Eternal Perspectives

We, whose “names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20) and to whom new heavenly names have already been assigned (Cf. Revelation 2:17), shall stand as individuals before an Individual when we render our final account (Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10). . . .

The entire doctrinal structure of the Bible, including God’s redemptive plan and His prophetic program, assumes the persistence of our discernible identities. . . . For instance, there will be recognition and differentiation when the righteous dead are raised from among the wicked at our Lord’s return. This will happen when Jesus judges “every man” according to his works . . . when he assigns twelve special thrones to the apostles in the New Jerusalem.

~ E.X. Heatherley, Our Heavenly Home

Eternal Perspectives

Although earthly family relationships will be superseded, my dear mother will always be the same person. I myself will always be the same person. For the Christian, death neither obliterates human identity nor submerges the individual distinctives of human personality. Those traits and characteristics which are individually peculiar to you and me will not only reappear yonder but will be refined and accentuated. All the unlovely will have been eliminated, and every loveable feature will be retained, emphasized, sublimated. As there have been special loves here, so will there continue to be in that higher life.


~ J. Sidlow Baxter, [The Other Side of Death]

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

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

It’s only because of the Bridegroom’s work that the chosen princess, the church, can enter the presence of her Lord. Yet her wedding dress is woven by her many acts of faithfulness while away from her Bridegroom on the fallen Earth. . . . Each prayer, each gift, each hour of fasting, each kindness to the needy—all these are the threads that have been woven together into this wedding dress. Her works have been empowered by the Spirit, and she has spent her life on Earth sewing her wedding dress for the day when she will be joined to her beloved Bridegroom.

This gives us a wonderful reason to remain here on this Earth, even though we long to be with our beloved Jesus. The wedding approaches, yet . . . part of us wants fewer days between now and the wedding, because we’re so eager to be with our Beloved in our new home. But another part wants more days to better prepare for the wedding, to sew our dress by acts of faithful service to God.

The imagery is beautiful but potentially disturbing. A pure bride doesn’t want to appear scantily clothed or dressed in rags at the altar before her beloved Bridegroom and a crowd of guests. But if she has been diligent to prepare, her dress will be substantial, beautiful, and complete.

~ Randy Alcorn, We Shall See God

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

Eternal Perspectives

“As they increase in the knowledge of God and of the works of God, the more they will see of his excellency; and the more they see of his excellency . . . the more will they love him; and the more they love God, the more delight and happiness . . . will they have in him.


~ Jonathan Edwards, The Miscellanies


In Jesus’ day, the Jewish marriage custom required that the groom go to the bride’s father and establish the price for gaining his bride. The father and the future husband sealed the covenant with a cup shared between them. The groom would then leave for a lengthy period, returning to his father’s home where he prepared an apartment that would become their home.


Then, without announcement, when everything was finally ready and the wedding feast prepared, he would leave his father’s home and walk through the streets of the town to receive his bride and take her home.


Needless to say, there was no time to prepare herself for that great celebration if she waited to hear the shouts in the streets. Given that her hope was fixed on that day, she had already prepared herself in anticipation of his coming for her.

~ Joseph Stowell, Eternity