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Is heaven a place we go to after death or is it a present reality?

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by franklin, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Many people believe that heaven is a place that people go to (either physically or spiritually) after death; But have you ever wondered why the Old Testament books never speak of an "after-life," and why the New Testament books are silent as to any details of what an "after-life" is like?

    Here are some questions to ponder on this subject:

    Do we go to heaven or does heaven come to us?

    Is there any place in scripture that says what happens after people physically die?

    Before Jesus died, why did He tell the Jews they could not follow Him to heaven?

    What does the bible mean when it teaches that we have eternal life? Does eternal life mean that we become immortal?

    Let's have a great discussion on this subject. 

    FR
     
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  2. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Ever read the story of Lazarus and the rich man? It's pretty clear. The angels carried Lazarus to heaven. He went there. It didn't come to him, he went to it.

    Jesus said they would follow him, just not right then in a physical form. Read the passage, man. "Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward." John 13:36
     
  3. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Hi Lambs, No!  I never read that!  Is that in the Bible?  Just kidding!  ;)  If your referring to it as a literal story, then in that sence it might appear clear, however, I won't go into to much detail here because I feel it might take us off the topic but I am glad you mentioned this story.  Some people feel that when Jesus told the story found in Luke 16:19-31, He was sharing a glimpse of what takes place in the afterlife. This is not a real life story, it is a parable. If this story is to be taken literally, then at death, the good and the bad do not soar away as shadowy spirits (Job 34:14, Ecclesiastes 3:21; 12:7), instead, they go to their rewards as physical beings with body parts. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God"... (1Cor 15:50)



    John 13:36, "Simon Peter [an apostle] said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go [Heaven], thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards."

    I think what is throwing you a curve here is the last words in this passage about them following Him afterwards.....  Ask yourself some commonsence questions.... where was Jesus telling them they were going to follow Him to or where? The scripture does not contradict itself because there are other passages where Jesus is clear that nobody will follow Him in the afterlife. Just look at the passages just prior to vs 36: John 13:33, "Little children [eleven apostles], yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go [Heaven], ye cannot come; so now I say to you [the apostles]."

    As you can see, Christ taught his apostles that they cannot come to heaven. In other words, heaven is not something that we come to, heaven is something that comes to us! But what about these verses that seem to teach we will go to Heaven? That would take you back to vs 36......  thou shalt follow me afterwards.... after they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the apostles spoke of Heaven as something they were experiencing while in their bodies. So, the apostles did follow Jesus afterwards, because Heaven came to them! Once they received the spirit, they did "...follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).   

    Thank you for your post.

    FR  
     
  4. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

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    There is scripture explaining what happens to us after we die, and it is in the book of Enoch. (chapter 22 When he was shown the heavens):

    And thence I went to another place, and the mountain of hard rock. And there was in it four hollow places, deep and wide and very smooth. How smooth are the hollow places and deep and dark to look at. Then Raphael answered, one of the holy angels who was with me, and said unto me: These hollow places have been created for this very purpose, that the spirits of the souls of the dead should assemble therein, yea that all the souls of the children of men should assemble here. And these places have been made to recieve them till the day of their judgement and till the appointed period, till the great judgement (comes) upon them. I saw (the spirit of) a dead man making suit and his voice went forth to heaven and made suit. And I asked Rapheal the angel who was with me, and I said unto him: This spirit which maketh suit, whose it is, whose voice goes forth and maketh suit to heaven? And he answered me saying, :This is the spirit which went forth from Abel, whom his brother Cain slew, and he makes his suit against him till his seed is destroyed from the face of the earth, and his seed is anhilated from amongst the seed of men. Then I asked regarding it, and regarding all the hollow places. Why is one separated from the other? And he answered me and said unto me: These three have been made that the spirits of the dead might be separated. And such a division has been made for the spirits of the righteous, in which there is the bright spring of water. And such has been made for sinners when they die and are buried in the earth and judgement has not been executed on them in their lifetime. Here their spirits shall be set apart in this great pain till the great day of judgement and punishment and torment of those who curse forever and retribution for their spirits. There He shall bind them forever. And such a division has been made for those who make their suit, who make disclosures concerning their destruction, when they were slain in the days of the sinners. Such has been made for the spirits of men who were not righteous, but sinners, who were complete in transgression, and of the transgressors they shall be companions: but their spirits shall not be slain in the day of judgement, nor shall they be raised from thence. Then I blessed the Lord of glory and said: Blessed be my Lord, the Lord of righteousness, who ruleth forever.

    Wildfire
     
  5. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Hi wildfire, I'm not sure what the point is you are trying to make in your post but I'd rather stay with the inspired books on this topic.  However, if you are trying to make the case about Enoch going to heaven as is so commonly taught, I'd have to say in short without taking us into another topical direction that, some people believe that Enoch did not die but was taken directly to heaven where God is. But, Enoch eventually died, as all humans die. How can we know? The apostle Paul mentioned the circumstances associated with Enoch in Hebrews 11:5, along with other men of faith, and then stated: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises" (Hebrews 11:13). Yes, Enoch died, and he did not receive the promise of heaven (verse 16) at the time the book of Hebrews was written.

    John 3:13, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."  We can trust the words of Christ.

      
     
  6. Brian45

    Brian45 Senior Member

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    Hi franklin . Regardless of what we have been taught by modern christianity , or what we may hear at a funeral , I believe that no one goes to heaven , but as the bible say's , we are to rest or sleep untill the resurrection .
    I will place only a few verses .

    Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.   (  not in heaven  )

     

    Daniel 12:13    But go thou thy way till the end [be]: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

     

    Romans 10&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; "Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?"'<SUP>[3]</SUP> (that is, to bring Christ down from above)<SUP> 7</SUP>or, ""Who will descend into the abyss?"'<SUP>[4]</SUP> (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).<SUP> </SUP>
     
  7. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Hi brian, When people say that they will "ascend into heaven," they usually mean that some part of them, after death, will literally rise into outer space into God's throne. However, this is not the scriptural definition of this phrase. Paul tells us the meaning of this phrase in the following verse that you referred to:&nbsp;&nbsp;Romans 10:6, "...Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above"

    As you can see, Paul, an apostle of Christ, re-words the phrase "ascend into heaven." He tells us that, in other words, that to "ascend into heaven" means to "bring Christ down from above." You see, it has nothing to do with us going up to a place called heaven, but has something to do with Christ coming down from heaven! Christ "came down from heaven" (John 6:38).

    What does Paul mean when he speaks of Christ coming down? It means to have the Spirit of Christ come down from heaven, and dwell inside of us, in our present bodies! That's why Paul declared "Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20)!

    The resurrection you are referring to has nothing to do with some futuristic timeframe, that is something that needs to be placed in it's proper historical setting and context relating to the events that took place in AD70, but I don't want to go into much detail on that since it will take us into another direction from this topic.&nbsp; Thanks for your post brian.....

    FR

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  8. Sky

    Sky Active Member

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    Question:

    Does this mean that there is no afterlife? Is death the end?
     
  9. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Hi sky, About the only reference I find about the afterlife is in Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Scripture says our spirit returns to God, it does not say WE will go to HEAVEN. The truth of the matter is that scripture is really silent on&nbsp;what it will be like in&nbsp;the afterlife.&nbsp; This is a sensitive subject that not many want to really address.&nbsp;&nbsp;God is the author of life and he is the one we can trust more than anyone else. Scripture is not about what life will be like after death, but it's about how to live this life while we're still alive.

    Ecclesiastes 12:7 talks of our physical body (dust) returning to the earth, it does not say our physical body will go to heaven or will be physically alive again after death. Our physical bodies cannot be resurrected in heaven because scripture says that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50). The Scripture mentions three heavens (2 Corinthians 12:2), not just one!

    The first heaven is earth's atmosphere where birds fly (Genesis 1:20, Jeremiah 4:25; 34:20, Lamentations 4:19, Zephaniah 1:3). Therefore, everything above the ground is called 'heaven." The first heaven is also where we live in the present and God is present in the first heaven just as He is in all three heavens.

    The second heaven is outer space where the planets and stars exist (Genesis 1:14-17; 15:5; 22:17; 26:4, Deuteronomy 1:10; 17:3; Psalm 8:3, Jeremiah 8:2; Matthew 24:29). Usually the term "host of heaven" or "firmament of the heaven" is used to describe this second heaven.

    The third heaven is what Christ calls his "Father's house" (John 14:2), and both Christ and the Apostle Paul calls it "paradise" (Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Revelation 2:7).&nbsp;

    &nbsp;
     
  10. Sky

    Sky Active Member

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    I don't buy it. I still believe there will be an afterlife (heaven and hell). If there is no heaven, then why are we saved? what are we saved from? Why did Jesus die on the Cross if there is no heaven?

    I'm sorry, it just doesn't add up.
     
  11. Sky

    Sky Active Member

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    Also, what about Revelation? It tells us in detail about the afterlife for both the saved and unsaved.
     
  12. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

    Jesus died on the cross for those who choose to follow him and He promises eternal life.&nbsp; Eternal life does not mean we become immortal and live forever in the afterlife.&nbsp;What does the&nbsp;bible mean when it teaches that we have eternal life? In scripture, eternal life is defined as knowing Christ Jesus while in this physical body! Look at this definition of "life eternal":&nbsp; John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."&nbsp;&nbsp;The scripture says&nbsp;eternal life does not mean we become immortal (to live for ever and ever), it means to know God, and to know His Truth!&nbsp; Sorry Sky, but I'm just reading the scriptures as they are written. If you can find anything in scripture that says we live somewhere in outerspace or in the third heaven where only God and Jesus live then by all means show us the scriptures.&nbsp; I find that when I share this message with many of my fellow believers they become very offended and sort of have a feeling of being disappointed or let down.&nbsp; Which brings me to my next question: What was our motivation for accepting Christ in the first place?&nbsp; To become immortal?&nbsp; To apply for our fire insurance policy and possibly miss Hell? It really made me think too when a fellow brother shared this with me also!&nbsp; I have learned to accept God at His word and have come to realize He knows what is best for us and what the future is in the afterlife, if there is one to be concerned about. I personally think to many Christians are more preoccupied with&nbsp;what the afterlife is like and what they are going to be doing in heaven for all eternity and some of the things I hear coming from pulpits make a mockery out of the scriptures.&nbsp; Instead we should be more concerned about being about our fathers business in this world and trying to make this a better world to live in.&nbsp; Just look at the situation in this world today and how our nation has lost it's zeal for the things of God.&nbsp;&nbsp;Just look at our government schools etc.&nbsp; I'm trying not to get off topic but I think you get the picture.

    A PS to you Sky, I just caught your post about Rev..... That is not about the afterlife, it is about events that have taken place on earth during the first century.&nbsp;
     
  13. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    I worry about your belief system Franklin, and what you might be getting out of it.

    It is definitely not Christian, and I want to know why you are passing yourself off as a Christian while spreading non-orthodox beliefs.
     
  14. Sky

    Sky Active Member

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    Franklin,

    So you are a preterist. I'm sorry, but that view is false and not credible. If Revelation happened in 70AD, this would be the Kingdom of Christ (heaven). AND THIS IS CERTAINLY NOT HEAVEN!!!!!!!!! Sin is everywhere, people murder, rape, steal, and kill every day. Jesus is not physically here on earth. There is no way that this could be heaven. If it is(and it's not), then heaven is a joke.
     
  15. Shel

    Shel New Member

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    It is no wonder they become offended, Franklin. I, for one, look forward to the time when I will join my Father in heaven. We spend a lot of time on Earth fighting; fighting for the truth, for God, and for our own souls. I look forward to a time when, after I have finished the race that has been set before me, I can go home to my heavenly Father and rest. To be told that there is no rest, that this world is "all we get", is very disappointing indeed. And God is not a god of disappointment, but rather of fulfillment.

    I wonder why you are so anxious to prove this point. Why would you want to deny it? Why do you want heaven to be here, on this imperfect earth?

    ~Shel~
     
  16. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    Actually Lambs it's your belief system that you should worry about.&nbsp; You need to start asking yourself if what you believe comes from scripture or the teachings and the inventions of men!
    Just because my beliefs are&nbsp;not of the so-called unorthodox belief doesn't mean my beliefs are un-scriptural or un-Christian!&nbsp;That sounds like a very judgemental statement for you to make.&nbsp; I'd rather be on the side of scripture then on the side of the man made interpretations of orthodoxy!&nbsp; What side are you on?&nbsp; Who are&nbsp;you to say who is a Christian and who is not a Christian?&nbsp; I think you are making the very&nbsp;point I've been trying to make in this thread.&nbsp;&nbsp;It seems like a lot of believers have become&nbsp;so heavenly minded, they are no earthly good!&nbsp;What I think a lot of this gets down to is, when the truth of the scriptures are revealed in it's plain text meaning and language, people really can't handle it.&nbsp; Like it says in&nbsp;Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."&nbsp;Why do you have such a problem accepting this ?&nbsp;

    Have a nice day....... &nbsp;
     
  17. Sky

    Sky Active Member

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    How can I have a nice day knowing that this could be my last day&nbsp;and I have nothing to look forward to after dying. [/sarcasm]

    What about verses talking about Judgement Day, the Rapture, the Tribulation, Heaven, the New Jerusalem and other things? Also, if there is no heaven, then what does being saved mean? How can we be saved if there's nothing to be saved from? it sounds like your interpretation is unbiblical, not mine.

    John 3:16- For god so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE.
     
  18. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

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    Shel,

    If you are going to spend eternity in heaven, then you will miss out on the kingdom of God. God will be in the new heaven and earth. He will dwell with man.

    Don't get in such a hurry to go up to heaven, because it's coming to us.
     
  19. Shel

    Shel New Member

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    (smile) I did not say that I was in a hurry, I only said I was looking forward to it. I said heaven because that is where I believe God and Jesus are, and we are going to be with them. If it is in the new heaven or the new earth, I will rejoice to join them there instead.

    As for wether we are *going* to heaven, or heaven is *coming* to us, I believe it is a question of semantics. My point is that is is not a state of mind, in my belief.

    ~Shel~
     
  20. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

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    "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."&nbsp;Ecclesiastes 12:7

    Sky, what&nbsp;is in this passage&nbsp;that tells you that you have nothing to look forward to?




    The rapture isn't taught in scripture, that is man invention.... The judgement day you are referring to is according to scripture known as "the day of the Lord"... the tribulation is past, it is part of the Judgement of national Israel in AD70, we are presently living in the New Jerusalem, the new heaven and earth, the New Covenant eternal age that has no last days and no end.



    Why do I get the feeling I am repeating myself?&nbsp; Go back and re-read my posts!&nbsp;I never said there was no heaven, I explained from scripture there are 3 heavens!&nbsp; http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?postid=326730#post326730




    Go to this post/link: &nbsp;

    http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?postid=327750#post327750
     
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