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Hereafter (4)

#7 --- Hereafter is more about what we'll be than where we'll be. I think it was N.T. Wright who said something along these lines. Take a look at 1 Peter 1:3-4 and note how Peter makes a distinction between heaven and our inheritance. Then take a look at 2 Corinthians 5:1-5, and ask yourself if the inheritance Peter was speaking of is not the same thing as the "eternal house/heavenly dwelling" that Paul is speaking of (which is clearly a figure for our resurrection body since it is contrasted with "the earthly tent we live in," v. 1,4).  Listen to Paul as he says, "our present sufferings are worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."  John adds, "What we will be and not yet been made known," (1 John 3:2). None of this is to minimize heaven, but to help us see the emphasis that is placed upon what we will be.


--- What we will realize is greater than what we can fantasize. Does all of this have you tied in knots with your head spinning? In light of what we've seen in regard to the hereafter, it makes sense that we haven't been given more specifics since we don't really have the experiential framework for understanding it. It would be like trying to tell an unsighted person what something looks like.


The good news is that hereafter is ultimately a faith issue (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). To understand what God has revealed is great but in the end, it must complement (not serve as a substitute for), our trust in His goodness. Our Father is good. From the beginning the tempter has sought to create doubt about that (Genesis 3:1ff), but the cross stands as the ultimate testimony to His beneficence.


"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all --- how will He not also, along with HIm, graciously give us all things?", (Romans 8:32). God gave us heaven’s best in His Son. We can be sure that the hereafter will in no way disappoint. Indeed, He made us for this very purpose (2 Corinthians 5:5).
Hereafter? It will be out of this world. You can count on it!
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