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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Seeing God

The following are excerpts from a book I am reading called HEAVEN, by Randy Alcorn. He covers the concept and misconceptions many in the church have about Heaven and seeing God.


" Every day we should see God in His creation: the food we eat, the air we breathe, the friendships we enjoy, and the pleasures of family, work, and hobbies. Yes, we must sometimes forgo secondary pleasures, and we should never let them eclipse God. And we should avoid opulence and waste when others are needy. But we should thank God for all of life's joys, large and small, and allow them to draw us to Him. That is exactly what we will do in Heaven......so why not start now?"


" Psalm 36:8-9 - They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of life."


" Theologian Sam Storms writes, " We will constantly be more amazed with God, more in love with God, and thus ever more relishing His presence and our relationship with Him. Our experience of God will never reach its consummation. We will never finally arrive, as if upon reaching a peak we discover there is nothing beyond. Our experience of God will never become stale. It will deepen and develop, intensivy and amplify, unfold and increase, broaden and balloon."


" Beholding and knowing God, we will spend eternity worshiping, exploring, and serving Him, seeing His magnificent beauty in everything and everyone around us. Augustine wrote in The City of God  " We shall in the future world see the material forms of the new heavens and the new earth in such a way that we shall most distinctly recognize God everywhere present and governing all things, material as well as spiritual. In the new universe, as we study nature, as we pursue science and mathematics and every realm of knowledge, we'll see God in everything, for He is behind it all."



 " It might be better, then, if we think of the location of the present Heaven as not in another universe but simply as a part of ours that we are unable to see, due to our spiritual blindness. It that's true, when we die we don't go to a different universe but to a place within our universe that we're currently unable to see. "


"Just as blind people cannot see the world, even though it exists all around them, we are unable to see Heaven in our fallen condition. Is it possible that before sin and the Curse, Adam and Eve saw clearly what is now invisible to us? Does death restore a visual acuity we once had? Willard says, 'When we pass through what we call death, we do not lose the world. Indeed, we see it for the first time as it really is."


"Consider this statement: "God Himself will be with them" (Revelation 21:3) Why does it emphatically say God Himself? Because God won't merely send us a delegate. He will actually come to live among us on the New Earth. As Steven J. Lawson explains, " God's glory will fill and permeate the entire new Heaven, not just on centralized place. Thus, wherever we go in Heaven, we will be in the immediate presence of the full glory of God. Wherever we go, we will enjoy the complete manifestation of God's presence. Throughout all eternity, we will never be separated from direct, unhindered fellowship with God."


"God's glory will be the air we breathe, and we'll always breathe deeper to gain more of it. In the new universe, we'll never be able to travel far enough to leave God's presence. If we could, we'd never want to. However great the wonders of Heaven, God Himself is Heaven's greatest prize. Father Boudreau writes, "The beatitude of Heaven consists essentially in the vision, love, and enjoyment of God Himself."


Jonathan Edwards said in a 1733 sermon, "God is the  highest good  of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitly better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean."


The New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven to be placed on planet earth- "We are certain that when the mists of death are cleared away, the whole City will stand visible and proud. Our inheritance is as sure as morning." Calvin Miller


I would add to these profound thoughts that the Bible says that ear has not heard, eye has not seen the things that God has prepared for those who love Him! Our best days are just ahead!!

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