Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 3, 2013

Heaven

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Peter 3:10-13.
 
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
                            
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”  2 Peter 3:10-13.
                                             
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Since the earth and skies will be destroyed in this way, we should properly fear God and conduct ourselves in holiness and godliness according to His Word, eagerly anticipating the new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells, which He has promised us.
                           
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth;  for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;  and there will no longer be any death;  there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;  the first things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:1-4.
 
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.  Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.  It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, …  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls;  each one of the gates was a single pearl.  And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”  Revelation 21:10-12 and 21.
 
“There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.  …  this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality …”  1 Corinthians 15:40 and 54.  With new immortal bodies in heaven, how much more beautiful and strong will our body be than the body of the best athlete on earth!
 
“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,”  Revelations 22:1.  Many people like Cozumel, Mexico because of the clarity and turquoise beauty of the water.  How much more beautiful and wonderful is the river of flowing water in Heaven, ”clear as crystal”, which water is “life” itself!
                              
We may have an image of Heaven only containing colors of white and gold.  But, Heaven contains a spectrum of vivid colors, and all from precious jewels!  “The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone.  The first foundation stone was jasper;  the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony;  the fourth, emerald;  the fifth, sardonyx;  the sixth, sardius;  the seventh, chrysolite;  the eighth, beryl;  the ninth, topaz;  the tenth, chrysoprase;  the eleventh, jacinth;  the twelfth, amethyst.”  Revelation 21:19.
                          
Do we think of the citizens of Heaven almost as zombies:  slow, emotionless,  and quiet?  A cheering Super Bowl crowd is more like the citizens of Heaven!  “… we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us …”  Hebrews 12:1.  Let us on earth be eager in anticipation.  “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”  Philippians 3:20-21.  So, they are eager in heaven:  “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.”  Romans 8:19. 
 
Do we just play a harp all the time in Heaven?  No!  Heaven is not boring; rather, it is a joyful place!  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” Matthew 22:2.  “The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;  A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine.”  Isaiah 25:6.
 
 “… the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 14:17.  And, “… do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived;  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  Such were some of you;  but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-11.  “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” Verse 13.
 
We tend to not think of trees in Heaven, but there are trees in Heaven and they bear “… twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month;  and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”  Revelations 22:2.  If the trees with fall colors in peak season up north excite our senses, how much more beautiful will be the trees of heaven that yield fruit and leaves for healing! 

Is God in Heaven like an impotent man just watching and waiting and wringing his hands and worrying as to who will use their alleged free-will to accept Jesus and get into heaven or who may use their alleged free-will and reject Jesus and go to hell?  No!  God is like a victorious warrior!  “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior.  He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”  Zephaniah 3:17.

In conclusion, in Heaven, we will much more fully understand and appreciate the sovereign rule of God Who accomplishes all of His good pleasure throughout history!  Only God can save, and God saves everyone of His elect.  Not one of His elect is lost.  “And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;  Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him.”  Isaiah 59:16.  ”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;  and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:27-29.
 
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
Let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Fire goes before Him
And burns up His adversaries round about.
His lightnings lit up the world;
The earth saw and trembled.
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples have seen His glory
.”  Psalm 97:1-6. 

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