Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday's Trust - Gone... But Still Alive... - Part Three

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. 

~Hebrews 4:16 (New Living Translation)

Tuesday's Trust

Gone... But Still Alive...

Part Three

What is life like for our children who have gone before us to Heaven?

Two weeks ago:

 as I mentioned, in his book, Heaven, written in 2004, Randy Alcorn describes a "temporary" place into which we go before we are called into the New Heaven and the New Earth which is the final culmination of God's victory over Satan. This "temporary" Heaven into which we believe our (deceased) children have entered, Alcorn calls "the intermediate Heaven." In his book, he describes his rationale for this interpretation of Scripture:

"I've made these observations on the intermediate Heaven based on only three verses (Revelation 6:9-11). Unless there is some reason to believe that the realities of this passage apply only to one group of martyrs and to no one else in Heaven --- and I see no such indication --- then we should assume that what is true of them is also true of our loved ones already there, and will be true of us when we die."

The following are the next seven (7) of Alcorn's observations for what he thinks are true of this "intermediate Heaven":

  • 8) The believers martyred for His name, ask God to intervene on Earth and to act on their behalf: "How long . . . until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" (v. 10)

  • 9) Those in Heaven are free to ask God questions, which means they have an audience with God. It also means they need to learn. In (the intermediate) Heaven, people desire understanding and pursue it.

  • 10) People in the intermediate Heaven know what's happening on Earth (v. 10). The martyrs know enough to realize that those who killed them have not yet been judged.

  • 11) Heaven dwellers have a deep concern for justice and retribution (v. 10). When we go to Heaven, we won't adopt a passive disinterest in what happens on the earth. On the contrary, our concerns will be more passionate and our thirst for justice greater. Neither God nor we will be satisfied until his enemies are judged, our bodies raised, sin and Satan defeated, Earth restored, and Christ exalted over all.

  • 12) The martyrs clearly remember their lives on Earth (v. 10). They even remember that they were murdered

  • 13) The martyrs in Heaven pray for judgment on their persecutors who are still at work hurting others. They are acting in solidarity with, and in effect interceding for, the suffering saints on Earth. This suggests that saints in Heaven are both seeing and praying for saints on Earth.

  • 14) Those in Heaven see God's attributes ("Sovereign . . . holy and true") in a way that makes His judgment of sin more understandable.

To be continued.

Picture, thanks to ~Dee Flores of ~Christian Pictures, found in Pinterest 


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