Heaven's for the Birds

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on April 15, 2018
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Genesis 1:14-20, 28; Matthew 6:26 “Heaven” refers to the sky, air, or atmosphere.

Isaiah 66:1-2
Heaven is also God’s throne--where He makes plans and rules.

Matthew 6:20; 1 Peter 1:4; Philippians 3:20
Heaven is where our citizenship, treasures, and inheritances are stored with God.

Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27
Even before Yuri Gagarin punctured the heavens and failed to see God’s throne, the Scriptures recognized God’s “heaven” is actually beyond the sky.

Matthew 5:5; 6:9-11; 19:28-29; 25:31-34
According to Jesus, the destiny of God’s people is not heaven, but living on a renewed earth, which he called the Kingdom of God.

Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Psalm 146:3-4; John 5:28-29
In between death and the resurrection on the last day, the dead are unconscious and inactive. Perhaps this is where the epitaph “RIP” originated.

“For I choose to follow not men or men's doctrines, but God and the doctrines by him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this, and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians.” --Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 80, trans. George Reith, circa a.d. 165

Ancient religions typically taught that the dead were awake either in a state of reward/punishment or reincarnated into a new body. The Bible stands apart in its teaching that the dead are asleep until Christ returns to resurrect and reign over a renewed world.

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