The Kingdom From Heaven 3
The Kingdom From Heaven, 3
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (Philippians 4:20)
The true saint always is ready to go to Heaven—and with reason. It is his home. It is his home because his life is there, hidden with Christ in God. It is his home because his treasures are there. It may be true also that his loved ones are there. The godliness that he cherishes is there. He is through with the sin and death that reign on the earth.
All of these things are true. But we have come to the point in God's plan where He wants us to understand that going to the place termed "Heaven" is not the goal of the Christian redemption. Redemption is the restoration to the rightful owner of that which he had lost. Originally, to man was given Paradise on the earth, a perfect environment in which to live. Our Redeemer has come in order to restore to us what was lost—and to add to this much more of the marvels of God.
Heaven, as we have stated, is the home of the saint in the present hour. But one day Jesus is going to return to the earth. His feet once again will stand on the Mount of Olives of this planet. When He does, Heaven—at least the best part of Heaven—will have descended to the earth. The Lord Jesus is coming to restore the blessings of God to mankind (except to those who reject His salvation and His lordship). And where Jesus is, there we shall be also—we who love and serve Him.
It is true also that one day the present earth and sky will vanish with great heat and noise. After that there will be a new sky and a new earth. Then the new Jerusalem, which is the Kingdom of God, the Wife of the Lamb, the place of the Throne of God, will descend from the sky and be established on the new earth.
Heaven is coming down to the earth: first, in the Lord Jesus and His saints at their appearing; second, after the thousand-year period, in the holy city as it descends from God out of Heaven.
If Heaven indeed is coming down from its present location to dwell on the earth, then all we desire is coming into the earth. The "city which has foundations" is coming to the earth. If this is true we must enlarge our understanding of the Christian salvation until it includes not only our sojourn in the spirit Paradise after we die physically but also the glorious entrance of Heaven into the earth when Jesus returns—and then on a total scale when the new Jerusalem descends from God out of Heaven.
It is not that we are going to the wondrous city, it is that it is coming to us.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
The point is, our eternal home indeed is Heaven, but not in terms of another place located in the spirit realm. Our eternal home is the Kingdom of God—the Presence and Glory of God in Christ. The Scriptures teach, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, that the Kingdom of Heaven is destined to come to the earth. This is what the Hebrew Prophets announced, as did also John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus.
"Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
To be continued. The Kingdom From Heaven 4