Eternal Perspectives

The Lord does not forsake the work of his hands. In faithfulness he upholds his creation order. Even the great crisis that will come on the world at Christ’s return will not annihilate God’s creation or our cultural development of it. The new heaven and the new earth the Lord has promised will be a continuation, purified by fire, of the creation we now know. There is no reason to believe that the cultural dimensions of earthly reality (except insofar as they are involved in sin) will be absent from the new, glorified earth that is promised. In fact, the biblical indications point in the opposite direction. Describing the new earth as the new Jerusalem, John writes that “The kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. . . . The glory and the honor of the nations will be brought into it” (Revelation 21:24, 26). This very likely refers to the cultural treasures of mankind which will be purified by passing through the fires of judgment, like gold in a crucible.

~ Albert Wolters, [Creation Regained]

Eternal Perspectives

Every kingdom work, whether publicly performed or privately endeavoured, 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.

~ Bruce Milne, [The Message of Heaven and Hell]

Eternal Perspectives

What is it that marks each of us as the same individual at birth, as an adult, and in the resurrection? The adult is the same person as the child, despite all the change that goes on within the human body. Similarly, despite the transformation that will occur at resurrection, we know from Paul that we will still be the same person.237 Millard Erickson, Christian Theology This issue [whether people will be resurrected at the age they died] caused the spilling of much theological ink, especially during the Middle Ages. . . . By the late thirteenth century, the church’s emerging consensus was this: “As each person reaches their peak of perfection around the age of 30, they will be resurrected, as they would have appeared at that time—even if they never lived to reach that age.” Peter Lombard’s discussion of the matter is typical of his age: “A boy who dies immediately after being born will be resurrected in that form which he would have had if he had lived to the age of thirty.” The New Jerusalem will thus be populated by men and women as they would appear at the age of 30 . . . but with every blemish removed.

~ Alister McGrath

Eternal Perspectives

What has been said on this subject may well awaken and alarm the unconverted. First, by putting them in mind of their misery, in that they have no portion or right in this world of love. You have heard what has been said of heaven, what kind of glory and blessedness is there, and how happy the saints and angels are in that world of perfect love. But consider that none of this belongs to you, if you are unconverted. When you hear of such things, you hear of that in which you have no share.

~ Jonathan Edwards, Heaven: A World of Love

Eternal Perspectives

There are no such abnormalities as immortal babies. There is no such thing as everlasting childhood. . . . We simply must realize (thankfully so) that in heaven there is no perpetual suspension of growth, no permanent immaturity. All is progressive vitality.

~ J. Sidlow Baxter, The Other Side of Death

Eternal Perspectives

It’s not the crying, the helplessness, the messes, the immaturity of children that we love. It’s the unfeigned joy of life, the exuberance, the inquisitiveness, the laughter, the spontaneous affection. In heaven we will all be like that!

~ Larry Dick, [A Taste of Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

The Bride of Christ

The one-flesh marital union is a signpost pointing to our relationship with Christ as our bridegroom. Once we reach the destination, however, the signpost becomes unnecessary. That one marriage—our marriage to Christ—will be so completely satisfying that even the most wonderful earthly marriage couldn’t be as fulfilling. Earthly marriage is a shadow, a copy, an echo, of the true and ultimate marriage. Once that ultimate marriage begins, at the Lamb’s wedding feast, all the human marriages that pointed to it will have served their noble purpose and will be assimilated into the one great marriage they foreshadowed. The purpose of marriage is not to replace Heaven, but to prepare us for it.

~ Randy Alcorn, [50 Days of Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

We aren’t individual brides of Christ; we are collectively the bride of Christ. Christ is not a polygamist. He will be married to one bride, not millions. We belong to each other and need each other. We should guard not only our own purity, but each other’s. We are our brother’s keeper. . . . Because we will be part of a community of saints that constitutes the bride of Christ for eternity, and because we will worship and serve him together, to prepare properly for Heaven we must be part of a church now.

~ Randy Alcorn, [Heaven]

Eternal Perspectives

The one-flesh marital union is a signpost pointing to our relationship with Christ as our bridegroom. Once we reach the destination, however, the signpost becomes unnecessary. That one marriage—our marriage to Christ—will be so completely satisfying that even the most wonderful earthly marriage couldn’t be as fulfilling. Earthly marriage is a shadow, a copy, an echo, of the true and ultimate marriage. Once that ultimate marriage begins, at the Lamb’s wedding feast, all the human marriages that pointed to it will have served their noble purpose and will be assimilated into the one great marriage they foreshadowed. The purpose of marriage is not to replace Heaven, but to prepare us for it.

~ Randy Alcorn, 50 Days of Heaven