Recently I’ve been studying books on the subject of heaven. Books such as Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright, and Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael Wittmer.
One of the overwhelming themes from all of these works is that heaven is not some immaterial place in the sky where the souls of Christians float to following their death or the return of Jesus. Heaven is a physical place, including the resurrection of physical bodies, on earth.
The ramifications from this are numerous, but I thought I’d share my favorite quotes from these 3 books, in hopes that it may spur you toward thinking more deeply about heaven, and also shift how we understand the living of our daily lives.
“Every kingdom work, whether publicly performed or privately endeavored, partakes of the kingdom’s imperishable character. Every honest intention, every stumbling word of witness, every resistance of temptation, every motion of repentance, every gesture of concern, every routine engagement, every motion of worship, every struggle towards obedience, every mumbled prayer, everything, literally, which flows out of our faith-relationship with the Ever-Living One, will find its place in the ever-living heavenly order which will dawn at his coming” (Alcorn).
“What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future…they are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom” (Wright).
“…people who seek to use their jobs primarily as witnessing opportunities tend to view Christianity as something added on to life. They don’t often ponder how obedience to Jesus Christ directly changes the way they work; they merely tack him on to their work. They typically don’t view their jobs as a way to serve Christ, but think that they are only obeying Christ when they are talking about him with others” (Wittmer).
If you’re interested in looking at this more, I’ll pass on this link to my message on the subject from a few weeks back.