Eternal Perspectives

The dwelling should befit the dweller. But the world was made to be man’s dwelling; therefore, it should be fitting for man. Now, man will be renewed; therefore, the world will be likewise. . . . Now man has some likeness to the universe by which he is called “a little world.” Thus, man loves the whole world naturally and consequently desires its good. Therefore, so that man’s desire is satisfied, the universe must also be made better.

~Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

Eternal Perspectives

According to Scripture the present world will neither continue forever nor will it be destroyed and replaced by a totally new one. Instead it will be cleansed of sin and re-created, reborn, renewed, made whole. While the kingdom of God is first planted spiritually in human hearts, the future blessedness is not to be spiritualized. Biblical hope, rooted in incarnation and resurrection, is creational, this-worldly, visible, physical, bodily hope. The rebirth of human beings is completed in the glorious rebirth of all creation, the New Jerusalem whose architect and builder is God himself.

~ Herman Bavinck, [The Last Things]

Eternal Perspectives

In his redemptive activity, God does not destroy the works of his hands, but cleanses them from sin and perfects them, so that they may finally reach the goal for which he created them. Applied to the problem at hand, this principle means that the new earth to which we look forward will not be totally different from the present one, but will be a renewal and glorification of the earth on which we now live.

~ Anthony Hoekema, The Bible and the Future

Eternal Perspectives

An interpretive approach that makes everything symbolic also makes everything subjective. It will never allow us to break free of our assumptions and see what the Bible really says about Heaven, our bodily resurrection, and life on the New Earth. . . . The river going through the New Jerusalem becomes God’s grace, the tree becomes Christ, the city walls become security. Or the river becomes Christ, the tree God’s grace, and the city walls God’s omnipotence. . . . But if the text can be said to mean everything, it ceases to mean anything. One cannot have serious interpretive discussions with those who interpret all references to the New Earth figuratively. Why? Because as soon as you cite a passage depicting anything tangible, they will dismiss it by saying, “You can’t take that literally.”

~ Randy Alcorn, Heaven

Eternal Perspectives

Maybe in heaven all our losses are not forgotten. Maybe they’re returned. Maybe all the broken and strewn parts of ourselves come back, more alive and connected than they’ve ever been. But regardless of that, this one thing is true: Heaven is where our inescapable sense of loss and incompleteness is overcome. It is the one thing large enough to answer our deepest longings and console our deepest griefs. Our hunger for perfect justice and perfect mercy and perfect joy and perfect peace—all is met there.

Maybe, just maybe, the sorrow is not forgotten, or bathed in the light of perfect understanding. Maybe all of it, every last shred of it, is redeemed, given back.

~ Mark Buchanan [Things Unseen]

Eternal Perspectives

If my wedding date is on the calendar, and I’m thinking of the person I’m going to marry, I shouldn’t be an easy target for seduction. Likewise, when I’ve meditated on Heaven, sin is terribly unappealing. It’s when my mind drifts from Heaven that sin seems attractive. Thinking of Heaven leads inevitably to pursuing holiness. Our high tolerance for sin testifies of our failure to prepare for Heaven. Heaven should affect our activities and ambitions, our recreation and friendships, and the way we spend our money and time. If I believe I’ll spend eternity in a world of unending beauty and adventure, will I be content to spend all my evenings staring at game shows, sitcoms, and ball games? Even if I keep my eyes off of impurities, how much time will I want to invest in what doesn’t matter? To be Heaven-oriented is to be goal-oriented in the best sense.

Randy Alcorn. [Heaven]