What else do you need but to know that you will be with the One who has loved you before the beginning of creation and will love you after the end of this age? We love Him because He first loved us. The glories of the new creation in Jesus will make us forget the sorrows and even the joys of this life.  That is unimaginable and more than enough to sustain us in life and at death.

I recently participated in a memorial service for my mother who died during covid, a second service for a dear friend engaged to another dear friend and a third for the son of a long time and close friend.  As a consequence, heaven has been much on my mind.  Our church group studied the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn as a means of grieving with hope; that is, with confident expectation based on the wonderful works and unfailing promises of God in Christ.

For those united with Christ and His benefits through faith, this hope includes the perfection of our spirits immediately at death and then dwelling in God’s presence in peace and joy.  During this time, our bodies “rest in their graves as in their beds” (Westminster Larger Catechism).  Departed believers will be the first to be raised in new bodies at Christ’s coming. Then other believers will be raised with them and all of us will be acquitted by Christ in judgment and will enter into His eternal joy in the new heavens and new earth.  Those outside of Christ will experience the terrors of His justice in their spirits at death and in their bodies also at the resurrection. These things we know with certainty from the testimony of the Holy Spirit in and through the Scriptures.

Heaven by Randy Alcorn is, by the author’s own declaration, a long series of extraordinary speculations about what heaven will be like.  Unfortunately, these speculations are the result of faulty reasoning from the Scriptures.  And, in any case, no speculation is able to anticipate the unimaginable blessings Christ has won for those who love Him (1Cor.2:9).  Every speculation will be like a lit candle that is vaporized into nothingness by the appearance of the glory of God in the new heavens and new earth on the day of Christ’s coming.

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