish’ church family.   This verse gives me hope and peace.    I think I will share it with our care pastor this morning.

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My God hunt today is in the person of a physical fitness instructor on Youtube. :-) Lucy Wyndham-Read. Due to my shoulder problems, I have been on the hunt for exercises gentle enough to do. Lucy have several videos that I can tailor to my limitations. Thank you, Lord!

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    Great specific God Hunt.

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7.  We know we will be like Him when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2) What was Jesus character like?

Jesus’ character was kind, calm, confident, loving, gentle, joyful, peaceful, and trustworthy.

And what was His body like after the resurrection?

His body was not really recognizable, or so it seems. Maybe ghost-like? He does tell the disciples He isn’t a ghost though. He can speak to them, and they can touch and feel His hands and side. I’m not sure why they don’t recognize Him; they do recognize His voice.

What does this tell you about what we will be like?

I suppose we will be the same? I have wondered if I will know my mom and dad (and they me) when I am in heaven. Will I know others? Will we wear white robes? Shoes? Will we eat food?

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2 What is one change the new Adam has already ushered into you life? See if you can think of something besides forgiveness, though I know that is HUGE.

Freedom from the bondage of sin. Knowing that I don’t have to keep recalling and beating myself up for things that I have done. Knowing that God knew before the foundations of the earth what sins I was going to commit and He is willing and able to turn evil to good. The circumstances of my life are not a surprise to Him.

My God hunt today happened as I was driving from my husband’s work to mine down unfamiliar roads I was listening to Tony Evans talking about sin being like being in debt (think about all of the debt that you have with credit cards, the house, cars, student loans, etc.)  and having all of that debt paid off.  Not only that but all your future debts will be paid off, too. I was thinking I wonder how many people would just go out and buy more and more knowing that it was going to be paid off.  I know that the bible says that we should not continue in sin…just then I looked at a side street sign that I was passing and it was Grace St. I knew God was just letting me know He was there with me. It made me smile.

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8. Read Job 14:14-15 and describe the scene that will one day happen to you — and the emotion of God behind it.

Job says there will come a day when the Lord comes; he will wait for that day, when “his change comes.” He anticipates that the Lord will come searching for him (Job) and that he (Job) is the “work of His hands.” Job will answer the call.

9. Read Job 19:25-27 and describe what you learn from this about our new bodies and also about heaven.  

Job’s flesh will be gone and he will only be focused on God with his soul.

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Dawn gave Laura a link to a short article from Back to the Bible on “Will We Know Our Loved Ones in Heaven” — I copied it for I thought it insightful!

 

Will we know our loved ones in heaven?

 

There are several indications in Scripture that we will maintain our identity in heaven and, thus, be recognizable to our loved ones (and they to us). For example, Jesus makes it a point in Matthew 22:31-32 that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were alive and existing as individuals by those names.

 

In Matthew 17:1-8, Peter, James and John recognized Moses and Elijah. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 Paul expected to recognize in heaven the Thessalonian Christians to whom he had ministered on earth (see a similar situation in 2 Corinthians 1:14).

 

In addition, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (NKJ). That last phrase, “I shall know just as I also am known” would indicate that we shall know others as well as be known by others.

 

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    Oh i love this article. Thank you Dawn and Dee! :)))

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    Dee and Dawn-thank you for sharing this article. I was missing my sister so much this week and cried a lot. This ministered to me so much knowing I will see her again someday as well as my other loved ones who has gone on ahead to Heaven.

     

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Very special God sighting this morning.  Praying while I was driding.  Thanking the Lord for so many things, and as two birds came across the sky, a tiny one chasing a big black one, I found myself saying: and Thank You Lord, for making it possible for me to chase the devil away just as that little bird is chasing away that crow….  That thought sure did not come from me!  But I have been thinking about it ever since.

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    Mary B — reminds me of Charles Spurgeon: God gave us two great books: creation and Scripture — and they talk about each other.

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My God Hunt involves my publisher, whom I love. (Waterbrook) They are being so helpful to me in getting the word out for He Calls You Beautiful to be released in 10 days. Never have i had a publisher who was so helpful in this way. And they are giving 300 free books to the prison ministry.

 

It always gets quite around here on holiday weekends, and I’m praying for all of you to have many God Sightings as you are outside, with family and friends, and simply being alert to be amazed.

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God sighting this morning-I took my daughter’s dog out to potty and saw a flash of red. A cardinal-my special reminder of the love of God for me. Thank you, Lord.

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Randy Alcorn’s article was a comfort for me too. I don’t think I have ever thought through the question about how Jesus can be with zillions of us. My idea was very simplistic in that with God nothing is impossible so His omnipresence will be beyond my expectations and imaginations.

I think of the words of the song , In the garden” And He walks with me and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own (though in Heaven, I will not need any convincing of this) And the joy we share as we tarry there, NONE OTHER HAS EVER KNOWN. ” And to think that each one of us will have our , very personal and individual sense of inexplicable joy in His company. Hallelujah, indeed!

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Sweet Elizabeth, Forgive me for missing your birthday…for you are a testament to me of remembering others.

Happy Birthday Late but your always in my thoughts and prayers!

May God Bless you and your sweet family.

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