Friday 18th December 2020 Devotion
Scripture:- Genesis 1:1-31
Topic:- 5 Myths About Heaven 
Text:- Genesis 1:31
3. Only heavenly pursuits matter because the earth will be destroyed:
The Bible talks of two destruction of the earth—once in the past and the other in the future.
The former destruction by flood in the days of Noah helps us to understand the nature of the future destruction by fire.
Water and fire are both elements of cleansing. Destruction in the flood did not mean annihilation. There was rebirth of the same earth after the deluge.
The New Testament repeatedly talks of the final destruction of the earth in language that is reminiscent of the flood. See Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26-30; 2 Peter 2:4-10; 3:3-6.
As in the days of Noah, this future fiery purging will expose the works that have been done on the earth. See 2 Peter 3:10.
In exposing these works, some works will be burnt up as wood, hay, and straw; but others, like precious jewels, will be refined and remain. See 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.
This picture of the enduring nature of purified, human accomplishments is seen in the image of the glory and honor of the nations being brought into the New Jerusalem. See Revelation 21:24-27; Isaiah 23:18.
This raises a multitude of questions, many of which remain unanswered, but it reminds us that the effects of the resurrection in conquering the curse of the fall are more pervasive than we often think.
4. When Jesus returns, it will just be a visit to pick us up and take us to heaven:
When Jesus returns to the earth, he intends to stay. Physical bodies need a physical world. Without air, food, and water we perish.
If we really believe in a physical resurrection (which is clearly the teaching of the Bible), these renewed, physical bodies will also need a renewed earth in which to live.
At the return of Jesus, all will be made new. It is important at this point to define the word “new.”
There are two words for “new” in Greek. One is the word kainos, which means new in kind; the other is neos, which means replaced.
To illustrate, there are two women who are married to men with gambling addictions. The first woman’s husband goes to “Gamblers Anonymous” and through this overcomes his addiction. The second woman divorces her husbands and remarries. Both women say, “I am married to a new man,” but they mean different things by “new.”
In Greek, the first woman would use the word kainos, as the same husband has been renewed; the second woman would use neos, as the former husband has been replaced.
When the Greek New Testament describes new heavens and a new earth, it uses the word kainos. The earth will not be discarded, it will be renewed. See Revelation 21:4.
There will be no need for a Temple in this city, for Jesus’s presence will be with us forever. See Revelation 21:22.
Jesus intends to stay and to rule this renewed world that is rightfully His.
Heaven is not the home for which we were created.
5. Jesus was raised to heaven, and we will be too:
The climax of each of the Gospels is Jesus’s resurrection. But Jesus was not raised to heaven; he was raised to earth where he appeared for forty days.
It is important not to confuse the resurrection and the ascension. It is the resurrection—not the ascension—that is the first fruits of the Christian’s hope. See 1 Corinthians 15:20.
Jesus was raised to earth (and ascended to heaven). Resurrection is physical and should not be confused with immortality.
When Paul addressed a Greek audience in Athens, many scoffed at him because of his teaching on the resurrection. See Acts 17:16-34.
It is not that Greeks did not believe in life after death. Many did. They had no category for the resurrection of a physical body.
The resurrection of Jesus was earthly and physical. The Gospel writers emphasize the senses of touch. See Luke 24:39; John 20:27.
Sight. See Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; John 29:27.
And taste. See Luke 24:41-43.
Thomas recognizes the wounds of Jesus’s hands and side. See John 20:27.
The body, once buried, has been gloriously raised. Jesus’s bones will not be found by an Israeli archaeological dig.
Christianity is a resurrection religion.
The resurrection of Jesus needs to be preached to every generation—not least to our own—lest we replace this central tenet of the faith with an understanding of immortality that is devoid of resurrection.
Earth is our home. We will be raised as Christ was raised; and although we do not know all the details of what this will look like, we know that “we shall be like him.” See 1 John 3:2.
Prayer Point:- Oh Lord God, help me to make heaven at all cost at the end of this world by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.