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Monday, April 16, 2018

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EARTH & HEAVEN?


What is the difference between earth and Heaven?

The main difference between earth and Heaven is that this world has been corrupted by sin - but Heaven has not. Man's sin permeates the earth, and God's glory perfects Heaven. God, the glory of Heaven, created earth and gave it to the human race to care for an enjoy. Instead, of obeying God's instruction concerning the things of earth, Adam and Eve chose to listen to satan and do the only thing God had forbidden them to do. Their disobedience - their rebellion against God - cursed the earth, and separated them from fellowship with God. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners" Romans 5:19. As a result, disease of sin has been passed to every generation. The Bible says, "God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways" Genesis 6:12. The earth groans because it has been married by sin; like a crippling disease, sin distorts and devastates everything it touches. Sin corrupts and divides, but Heaven declares the glory of the Lord. (Psalms 19:1). Heaven is the throne of God (Isaiah 66:1), and because He is absolutely holy and without sin, He cannot tolerate sin or look upon it without bringing judgement. The Bible says of God, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you can not tolerate wrong" Habakkuk 1:13.

But His love is so powerful and great that he made a way for sin's curse to be removed - the guilt that stains our hearts and corrupts our world. God crucified sin on the cross by the blood of Christ who redeemed us from sin's penalty. He died in our place, taking the judgement we deserve, presenting us faultless to His father in Heaven. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world because eHe is the only One who can bridge the gap between Heaven and earth. The Bible says "By one Man's obedience many will be made righteous" Romans 5:19. 

Its hard for us to admit, but we are sinners by birth, sinners by choice, and sinners by practice. The good news is that God has made a way for us to be saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), and this is His glorious gift to people in a fallen world. The difference between Heaven and earth is that Jesus Christ left Heaven's glory and came to this sin-infested earth for one reason: to make our eternal salvation possible. And that makes all the difference - to God in Heaven and to us on earth.

What are some things we will see in Heaven?

We will see many glorious sites in Heaven, but the most wonderful of all will be the Savior of the world and His glory. "Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and view a land that stretches afar" Isaiah 33:17. Jesus Christ gave us a glimpse of this when He pulled back the curtain of Heaven and told the apostle John to write down what he saw: "Then I saw a Lamb... I heard every creature in heaven... singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!'" Revelation 5:6,13. It is part of our human nature to want to satisfy our imaginations about Heaven, but God has His reasons for giving us only a taste of His eternal dwelling. Human language falls short of describing such a majesty. The magnificence of earth's possessions will dim in Heaven's sunlight. John could only express it with analogies: "Its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal... The great street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass" Revelation 21:11,21. Here on earth, streets are covered with gravel and asphalt, and windows are made of glass, but John writes about golden streets that are transparent. Keep in mind that in Heaven everything is made new. We are given only snapshots of things to come. We will require a heavenly transformation to comprehend such glory.

Clouded things of earth will become transparent in eternity; now they are known only by Him. As we practice patience while waiting, let thoughts of Heavens's glory fill your soul. They will sustain you until the day your eyes are fully opened.

Peter tells those whose hope is heavenward, "You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" 2 Peter 1:11. When He extends His arms inviting His people in, He will turn to His father and say "I have given them the glory that you have gave me, that they may be one as one as we are one" John 17:22. We will gaze at His nail-scared hands, fall at His feet, and weep with joy, praising His wonderful name. 

Along with this Bible study we are also reading from the book My Time in Heaven by Richard Sigmund. I recommend you read this book, It will overwhelm you with excitement about Heaven and meeting our Lord!

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