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What is heaven?

spud_meister

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Prior to the Second Coming, is there a heaven for the dead? Ecclesiastes 9:5 states: For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

Matthew 22:29-33 Jesus says: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

All scriptures I've read trying to find an answer to this point only to the Kingdom of Heaven, which seems to indicate the earth after the Second Coming. From what I'm reading, people cease to exist when they die, until they're resurrected by Christ, to be rewarded or punished. Is this right, or is there a scriptural basis for life after death prior to resurrection?
 

tosca1

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Prior to the Second Coming, is there a heaven for the dead? Ecclesiastes 9:5 states: For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.
No, there is no heaven for the dead. The "dead" referred here are those who died without repenting. They're truly dead.

Matthew 22:29-33 Jesus says: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
Same here.

At the Second Coming, all the dead people will rise to be judged. This is what is referred by separating the sheep from the goat, separate the wheat from the chaff. Those that are written in the Book of Life will live, those that aren't will die a final death.

All scriptures I've read trying to find an answer to this point only to the Kingdom of Heaven, which seems to indicate the earth after the Second Coming. From what I'm reading, people cease to exist when they die, until they're resurrected by Christ, to be rewarded or punished. Is this right, or is there a scriptural basis for life after death prior to resurrection?
We don't know if dead people cease to exist when they die awaiting the Second Coming. But there are spirits though - and we are forbidden to make contact with them. I don't know for sure if these spirits include those that died. But that's a good question to look up. I'll try to check that out.
 

lizzie

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I figure it's more of a state of mind, than a location.
 

Canell

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Of course there is. What do you think, that God is some kind of sick Power junkie? No!
 

Rainman05

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Heaven is where the souls of puppies go.
 

Spartacus FPV

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Christ was to bring the Kingdom of heaven within the lifetime of some of his followers:

Matthew 16:28
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

They all died expecting it, it never came.
 

grip

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Prior to the Second Coming, is there a heaven for the dead? Ecclesiastes 9:5 states: For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

Matthew 22:29-33 Jesus says: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

All scriptures I've read trying to find an answer to this point only to the Kingdom of Heaven, which seems to indicate the earth after the Second Coming. From what I'm reading, people cease to exist when they die, until they're resurrected by Christ, to be rewarded or punished. Is this right, or is there a scriptural basis for life after death prior to resurrection?
Earth is a place in time. If there's an eternal heaven, then it's a place outside of time.

Part of you is made of earth that is temporal. Part of you is made of God outside of time and it's effects.

The earth part of you ends but you're not aware of it. The eternal part of you does not end and the rest is a mystery.
 

head of joaquin

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I figure it's more of a state of mind, than a location.
Exactly. The ability to love others, and not be trapped in the self, is heaven. That's why Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is within us.
 

Goshin

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Christ was to bring the Kingdom of heaven within the lifetime of some of his followers:

Matthew 16:28
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

They all died expecting it, it never came.

Actually it did, but not in the way they were originally expecting.


Acts ch 1 and 2.
 

Goshin

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Heaven is a higher plane of existence where we will be far more than we now are, as well as being in direct contact with God. We will no longer be limited to merely human perspectives; we will be more than human in ways we cannot currently even imagine.
 

spud_meister

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Heaven is a higher plane of existence where we will be far more than we now are, as well as being in direct contact with God. We will no longer be limited to merely human perspectives; we will be more than human in ways we cannot currently even imagine.
But what's the basis for this assertion?
 

Goshin

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But what's the basis for this assertion?

Most of five decades of bible study and ruminations on the subject. I'll grant you there is a certain percentage of extrapolation and assumption in my viewpoint, but its my viewpoint and I'll have it if I wanna. :mrgreen:


Seriously though, there are many different bits in the bible that suggest we will be made "a little higher than the angels", that we will see more clearly than we've ever seen in mortal life and understand more deeply, and so on... collectively I have decided to interpret this as a higher and more advanced mode of existence than our mere physical existence in the now. A lot of the text about heaven in various places by eyewitnesses includes a lot of symbolism and metaphor, as if they were looking upon things that were simply beyond their mortal comprehension and tried to relate them to earthly things with "like unto" and "as if it were".

1 Corinthians 10:10-12
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.


When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.


For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
 

spud_meister

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Most of five decades of bible study and ruminations on the subject. I'll grant you there is a certain percentage of extrapolation and assumption in my viewpoint, but its my viewpoint and I'll have it if I wanna. :mrgreen:


Seriously though, there are many different bits in the bible that suggest we will be made "a little higher than the angels", that we will see more clearly than we've ever seen in mortal life and understand more deeply, and so on... collectively I have decided to interpret this as a higher and more advanced mode of existence than our mere physical existence in the now. A lot of the text about heaven in various places by eyewitnesses includes a lot of symbolism and metaphor, as if they were looking upon things that were simply beyond their mortal comprehension and tried to relate them to earthly things with "like unto" and "as if it were".

1 Corinthians 10:10-12
But what I want to know is if we're higher than the angels prior to the second coming, the verses you quote say "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. "

Surely that refers to the coming of Christ.
 

Goshin

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But what I want to know is if we're higher than the angels prior to the second coming, the verses you quote say "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. "

Surely that refers to the coming of Christ.

At present we are different than the angels, but not higher. But yes, it is widely considered that the phrase in question refers to after the second coming, or after we have entered into eternity with God.
 

spud_meister

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At present we are different than the angels, but not higher. But yes, it is widely considered that the phrase in question refers to after the second coming, or after we have entered into eternity with God.
See, this is what I want to know, I've always assumed that the belief was that people reveled in heaven until the second coming, however, all scripture I read seems to say there's no afterlife until the second coming. So that's what I want clarified, more than anything.
 

Goshin

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See, this is what I want to know, I've always assumed that the belief was that people reveled in heaven until the second coming, however, all scripture I read seems to say there's no afterlife until the second coming. So that's what I want clarified, more than anything.

Ah. Okay. I can help with that.



There are two main schools of thought on this.

1. Prior to Jesus' ascent into heaven, there was a place within the earth known as Abraham's Bosom or Paradise, where the dead judged faithful awaited, because without the redemption of grace God could not welcome them into his presence. Jesus' sacrifice, death, resurrection and ASCENT into heaven "paved the way" and the faithful souls went up after him into Heaven, there to await the Second Coming and so on.

2. The dead are as if asleep, and will remain thus until they are resurrected in the Second Coming or the final judgement, accordingly.


You can find bits and pieces that could be construed as supportive of both viewpoints, but I tend to favor #1 because Jesus spoke of it (in part) himself in the story of the rich man and the beggar. (luke 16)


#1 is typically more mainstream Christian, while #2 is held by some denominations and some divergent groups like the Jehovah's Witness'.
 

JC Callender

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I agree. I remember coming to the conclusion once with a group of Christians on this subject, that Heaven can start while we're still here on earth. Now I wish I could remember how I came to that conclusion. :mrgreen:

I figure it's more of a state of mind, than a location.
 

JC Callender

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I would assume it's probably like being in love, only more intense. I think for most people, being in love is extreme hope, joy, and happiness and very little to no fear, worry, or depression. It's total adoration for another person while spending much less time thinking of ourselves.
 

nota bene

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Maybe in a discussion about the Apostles Creed, which states, "I believe...in the communion of saints"? In other words, if those who have gone on can pray for us, they must not be asleep?

And then I think of "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" (I just love Willie Nelson's version) and "when the dead in Christ shall rise/And the glory of His resurrection share."

I guess we won't know until we too have gone along...but whatever the deal is, Jesus did say that in His Father's house were many mansions, and that He was preparing a place for us.
 

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I agree. I remember coming to the conclusion once with a group of Christians on this subject, that Heaven can start while we're still here on earth.
I think maybe it starts with the process of letting go. :)
 

JC Callender

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I couldn't agree more!:)

[QwUOTE=lizzie;1061983959]The problem is it's much easier said than done. :lol:[/QUOTE]
 
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