by Randy Alcorn

My notes



To sin is to fall short of God’s holy standards.  Sin is what ended Eden’s paradise.  And all of us , like Adam and Eve, are sinners.  God made Christ who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  This means that even though we are under God’s wrath for our sins, Jesus died on the cross ass our representative, our substitute.  God then poured out his wrath on Christ instead of on us.  Christ, who stood in our place, conveyed his righteousness to us so that we are declared innocent of all our sins and declared righteous, so we may enter the very presence of God in Heaven and be at home with him.





You are made for a person and a place.  Jesus is the person.  Heaven is the place.  They are a package you cannot get Heaven without Jesus or Jesus without Heaven.  Have you confessed your sins?  Asked Christ to forgive you?  Placed your trust in Christ’s death and resurrection on you behalf?  Wouldn’t be tragic if you read this book on Heaven but didn’t get to go there?


When a Christian dies, he or she enters into what is referred to in theology as the intermediate state, a transitional period between our past lives on Earth and our future resurrection to life on the New Earth. 


The present intermediate Heaven is in the angelic realm, distinctly separate from Earth.  Simply put though the present Heaven is up there the future eternal Heaven will be down here and God will come down to live in our home forever.  The New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven to the New Earth. 


When we die we will face judgment of faith.  We will either go to Heaven or Hell.  The first judgment is not to be confused with the final judgment or what is called the judgment of works.  The Bible indicates that all believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of their lives.  Our works do not affect our salvation, but the do affect our reward.   Unbelievers face a final judgment of works as well.  Te Bible tells us it will come at the great white throne, at the end of the old Earth and just before the beginning of the New Earth. 


We’re told there are scrolls in Heaven, elders who have faces, martyrs who wear clothes, and even people with palm branches in their hands (Revelation 7:9).  There are musical instruments in the present Heaven (Revelation 8:6) horses coming into and out of Heaven (2Kings 2:11; Revelation 19:14), and an eagle flying overhead in Heaven (Revelation 8:13).  Perhaps some of these objects are merely symbolic, with no corresponding physical reality.  But is that true of all of them?


Moses was told in building the earthly tabernacle, “see to I that you make everything according to the pattern shown you n the mountain” (Hebrews 8:5).  If that which was built after the pattern was physical, might it suggest the original was also physical?


The book of Hebrews seems to say that we should see Darth as a derivative realm and Heaven as the source realm.  If we do, we’ll abandon the assumption that something existing in one realm cannot exist in the other.

If we know that the New Jerusalem will be physically on the New Earth, and we also know that it is in the present Heaven, does that not suggest the New Jerusalem is currently physical?  These verses in Hebrews suggest that God created Earth in the image of Heaven. 


The same physical tree of life that was in the Garden of Eden will one day be in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth (Revelation 22:2).  Now it is in the intermediate or present Heaven.


Eden was not destroyed.  What was destroyed was mankind’s ability to live in Eden .  There’s no indication that Eden was stripped of its physicality and transformed into a “Spiritual” entity.  It appears to have remained just as it was, a physical paradise removed to a realm we can’t gain access to, most likely the present Heaven, because we know for certain that’s where the tree of life now is (Revelation 2:7)


Though the rest of the earth fell under human sin, Eden was for some reason treated differently.  Perhaps it had come from Heaven, God’s dwelling place, and was transplanted to Earth.  We don’t know.  But we do know this:  God came to Eden to visit with Adam and Eve (Genesis3:8), which he would no longer do after Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden after the Fall.  Whether or not Eden was created along with the rest of the Earth, clearly it was special to God, and it remains special to him.


We cannot be fully human without both a spirit and a body.  God may grant us some physical form that well allow us to function as human beings while in that unnatural state “between bodies,” awaiting our resurrection or perhaps at least a physical form of some sort. 


It appears the apostle John had a body when he visited Heaven, because he is said to have grasped, held, eaten, and tasted things there (Revelation 10:9-10)  To assume this is all figurative language is not a restriction demanded by the text buy only by our presupposition that Heaven isn’t a physical place.


Whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, buy God knows (2Corinthians 12:3) this was said by Paul.  The fact that he thought he might have had a body in Heaven is significant. 


If we have intermediate forms in the intermediate Heaven, they won’t be our true bodies, which have died.  Continuity is only between our original and resurrection bodies.


When Christ is seen standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56), he is actually standing on something. 


If we know there is physical substance in Heaven, can we not also assume that other references to physical objects in Heaven, including physical forms and clothing, are literal rather than figurative?


Enoch and Elijah appear to have been taken to Heaven in their physical bodies.  Apparently Enoch’s body was not left behind to bury. (Genesis 5:24)  Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Given that at least on and perhaps three people now have bodies in Heaven, isn’t possible that others might be given physical forms as well?


Moses and Elijah appeared physically with Christ at the Transfiguration.  This seems to demonstrate beyond question that God at least sometimes creates intermediate bodies for people to inhabit prior to the resurrection of the dead.  Even if only for Moses and Elijah, and only while they were on Earth.



In the New Testament account of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus ascribes physical properties to people who have died (Luke 16:19-31)


Did you know that this is the only parable Jesus told in which he gave specific name to someone in the story? Naming Lazarus suggest that Jesus was speaking of a real man who had that name.  The problem with strictly literal interpretation of this passage is that it presses too far, suggesting things that are unlikely and not taught elsewhere,  such as that people in Heaven and Hell talk to each other.  The problem with a strictly figurative interpretation is that it makes it difficult to know what, if anything, to take seriously.


We can learn a great deal about the present Heaven from three key verses in Revelation:  “When (the Lamb) opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.  They called out in a loud voice,  “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 

  1. When these people died on Earth they relocated to Heaven
  2. This demonstrates direct continuity between our identity on Earth and our identity in Heaven. Those in the present Heaven are not different people, thy are the same people relocated “righteous men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23)
  3. People in Heaven will be remembered for their lives on Earth.
  4. They called out, means they are able to express themselves audibly.
  5. The martyrs are fully conscious, rational and aware of each other, God and the situation on Earth
  6. Those in Heaven are free to ask God questions, which means they have an audience with God.
  7. People in the present Heaven know what’s happening on Earth
  8. Heaven dwellers have a deep concern for justice and retribution
  9. The martyrs clearly remember their lives on Earth
  10. Those in Heaven are distinct individuals
  11. The martyrs’ wearing white robes suggests the possibility of actual physical forms.
  12. God answers their question indicating communication and process in Heaven.  It also demonstrates that we won’t know everything in Heaven, if we did, we would have no questions.
  13. There is time in the present Heaven.  The white robed martyrs ask God a time dependent question
  14. We are on family with those who’ve gone to Heaven ahead of us
  15. Our sovereign God knows down to the last detail all that is happening and will happen on Earth


Can it be Heaven if people are aware of anything bad on Earth.  God knows exactly what’s happening on Earth, yet it doesn’t diminish Heaven for him.  Likewise, it’s Heaven for the angels, even though they also know what’s happening on Earth.  Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?  When Saul asked who he was, he replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,.”  Doesn’t Christ’s identification with those being persecuted on Earth suggest he’s currently hurting for his people, even as he’s in Heaven?


We are told that Heaven is a city (Hebrews 11:10, 13:14) When we hear the word city we shouldn’t scratch our heads and wonder what this means.  We understand cities.  Cities have buildings, culture, art, music, athletics, goods and services, events of all kind.  And of course, cities have people engaged in activities, gatherings, conversations, and work.  Heaven is also described as a country (Hebrews 11:16) We know about countries.  They have territories, rulers, national interest, pride in their identity, and citizens who are both divers and unified. 


Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. (Isiah 65:17)

Many other passages allude to the new heavens and the New Earth without using those terms.  God’s redemptive plan climaxes not at the return of the Christ, not in the millennial kingdom, but on the New Earth.  Only then will all wrongs be made right.


God has never given up on his original creation.  Yet somehow we’ve managed to overlook an entire biblical vocabulary that makes this point clear.  Redeem. Restore. Recover. Return. Renew. Regenerate. Resurrect. Each of these biblical words begins with the re-prefix, suggesting a return to an original condition that was ruined or lost.


Our present purpose is inseparable from God’s stated eternal purpose for us to rule the earth forever as his children and heirs.


But the universe will behold an even greater display of God’s glory, one that will involve redeemed men and women and redeemed nations on a redeemed earth. 


Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land (Psalm 85:9)


I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east… and the land was radiant with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2)


In both these passages, the word translated as “land” (erets) is the word for “earth”.


There will be animals on the New Earth, From various nations.

God’s plan of the ages is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ (Ephesians 1:10).  All things is broad and inclusive nothing will be left out.


Heaven is God’s home.  Earth is our home.  Jesus Christ, as the God-man, forever links God and mankind, and thereby forever links Heaven and Earth.  Christ will make Earth into Heaven and Heaven into Earth.  Just as the wall that separates God and mankind is torn down Jesus, so too the wall that separates Heaven and Earth will be forever demolished.  There will be on universe, with all things in Heaven and on Earth together under one head, Jesus Christ. “ Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them (Revelation 21:3).  God will live with us on the New Earth that will bring all things in heaven and on earth together.


Christ resisted Satan, but the evil one was desperate to defeat Christ, to kill him as he had the first Adam.


And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything.  These words are all inclusive, and they are past tense, not future.  Christ rules the universe.  And yet it is only upon Christ’s physical return to the earth that Satan will be bound.  God’s intent is not to destroy the world but to deliver it from destruction.  His plan is to redeem this fallen world, which he designed for greatness. 


Christians tend to spiritualize the resurrection of the dead, effectively denying it.  They don’t reject it as a doctrine, but they deny its essential meaning: a permanent return to a physical existence in a physical universe.   We will not be disembodied spirits in the world to come, but redeemed spirits, in redeemed bodies, in a redeemed universe.


Death is an abnormal condition because it tear apart what God created and joined together.  When God sent Jesus to die, it was for our bodies as well as our spirits.  He came to redeem not just “the breath of life” (spirit) but also the “the dust of the ground” (body).  When we die, it isn’t that our real self goes to the present Heaven and our fake self goes to the grave; it’s that part of us goes to the present Heaven and part goes to the grave to await our bodily resurrection.  We will never be all that God intended for us to be until body and spirit are again joined in resurrection.  (If we do have physical forms in the intermediate state, clearly they will not be our original or ultimate bodies.)


Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19).  John clarifies that “the temple he had spoken of was his body” The body that rose is the body that was destroyed.


“The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.  As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are heaven.”

Paul’s point here, I believe, is not that Christ’s body wasn’t “of dust” but that Adam’s was.  Indeed, if Christ’s body wasn’t “of dust” if he had no genetic relationship with Adam, then he would not be fully human, and he would not be Messiah, the Son of Man.  He is not merely was, but is a descendant of Adam.  He is that las Adam, not a non-Adam.


Eden as it will be on the New Earth, animals will neither harm nor destroy.


Paul says “we know that the whole creation has been groaning” (Romans 8:22).  Consider the shocking cruelty in the animal world, where mothers sometimes devour their offspring, and most of those that survive are mercilessly killed by predators.


Paul follows with the good news that what went down with mankind in the Fall will come back up with us when Christ’s redemptive work is completed.


Just as we will be carried over from the old world to the new, so will our labor.


We have the assurance of Scripture that all believers will survive the fire of testing and be raised.  But it is not only ourselves that will outlast this world and be carried over to the new one.  It is what we do with our lives.


The Question of the Millennium

Many have reduced the coming reign of Christ on Earth to a thousand-year millennial kingdom on the old Earth.  Consequently, they have failed to understand the biblical promise of an eternal reign on the New Earth. 

Revelation 20 refers six times to the Millennium, describing it like this:


From Postmillennial viewpoint, Christ’s Kingdom is spreading throughout the world, and God’s justice will prevail across the earth prior to Christ’s return.  After his reign is established through his people for a long duration.  Christ will physically return to an already substantially redeemed world.


From a Premillennial viewpoint which would include much of a dispensational theology and the teaching of a variety of scholars throughout church history the Millennium will be a literal 1000 year reign of Christ, which will begin immediately upon his return when he defeats his enemies in the battle of Armageddon.  During these 1000 years, God’s promises of the Messiah’s earthly reign will be fulfilled.  Redeemed Jews will govern the world with Christ.  The Millennium will end with a final rebellion and the old Earth will be replaced by or transformed into the New Earth.


From an Amillennial viewpoint including most reformed theology and the teaching of many scholars throughout church history the Millennium isn’t a literal 1000 years, nor is it a future state.  Rather, the vents depicted in Revelation 20:3-7 are happening right now as Christ’s church reigns with him over the earth, in victorious triumph empowered by his death and resurrection.  The saints rule over the earth from the present Heaven, where they dwell with Christ.


God’s ultimate Kingdom and our final home will not be on the old Earth but on the New Earth, where at last God’s original design will be fulfilled and enjoyed forever, not jus for a thousand years. 


The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end (Luke 1:32-33).  David’s throne is not in Heaven but on Earth.


Think for a moment what this will mean for Adam and Eve. When the New Earth comes down from Heaven, the rest of us will be going home, but Adam and Eve will be coming home.


The New Earth will not be a non-Earth but a real Earth.  The Earth spoken of in Scripture is the Earth we know with dirt, water, rocks, trees, flowers, animals, people, and a variety of natural wonders.  An Earth without these would not be Earth


As our current bodies are the blueprints for our resurrection bodies, this present Earth is the blueprint for the New Earth.


Moses saw God but not God’s face.  The New Testament says that God “lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.”  (1 Timothy 6:16).  To see God’s face was utterly unthinkable.  That’s why when we’re told in Revelation 22:4 that we’ll see God’s face, it should astound us.


“Without holiness no one will see the Lord”(Hebrews 12:14).  It’s only because we’ll be fully righteous in Christ, completely sinless, that we’ll be able to see God and live.


To see God will be our greatest joy, the joy by which all others will be measured.


Job, in his anguish, cried out in a vision of striking clarity: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes.


Invisible qualities can b clearly seen in what has been made. (Romans 1:20)  Consider the trees, flowers, sun, rain, and the people around you.  Yet the stars in the sky nevertheless declare God’s glory as do animals, are, and music.


In Heaven, the barriers between redeemed human beings and God will forever be gone.


God doesn’t want to be replaced or depreciated.  He wants to be recognized as the source of all our joys and he wants us to draw closer to him through partaking of his creation.  My taking pleasure in a good meal or a good book is taking pleasure in God.  It’s not a substitute for God, nor is it a distraction from him.


Eden’s greatest attraction was God’s presence.  The greatest tragedy of sin and the Curse was that God no longer dwelt with his people.


Uncertain whether we will yet fully see God’s face when we die, the great day we await is the establishing of the New Heavens and the New Earth, where we are told, as resurrected beings we will actually see God’s face.


Once God and mankind dwell together, there will be no difference between Heaven and Earth.


The location of the present Heaven as not in another universe but simply as a part of ours that we are unable to see, due to our spiritual blind.  If that’s true, when we die we don’t go to a different universe but to a place within our universe that we’re currently unable to see.


When we pass through what we call death, we do not lose the world.  Indeed, we see it for the first time as it really is.


Not only will God come to dwell with us on Earth, he will also bring with him the New Jerusalem, an entire city of people, structures, streets, walls, rivers, and trees that is now in the present, intermediate Heaven. 


Jesus could in the future remain a man while fully exercising the attributes of God, including, at least in some sense, omnipresence.


No wonder the devil is so intent on keeping us from grasping our standing in Christ, for if we see ourselves, in Heaven with Christ, we’ll be drawn to worship and serve him here and now, creating ripples in Heaven’s waters that will extend outward for all eternity.


We’ll be doing many other things, living in dwelling places, eating and drinking, reigning with Christ, and working for him.  We’ll never lose our fascination for God as we get to know him better. 


Likewise, our enjoyment of what God has provided us should be inseparable from worshiping, glorifying and appreciating him.  God is honored by our thankfulness, gratitude, and enjoyment of him.  I’ve heard it said that “God, not Heaven, is our inheritance.”  Well, God is our inheritance (Psalm 16:6), but so is Heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).  God and Heaven, the person and the place, are so closely connected that they’re sometimes referred to interchangeably. 


Heaven will not be an idol that competes with God but a les by which we see God.


In order to be rightly described as a kingdom, wouldn’t it also have to include territory, a government, and a culture?  God’s Kingdom, we often think only of the King and his subjects, but we leave out the territory and the culture.  We spiritualize God’s Kingdom, perceiving it as otherworldly and intangible.  But Scripture tells us otherwise. 


Jesus, worthy king of the new earth.  He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.  On the New Earth nations still exist and kings come into the New Jerusalem bringing tribute to the King of kings (Revelation 21:24,26).


The earth is our proper dwelling place.  The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 


God granted Abraham a piece of land that could be lived on, ruled, and managed.  “If you belong to Christ, the you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise: (Galatians 3:29)


After our bodily resurrection, we will receive a physical inheritance.  The New Earth is the ultimate Promised Land, the eternal Holy land in which all God’s people will dwell.


“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15).  It doesn’t say that Christ will destroy this world’s kingdom.  It doesn’t even say he’ll replace this world’s kingdom.  God won’t obliterate earthly kingdoms but will transform them into his own and he will reign for ever and ever. 


This is a revolutionary viewpoint, standing in stark contrast to the prevalent myth that God’s Kingdom will demolish and replace the kingdoms of Earth rather than cleanse, redeem, and resurrect them into his eternal Kingdom.  This brings us back again to that remarkable statement abort the New Jerusalem: “The nations will walk by it light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.  On no day will its gates ever be shut…The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it”. (Revelation 21:24-26)


God created Adam and Eve to be king and queen over the earth.  They failed.  Jesus Christ is the second Adam, and the church is his bride. 


“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”(Genesis 1:28).  This mandate is confirmed by David: ”You put us in charge of everything you made, giving us authority over all things.” (Psalm 8:6)


Who does God say will reign?  People of every tribe and language and people and nation.  Where will they reign?  On Earth, not in some intangible heavenly realm.  Where on Earth?  Likely with people of their own tribe, language and nation, cultural distinctive that we are told still exist on the New Earth (Revelation 21:24,26, 22:2)


If we fail to understand our status as God’s children and heirs and rulers of the earth, we will fail to comprehend god’s redemptive work.  God’s plan, we’ll realize that he would not deliver us from Earth to live forever in a disembodied realm.  In fact, the inheritance that God grants us is the very same Earth over which epic battles have been fought since Satan’s first attack in Eden.  Our inheritance is not only physical but also eternal. 


After the final battle is won by Christ, we will rule the earth with him as co-heirs of his Kingdom.


If we serve faithfully on the present Earth,  God will give us permanent management positions on the New Earth.  “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much”(Luke 16:10)


God’s purpose and plan will not fully be achieved until Christ confers upon us the Kingdom he has won.  This will take place after our bodily resurrection, when we will eat and drink at a table with the resurrected Christ on a resurrected Earth. 


Paul encourages us not to become engrossed in the world as it is because “this world in its present form is passing away” (1Corinthians 7:31) God will not bring an end to the earth rather, he will bring to an end this temporary rebellion.  He will transform Earth into a realm of unsurpassed magnificence for his glory and of our good. 


At Daniel’s request, an angel provides an interpretation of his vision: “The four great beasts are for kingdoms that will rise from the earth”(v.17). Then the angel makes an extraordinary statement: “But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever  yes, forever and ever”(v.18).  This statement makes clear both the kingdom’s location (Earth) and it duration (eternal).  Some theologians reduce Daniel 7 to a promise that God’s saints will reign with Christ during the Millennium.  But the text couldn’t be clearer, it says “for ever and ever, “ not a thousand years.  Many other passages also affirm an earthly reign that will last forever (he gives examples on page 230)  The angel Gabriel told Mary that Christ “will reign over the house of Jacob forever, his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:33)


Daniel 7:18 explicitly reveals that “the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever.”  What is “the kingdom”? Earth


Notice it doesn’t say that the earth’s kingdoms will be destroyed, but that they will be handed over to the saints, placed under their just rule. Daniel 7 would suffice: The saints of God will rule the earth forever. 


“Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end”(Isaiah 9:7)


There are two ways in which a government can increase: (1) by expanding into previously ungoverned territories or by creating new territories.  Each moment the celestial geography dramatically increases.  As old stars burn out, new stars are being born.

We will have sharp minds, strong bodies, clear purpose, and unabated joy.  The more we serve Christ now, the greater our capacity will be to serve him in Heaven. 


God will choose who reigns as kings, and I think some great surprises are in store for us.  Christ gives us clues in Scripture as to the type of person he will choose: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven….

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 


The world including its natural wonders, gives us foretastes and glimpses of the next world.


Some people assume that the New Earth will “start over” with Eden’s original paradise.  However, Scripture demonstrates otherwise. 


Life in the new creation will not be a repristination of all things—a going back to the way things were at the beginning.  Rather, life in the new creation will be restoration of all things—involving the removal of every sinful impurity and the retaining of all that is holy and good. 


We should expect the New Earth to be like Eden, only better.


They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.”


God will bring into existence after Christ comes again a new earth which will last, not just for a thousand years, but forever. 


The city at the center of the future Heaven is called the New Jerusalem. 

A metropolis of this size in the middle of the United States would stretch from Canada to Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the California border.  The new Jerusalem is all the square footage anyone could ask for.  Even more astounding is the city’s 1400 mile height.  Some people suggest this is the reach of the city’s tallest towers and spires, rising above buildings of lesser height.  If so the argue that it’s more like a pyramid than a cube. 


If they were on different levels, billions of people could occupy the New Jerusalem, with many square miles per person.


The city has “a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates.  On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  On no day will the gates ever be shut.




The river flows down the city’s main street and this street leads directly to the king’s throne.  “On each side of the river stood the tree f life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for healing of the nations”(Revelation 22:2)


Some people find it hard to understand why perfectly healthy people will need food, weather, and health-giving vegetation on the New earth.  It appears that we will still have needs, but they will all be met.


While some passages suggest that the universe will wear out and the stars will be destroyed, others indicate that the stars will exist forever(Psalm 148:3-6).  Is this a contradiction? No. we too will be destroyed by death, yet we will last forever. 


We know God will put one world under his children’s authority-Earth.  If the rest of the planets and the entire universe fell with and will rise with mankind, I can easily envision our inhabiting and governing other resurrected planets. 


“Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have (Luke 24:39).  He walked on Earth; we will walk on Earth.  He occupied space; We will occupy space.  We are finite physical creatures, and that means we must live in space and time. 


Yet people repeatedly say there will be no time in Heaven. Where do such ideas come from?  A misleading translation in the King James Version of the Bible says that “there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:6)  Other versions correctly translate this phrase “There will be no more delay.”  Which means not that time itself will cease but that there is no time left before God’s judgment is executed.

Scripture contains many other evidences of time in Heaven: (page 267)


On the new earth, it appears there will be no sea because the earth will be restored to ist original splendor.  Even is this passage means literally “no more ocean,” of course this wouldn’t require the absence of large bodies of water. 


I believe the New Earth will have large bodies of water is that, as I argue in chapter 39, the same animals that inhabit our current planet will inhabit the New Earth.  I predict the New Earth will include large bodies of water where we’ll dive, perhaps without tanks or masks.  Can you imagine effortlessly holding your breath for hours?  Imagine fresh water we can freely drink of, water in which we can open wide our eyes and play with God’s creatures of the deep. 


The upgrade from the old Earth to the New Earth will be vastly superior to that from economy to first class.  Gone will be sin, the Curse, death, and suffering.  If we would miss something from our old lives and the old Earth, it would be available to us on though New Earth.  He fashions us to want precisely what he will give us, so what he gives us will be exactly what we want. 



Contrast Jacob Marley and David Bowman with Job and Jesus. Job said, “In my flesh I will see God;… I, and not another”(Job 19:26-27).  The risen Christ said, :Look at my hands and my feet.  It is I myself!  Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have”(Luke 24:39)

Jesus called people in Heaven by name, including Lazarus in the present Heaven (Luke 16:25) and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the eternal Heaven people in Heaven can be called by the same name they had on Earth demonstrates they remain the same people. 


When Moses and Elijah appeared out of Heaven to stand with Christ at his transfiguration, the disciples with Christ recognized Moses and Elijah as the distinct individuals they were, the same men they were on Earth, infused with holiness.


What makes you you?  It’s not only your body but also your memory, personality traits, gifts, passions, preferences, and interests.  In the final resurrection, I believe all of these facets will be restored and amplified, untarnished by sin and the Curse.


The fact that angels have served us on Earth will make meeting them in Heaven particularly fascinating.  They may have been with us from childhood protecting us standing by us doing whatever they could on our behalf (Matthew 18:10).  They may have witnessed virtually every moment of our lives. Besides God himself, no one could know us better. 


In Scripture, God is said to enjoy, love, laugh, take delight, and rejoice, as well as be angry, happy, jealous, and glad.  In Heaven we’ll exercise not only intellect but also emotions. (Revelation 6:10; 7:10)


The resurrected Jesus did not become someone else; he remained who he was before his resurrection: “It is I myself!”


If we weren’t ourselves in the afterlife, then we couldn’t be held accountable for what we did in this life.  The Judgment would be meaningless.  If Barbara is no longer Barbara, she can’t be rewarded or held accountable for anything Barbara did. 


We, the same people but fully cleansed, will eat at a table with the one and only Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11).


In addition to our earthly names, we’ll receive new names in Heaven (Isaiah 62:2;65:15; Revelation 2:17;3:12).  New names don’t invalidate the old ones Many people had multiple names in Scripture: Jacob is also Israel; Simon is also Peter.


God designed us with five senses.  They’re part of what makes us human.  Our resurrection bodies will surely have these senses.  I expect they will increase in their power and sensitivity.


Was Jesus genderless after his resurrection?  Of course not.  No one mistook him for a woman or as androgynous.  He’s referred to with male pronouns.  We’ll never be genderless because human bodies aren’t genderless. 


Does this mean that children who go to Heaven won’t be children once they get there?  Or that there will be no children on the New Earth?  Isaiah 11:6-9 speaks of an Earth where :the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.


Although it’s not directly stated and I am therefore speculation, it’s possible that parent whose hearts were broken through the death of their children will not only be reunited with them but will also experience the joy of seeing them grow up…in a perfect world. 


We will eat and drink in the new Heaven however, since it’s pre-resurrection, it seems likely there’s no eating in the present Heaven. 


If, as I believe, animal death was the result of the Fall and the Curse, once the curse has been lifted on the New Earth, animals will no longer die.  “There will be no more death…. Or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”(Revelation 21:4).  The text doesn’t specify “no more HUMAN death or pain.”  “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox….They will neither harm nor destroy”(Isaiah 65:25).  We are told animals’ eating habits will change—why not ours?




Adam and Eve proved that they lived in a sinless place and yet they sinned.  If that’s true, then can we experience another Fall?  Those who will never die can never sin, since sinners always die.  Sin causes mourning, crying and pain.  If those will never occur again, then sin can never occur again.  The sin that caused them will be no longer.  We need not fear a second Fall.


The new nature that’ll be ours in Heaven the righteousness of Christ is a nature that cannot sin, any more than a diamond can be soft or blue can be red.  God cannot sin, yet no being has greater free choice than God does. 


When we die, we’ll see things far more clearly, and we’ll know much more than we do now, but we’ll never know everything.  We should expect to long for greater knowledge, as angels do.  And we’ll spend eternity gaining the greater knowledge we’ll seek.  We will find in Heaven a continual progression of stimulating discover and fresh learning as we keep grasping more of God. 


There’s much more to know.  I look forward to discovering new things in Heaven..forever.  At the end of each day I’ll have the same amount of time left as I did the day before.


Will God lose interest in Earth?  Will we? NO  Books are part of culture.  I expect many new books, great books, will be written on the New Earth.  I’ll be amazed if we don’t find them there, just as I’ll be amazed if no one sings John Newton’s Amazing Grace in Heaven.


Our lives in Heaven will include rest.  Eden is a picture of rest—work that’s meaningful and enjoyable, abundant food, a beautiful environment, unhindered friendship with God and other people and animals.


God gave us sleep as part of the rhythm of life. 


We will work. “Took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15)  God himself is a worker.  He didn’t create the world and then retire.  Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too am working”


Since work began before sin and the Curse, and since God, who is without sin, is a worker, we could assume human beings will work on the New Earth.  “well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:23)


Will we have our own Homes?

“Since heaven is here pictured as the Father’s house, it is more natural to think of dwelling places’ within a house as rooms or suites. .. The simplest explanation is best: my Father’s house refers to heaven, and in heaven are many rooms, many dwelling places.  The point is not the lavishness of each apartment, but the fact that such ample provision has been made that there is more than enough space for everyone of Jesus’ disciples to join him in his Father’s home.”


This suggest Jesus has in mind for each of us an individual dwelling that’s a smaller part of the larger place.  Our “friends” in Heaven appear to be those whose lives we’ve touched on Earth and who now have their own “eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2)


God was with Adam in the Garden, yet God said that wasn’t good enough.  God designed us to need each other.  Paul tells the Thessalonians that we’ll be reunited with believing family and friends in Heaven: “Brother, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope…God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him….We who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them…And so we will be with eh Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.” Our source of comfort isn’t only that we’ll be with the Lord in Heaven but also that we’ll be with each other. 


“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”  However this verse should be viewed in context.  It’s linked to the previous verse, in which God says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.”  This doesn’t suggest literal lack of memory, as if the omniscient God couldn’t recall the past.  Rather, it’s like God’s comment to Jeremiah: “I will remember their sins no more”(Jeremiah 31:34)  It means that God chooses no to bring up our past sins or holds them against us.  In eternity, past sin and sorrows won’t preoccupy God or us  We’ll be capable of choosing not to recall or dwell on anything that would diminish Heaven’s joy. 


In chapter 7 we learned that the martyrs now in the intermediate Heaven remember what happened on Earth, including that hey endured great suffering.  We will remember our past lives.  Heaven cleanses our slate of sin and error, but it doesn’t erase our memory of it.  The lessons we learned here about God’s love, grace, and justice surely aren’t lost but will carry over to Heaven.

If we forgot we were desperate sinners, how could we appreciate the depth and meaning of Christ’s redemptive work for us?


Will we recognize each other?

The recognized him when he appeared to five hundred people at once.  They didn’t recognize Jesus.  Some people have argued from this that Jesus was unrecognizable. But a close look shows otherwise.  Jesus said to Mary in the garden “woman…why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?  Thinking he was the gardener, she said “sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him” (John 20:15).  Distressed, teary eyed Mary, knowing Jesus was dead, and not making eye contact with a stranger, naturally assumed he was the gardener.  But as soon as Jesus said her name she recognized him: “She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher) (John 20:16)


Christ’s disciples recognized the bodies of Moses and Elijah, even though the disciples couldn’t have known what the two men looked like.  This may suggest that personality will emanate through a person’s body, so we’ll instantly recognize people we know of but haven’t previously met .  If we can recognize those we’ve never seen, how much more will we recognize our family and friends?


Chap 35

My daughters will always be my daughters, although first and foremost they are and will be God’s daughters.  That one marriage, out marriage to Christ will be so completely satisfying that even the most wonderful earthly marriage couldn’t be as fulfilling. 


Nanci, is my best friend and my closest sister in Christ.  Will we become more distant in the new world?  Of course not, we will become closer.  Nothing will take away from the fact that Nanci and I are marriage partners here and that we invest so much of our lives in each other,  serving Christ together.  I fully expect no one besides God will understand me better on the New Earth, and there’s nobody whose company I’ll seek and enjoy more then Nanci’s


People with good marriages are each other’s best friends.  There’s no reason to believe they won’t still be best friends in Heaven.  Being married to Christ will be the ultimate thrill.  What about our children? What about my relationship to my daughters and closet friends?  There’s every reason to believe we will pick right up in Heaven with relationships from Earth. 


Be will there be sex in the sense of sexual relations?  If human marriage existed on the New Earth, by all means I would expect it to include sex.  Sexual relations existed before the Fall and were no the product of sin and the Curse, they were God’s perfect design.  Since the lifting of the Curse will normal restore what God originally made, we would expect sex to be part of that.  Given what we know about continuity between this life and the next,  Marriage and sex seem natural carryovers. 


Because sex was designed to be part of marriage relationship, marriage and sex logically belong together.  Because we’re told that humans won’t be married to each other, and sex is intended for marriage, then logically we won’t be engaging in sex. 


There may also be some way in which the intimacy and pleasure we now know as sex will also be fulfilled in some higher form.  I don’t know what that would be, but I do know that sex was designed by God, and I don’t expect him to discard it without replacing it with something.


Certainly we should reject all christoplatinic assumptions that  sex, which God called “very good,” would be unworthy of Heaven. 



Will we have sex organs?  Since men will be men, and women will be women, and since there will be direct continuity between the old bodies and the new, there’s every reason to believe they will. 


So, although children are sinners who need to be saved, God may well have a just way to cover them with Christ’s blood so they go to Heaven when they die.  An interesting passage tells us that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in his Mother’s womb. Luke 1:15.  This suggests that God conferred a righteous standing or at least a special, spiritual, sanctifying work, on John even though he was too young to confess his sinfulness or consciously .


The most common biblical argument used to support infant salvation is David’s statement about his infant son who died, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”


If Children do go to Heaven when the die, why doesn’t God tell us that directly? It may be that he anticipates the twisted logic and rationalization it might foster in us.  It might take from us the sense of urgency to see our children come to faith in Christ .  It might cause us to be less concerned about the sacred God given task of extending physical and financial help to the underprivileged and getting the gospel to children around the world.  We must do what God has called us to do, which include protecting, feeding, etc..


Chap 36

If our loved ones are in hell, won’t that spoil Heaven?

God will judge justly, and all angels, saints, and martyrs will praise him for it.  So it seems inescapable that we shall, with them, approve the judgment of persons rebels, whom we have known and loved.

“The shall see the dreadful miseries of the damned, and consider that they deserved the same misery. 

We will never question God’s justice, wondering how he could send good people to Hell.  Rather, we will be overwhelmed with his grace, marveling at what he did to send bad people to Heaven. 

We will not love those in Hell because when we see Jesus as he is, we will love only and will only want to love whoever and what ever pleases and glorifies and reflects him. 


When God forever withdraws from the, I think they’ll no longer bear his image and no longer reflect his beauty. 


Though we go to the present Heaven one at a time as we die, all of us will be charter citizens of the New Earth.  We will be resurrected together and set foot on the New Earth together.  We will discover what no one else has ever seen


Chap 37

All people are equal in worth, but they differ in gifting and performance.  God is the creator of diversity, and diversity means “inequality” of gifting because God promises to reward people differently according to their differing levels of faithfulness in this life, we should not expect equality of possessions and positions in Heaven.


There’s a direct continuity between the kingdoms of the old earth and God’s eternal Kingdom on the New Earth.  Earthly kingdoms will not be destroyed by “handed over” to God’s people: “Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints” (Daniel 7:27)


Do you have a special interest in Europe of the Middle Ages?  Then perhaps you will enjoy developing relationships with those who lived in that era.  Perhaps on the New Earth you will live in a beautified version of their culture.


Chap 39 Animals on the New Earth?

Isaiah 11:6-9 speaks of a coming glorious era on Earth when “the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the ion will eat straw like the ox. “


When will there be no more harm on the earth?  Not n the old Earth or even the Millennium, which will end in rebellion and warfare, but on the new Earth, where there will be no more sin, death or suffering (Revelation 21:4)


We are specifically told that not only people, but animals have the breath of life in them.  God hand made animals, linking them both to the earth and humanity.


I didn’t take this seriously until I studied the usage of the Hebrew and Greek words Nephesh and Psyce, often translate Soul when referring to Human The fact that these words are often used of animals is compelling evidence that they have non human souls.


God’s plan for a renewed Earth after the flood emphatically involved animals.  Wouldn’t we expect his plan for a renewed Earth after the future judgment to likewise include animals?


“Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?  God sometimes protects animals while judging their human masters.  Animals, it appears, can have thoughts and feelings and can be responsive to realities in the spiritual realm that people are blind to.


Some people accuse God of disrespect for animals because of the sacrificial system.  But it was only because animals, created with the breath of life, are so loved by God and mankind that they qualify for the highest representative role imaginable.


The King James Version translates zoon “beasts” in Revelation but the negative connotations of the work led subsequent translators to settle on “Living Creatures.”

The most natural translation would be simply “animals.”  That word would likely have been chosen by translators if it didn’t sound so strange for readers to envision talking animals praising God around his throne.  The :Living creatures” look like a lion, an ox, a man and an eagle (Revelation 4:7).  They appear to be the same creatures of Ezekiel 1:5-14.

Somehow we have failed to grasp that the “living creatures” who cry out “Holy, holy, holy” are animals living, breathing, intelligent and articulate animals who dwell in God’s presence, worshiping and praising him.


“Behold, I am making all things new” Revelation 21:5.  Horses, cats, dogs, deer, dolphins etc.. as well as the inanimate creation will be beneficiaries of Christ’s death and resurrection.  Christ’s emphasis isn’t on making new things but on making old things new. 


Chapter 12 what will we do in heaven?


He made our taste buds, adrenaline, sex drives, and the nerve endings that convey pleasure to our brains.  Likewise, our imaginations and our capacity for joy and exhilaration were made by the very God we accuse of being boring.  Are we so arrogant as to imagine the human beings came up with the idea of having fun?

God promises that we’ll laugh, rejoice, and experience endless pleasures in Heaven.

We’ll never begin to exhaust God’s sense of humor and his love for adventure.  The real question is this: How could God not be bored with us??


We’ll approach our work with the enthusiasm we bring to our favorite sport or hobby.  This implies we’ll delegate specific responsibilities to those under our leadership (Luke 19:17-19)  We’ll set goals, devise plans, and share ideas. 


Our fallen world that will no longer exist n the New Earth such as dentist, police officers, funeral directors, insurance salespeople, and many others will change their work in Heaven, but that doesn’t mean they will be unemployed.





God told Adam to name all the animals.  God called animals by the names that Adam chose.  This demonstrates the lofty and meaningful role that God grants us in molding and governing culture.


Maybe other old songs, less deep but not sin corrupted, will be sung just for fun.  Which of your favorite songs will survive the fire?  If there’s a specific reason why some won’t , why listen to them now?


The Gospels contain wonderful stories, but they record only a small fraction of what Jesus did.  How much more will there be to tell about his never ending life with his people on the New Earth?


We’ll be resurrected people with minds, hands and eyes.  As we’ve seen there will be books and buildings in Heaven.  I think Christ will laugh with us, and his wit and fun loving nature will be our greatest source of endless laughter.

God made us to laugh and to love to laugh.


“Blessed are you who hunger now for you will be satisfied.  Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21)


Just as we can look forward to cultural endeavors such as art, drama, and music on the New Earth, we can assume that we’ll also enjoy sports there. (1 Corinthians 9:24, 27:2 Timothy 2:5)


Why wouldn’t our resurrection bodies sweat?  God didn’t create sweat glands after the fall, did he?  Adam and Eve couldn’t die, but couldn’t thy skin their knees?  God didn’t originally create bodies without verve endings, did he?  Perhaps they could fall, do minor damage, and then heal quickly. 

I believe our resurrection bodies will have adrenaline and the ability to feel.  We take pleasure in exhilarating experiences not because of sin but because God wired us this way.  We weren’t made to sit all day in dark rooms, watching actors pretend to live and athletes do what we can’t do.


But when we realize that God calls us to be like children and that he’ll give us a new universe and unlimited time, then we suddenly “get it.”  We realize we’ll have opportunity to fulfill our dreams.  In fact, we’ll develop bigger dreams than we ever had and fulfill those too. 


And the better we use our time and opportunity for God’s glory now, the greater will be our opportunities there (Luke 16:11-12; 19:17)


Jesus said if we help the needy who can’t repay us, “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:14).  The treasures we lay up in Heaven will be ours to enjoy forever (Matthew 6:19-20)


If you don’t believe craftsmanship will be an important part of the New Earth, read Exodus 25-40.  God tells his people in exquisites detail how to sew clothing, what colors to use, how to construct the furniture for the Ark for the Covenant and the Tabernacle, what stones to put on the high priest’s breastplate, and so on.


“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance fro the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-34).  We work for him on the present Earth, and we will work for him on the New Earth.


When God gave Eden to Adam and eve, he expected them to develop it.  This time no human accomplishment, no cultural masterpiece, no technological achievement will be marred by sin and death.


Christ’s, his ability to dematerialize and materialize and to rise in his ascension could be unique to his deity.  Since we will rule with Christ over a vast New Earth, and possible over faraway places in the new heavens, it seems likely that we might be able to be instantly transported great distances.  We do know, however, that the New Jerusalem will have streets and gates suggesting conventional modes of travel  If citizens only walked, perhaps paths would be enough.  But streets may suggest the use of wagons and horse drawn carts, or something more advanced We don’t know.