THE GREATEST HOPE ON EARTH IS LIVING FOREVER

If you ask the average person if they are afraid of death what do you think the response would be. It would probably depend on a person’s age, their past experiences and what they might expect from the future. We have no supporting evidence but we would suppose the greatest fear most older people have is the fear of death. The Bible promises for believers in Christ, who have received the Holy Spirit, it will be possible that they can live forever without dying, if they are raptured.

God created a perfect universe and a perfect Adam and Eve. It is possible they had an imperishable body that could have lived forever. However, when they took of the forbidden fruit, their body was subjected to death. In addition, the earth was cursed and changed. It is very possible that when Christ returns, we shall receive that imperishable body and the earth will no longer be cursed and we will live 1000 years with a different body and a different earth.

When a person dies there are two places their spirit and soul will go and that is heaven or hell. How do we know who goes where? I John 3:10 writing to Christian believers says: “This is how we will know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”

We have been given the opportunity to live forever and God promises to give believers rewards. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40) “Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (II Corinthians 5:5)

John 11:25 – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” Christians, having received the Holy Spirit, is given God’s pledge that we will be guaranteed an inheritance that will provide eternal life. At death, Scripture assures us that we will pass directly and instantly into God’s presence. There is no delay where our soul sleeps or we are unconscious for any time. We will be in heaven with Jesus and other souls waiting for the resurrection or the rapture.

I Corinthians 15:51 & 52 – “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

Once a believer dies or is raptured, meeting Christ in the air, we are given a new body that is imperishable. It will be a body provided by God and comes from heaven. It will not have the limitations or weaknesses of an earthly body made from dust that was cursed. Adam was from the earth and the imperishable body will be from heaven. Our present bodies could never endure 1000 years that Christ reigns on this earth. I Corinthians 15:53 – “For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”

What do we know about heaven? We know very little. We know many confuse heaven with the new earth and the new heaven that God will create for believers when this old world disappears. We know that we must be saved and forgiven to get there. We will be able to recognize people as they did in Paradise. We know there will be a lot of singing and worshipping. There will be a multitude of angels in heaven. We know there will be no pain, tears, sorrow or death. We know that God and Christ are there.

Matthew 22:30 tells us there will be no marriages as we will be like angels. Luke 20:29-38 – “’Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second one married her and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?’ Jesus replied: ‘The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

We may assume heaven is a temporary holding place for the souls of believers until God’s plans are fulfilled for Christ to come back to earth to rule for a 1000 years. Under Christ’s reign on earth, we believe there will be marriages and families. After those 1000 years, we know we will be transported to a new earth and heaven that are indescribable and beautiful.

At the end of the thousand years Satan is let loose once again. Rev. 20:7 – 10 – Satan will convince millions to go to war against Christ and His people. Scripture says a fire will burn them up and the Devil and his followers will be thrown into the “Lake of Fire”. From the beginning of time, anyone whose name was not entered in the “Book of Life” was hurled into the “Lake of Fire”. This is where all non-believers will end up. (2nd Peter 3:7, 10, 12 – Luke 21:25-27 – Malachi 4:1.)

Rev: 21:1 – 4 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

WHAT IS THE GREATEST HOPE ON EARTH? It is to be a part of the new heaven and the new earth. To live without tears, not ever witness death again and to never have pain. Is there anything on this earth that should keep us from accepting Christ as our Savior?

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