Tuesday, December 04, 2007

After Life (9) - Heaven

Most Christians believe that when they die, they will go to “heaven”. Therefore it is quite surprising to find that the word heaven is rarely used to for our future life in the New Testament.

The Greek word for heaven, "ouranos" is used in a number of ways in the New Testament.

  1. The atmosphere is often referred to as the heavens. “Ouranos” is the normal word for describing the sky.
  2. God is also said to dwell in the heavens, especially the highest heavens. The word heaven is used to describe the spiritual realm.
  3. The word heaven is only used to twice to describe the dwelling place of those who inherit eternal life (Matt 5:12 and Col 1:5). However, even in these verses it describes where our reward comes from more than its location.
    Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (Matt 5:12).
The word heaven is generally used in the New Testament to describe the spiritual dimension of life. This spiritual dimension exists now. Through the Holy Spirit, we can interact with the spiritual dimension now, even if we cannot fully see into it. Heaven is not a place we will go to in the future. God’s will should be done on earth as it is in heaven, now.

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