Sunday, October 18, 2015

Moving Through Heaven #5: Anticipating Resurrection

Background — I have invited a few friends from across the country to join me (and each other) in reading Randy Alcorn’s masterful study, HEAVEN, and then engaging in some dialogue about what we’re reading and thinking about it. Even though I've re-read the book a few times, I'm again taking notes and praying through key points...and there are a gang of those! Below are a few observations I’ve made after reading Section 4 (Chapters 11-13).

* “Your body does not merely house the real you — it is as much a part of who you are as your spirit is…God designed our bodies to be an integral part of our total being.” The tendency to believe otherwise comes from the errors of Christoplatonism which the author discusses at several parts of the book. And he shows the Scriptural record to back up his points, especially the many references to the physical resurrection of Jesus AND of those believing in Him for salvation. Good stuff.

* The material on “redemptive continuity” was also excellent. God isn’t going to scrap His original creation and start over. And He certainly isn’t going to change us (after creating us as spiritual and physical beings) into disembodied spirits floating in some surreal fog. No, God is going to take us and through His great mercy and power redeem, restore, and renew us. And all of His creation too.

* Our resurrected bodies will be like Jesus’ resurrected body. Very real. Very much a physical thing.

* Chapters 12 and 13 with their discussion of the redemption of all creation were intriguing, exciting, and challenging to the max. Terrific! So too their analysis of Romans 8 and the curse upon creation which came with the fall of Adam. But the good news? Creation will be redeemed as well. So very cool.

* A point to ponder. The unshakeable conviction that even the irreligious feel that “Despite vestiges of beauty and joy, something on this earth is terribly wrong.”

* I’m fascinated and delighted over the idea that our service for Christ in this life will also be resurrected, that it might indeed become part of the kingdom’s imperishable character. What a motivation for abiding in Christ moment by moment now!

* I’m also deeply interested in the “redemptive continuity” when it comes to a person’s unfulfilled dreams and talents, the culture of mankind, the beauty and truth of certain works of art, and more. Wow.

* Since the first time I read the book, I’ve been working on Chapter 13’s exhortation to reform my vocabulary (concerning heaven, the New Earth, the life to come, etc) to more accurately fit the biblical information concerning the resurrection.

* Finally, a heads up to my friends who are also reading HEAVEN right now. This week is really busy for us. I must read two other books for discussion evenings, do five “When Swing Was King” shows, do two speaking engagements, pray and witness at the Planned Parenthood abortion business tomorrow, keep up my walking regimen, and several other tasks…all before cleaning the house and packing for two weeks down in Branson, Missouri. So, I'm afraid I won’t be reading the next sections and posting my notes on Vital Signs Blog until next week. But I’m still hoping to see more of your notes!