You Can Know You Have Eternal Life
723 – The Divine Mystery Revealed (30)

by Jim Mettenbrink

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     Previously we considered Jesus’ statement that “
those who have done evil,” or those who have been unfaithful to God, will rise from the dead, to a “resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29).  And their destiny will be eternal separation from God in Hell, a place of unthinkable anguish.

     Last week we very briefly considered the mystery revealed in the New Testament that those who enjoy the “
resurrection of life” (those who were faithful to Jesus), will have an eternal body made for the spiritual world, not this present realm (1 Corinthians 15:35-49).  Where will the faithful live?  Heaven!  What is Heaven?

     Heaven will not be in this universe.  The apostle Peter wrote, “
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men...the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:7,10).  Peter continued, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (vs13).  In wrapping up Revelation, John wrote regarding the final judgment, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Rev 21:1).  It appears the earth-heaven phrases have metaphoric meaning, this material world versus that new world which will exist eternally.  Since the faithful will have an incorruptible, eternal spiritual body, it is reasonable, they will live in the presence of God in a world of eternal spiritual substance called heaven.

     The Jews recognized three heavens.  The first is the atmosphere around the earth, where the birds fly.  The second is space where the planets, stars & sun exist.  The third heaven is where God dwells (Matthew 23:9).  The apostle Paul referred to the third heaven regarding when Jesus revealed Himself to Paul (Acts 9:9:1-9; 22:6-11; 1 Corinthians 12:1-4; Revelation 2:7).  As Peter stated, only righteousness (vs 13), implicitly God and the faithful, will be in the new heaven, a different realm than our present existence.  The location and what substance it will consist of is not revealed to us.  Likely, we would not comprehend it if God had revealed it via His New Testament writers.  There’s more to this mystery.

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      © Jim Mettenbrink; used by permission. rev.170507
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