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Hereafter (3)

#5
--- We’re better off thinking of heaven as a realm or dimension rather than as a specific geographic location.  This is where some of our songs aren’t real helpful --- “I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltops,” or “beautiful home of the ransomed beside the crystal sea.”  If we take these songs literally, we’ll get the impression that heaven is a physical location somewhere above the clouds (or over the hilltops).  It’s the kind of mentality that prompted Yuri Gargarin, a Soviet cosmonaut and the first person to go into outer space to remark, “I didn’t see God up there.”  Was he looking for the Almighty beside the crystal sea or did he expect to see Him among the mansions somewhere? 
 
Of course, most recognize that God is spirit (John 4:24), and whatever else that might mean, it means that God is not perceivable through our physical senses.  I’d suggest that this is the way we should think about heaven --- it is a state of being, a realm, or dimension outside out physical senses.

Perhaps linking it with eternity is also helpful.  Eternity is not a long, long, long time as some people are prone to think.  Eternity is that state/dimension/realm where there is no time.  In the same way, heaven is a dimension/realm different than the one we experience now.  It seems to me this was the mistake of the Sadducees --- they assumed heaven was just an extension of this world (Matthew 22:23ff), and by His response, Jesus made it clear that’s simply not the case.

#6 --- This is why at the resurrection, our bodies will be adapted for a different realm.  Listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44:

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

Note the contrasts:  it is sown perishable, in dishonor and weakness, but it is raised imperishable, in glory and in power.  And then there’s the final and ultimate contrast --- it is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body.  He’s not speaking of the material the body is made of but the realm it is fitted for.  Our bodies right now are made for earth.  At the resurrection they’ll be fitted for heaven. 
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