Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Looking At Jesus in Heaven

Well, it's about time I put a new post here. It's not because I haven't have any new thoughts lately, in fact just the opposite. I've been filling journals full of the questions I have now that I've started my "new journey", if you will, of looking at the Scriptures in a new light.
It has been my sincere prayer that God allow me to look at the scriptures in a fresh and new way. Not just accept the same old Sunday School answer or the Baptist Doctrine answer, but really LOOK at the scriptures and SEE what they say. That's a novel concept isn't it?
If you are taking the time to read this...I honestly would like your feed back and opinions. WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SHARE, I MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS IN JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. I have NO agenda except to look at the scriptures and say...OK....what are they saying? What is the literal scripture trying to tell us.
I KNOW...when I start sharing these thoughts, there is a possibility for misinterpretation. I came from an area where if people or pastors didn't like up EXACTLY like we did in our doctrine or even interpretation of doctrine we started throwing labels around. Liberal, Moderate, Fundamental, Conservative, Evangelical, etc. I am taking a risk. But please understand, I am simply looking at the scripture and asking "what does this mean?" If that shakes your might not want to read further.
In my teaching through Revelation in 2009, I came across a lot of COOL stuff that made me go "hummmm." Just one of those things was this: when we get to the end of Revelation, after ALL the judgments are done...we've been taught everyone who deserves hell is in hell and everyone who deserves heaven is in heaven, then the new heaven and new earth come along in Rev. 21. YET in Rev. 21:6-7 Jesus says some interesting things….
Notice what Jesus says is different than the general invitation at the last chapter to those reading the book...Jesus is in Heaven, talking to John and Jesus says:

A) “To him who is thirsty”...wait...I thot we were in heaven? WHY would anyone be thirsty in HEAVEN? Aren’t all the judgments settled? Why would Jesus STILL be offering an INVITATION?

B) “I will give him drink from the spring of Life without cost” Why is Jesus STILL offering to anyone who is thirsty an ability to come?

Just Some Thought Questions:

* Is there still an opportunity for people to receive Christ?

* Would that be OUT of the Gracious character of God to WANT people to experience His love?

* Do we have a different look at Justness than God has? Are these things at least a possibility?

C) “He who overcomes WILL inherit all this” I thot they already inherited this? Aren't they in heaven? Is there a possibility that others STILL have the ability to overcome and inherit what Jesus is offering in heaven? This is in the future tense.

D) “I will be his God and he will be My Son”. Again this is in the future tense!!! I simply ask, Is there opportunity still?

I know and understand the standard interpretation here. But I ask, would it make us mad if Jesus was still offering an invitation to come and drink?

In Johah 3-4 Jonah would not go to Nineveh because he knew God was a gracious God and save even the wicked people and Jonah didn't want God to do that...Jonah wanted Jonah's justice, not God's. Johan has a higher view of God than most of us do. We say, God wants and will punished the wicked, Jonah says no...God wants them all to know Him. Does that make us mad like Jonah?

Lastly, for now, 2 Peter 3:9 "God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance." If God is not willing then WHAT does that mean? Does that mean Before we die? After we die? doesn't say. But wait! Why is Jesus still offering an invitation in heaven for anyone who is still thirsty?

I have a ton more of scripture and thoughts related to this...but this is only a blog not a "ebook". So I'll close with that. I am genuinely interested in any and all comments, interpretations, agreements, disagreements and other new thots that might go along with this line of thought. Again, please understand, I'm not leading the witness...I'm just asking questions.

I have pages of new thoughts so stay tuned in the weeks ahead and we'll discuss some more stuff that just might make us say...."hummm."

Just a thot.

Pastor Dan

1 comment:

Gil said...

Well, that's a deep thot! I would first like to make a disclaimer pertaining to the adding to and taking away from this book. I am very mindful to the warning contained within. So I, like you Dan, am examining and merely trying to understand to the very best of my understanding.

The chapter begins with "then" representing either a different part or a different vision. John has just finished describing some pretty harsh events that are to take place. Its almost like there is a contrast here to say to John "now the rest of the story". So John is seeing the New Holy city coming down and within this city a voice(I get the feeling of a narrator) saying the bad stuff is all gone now. Remember John I am making everything new again like me and dad tried to do the first time. He makes a reference to Isaiah here only this time he includes spring/fountain implying that we are now allowed to draw directly from the source of the living water. He continues with this will now be our heritage we are now in "this family" on "this plantation".

As I tried to place myself where John is, its like we are in the past seeing the end and write about what takes place in the future to where we are, but before the events of the end take place.. I think this is why Jesus tells John to write this down.. So that as you and I are now reading this(in the in between time) Jesus is saying remember back in Isa. the river of life.. those that were thirsty.. this is now it this is what I'm showing you, but just a reminder all ya'll other folks don't get the ideas this is for you your going to the other lake.

As to the willingness of God. God was not willing for man to eat from the tree of life. However, here we are outside of the Garden of Eden. God did not destroy us. Peter is urging the people to be steadfast and to hold onto their faith. He is telling them that God is not being slow to judge but patient so that more might be saved. When does that take place? My first thought would be remember the cross. Jesus says "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise." Could God extend that to after death? Was the rich man able to pass from one realm into the next? I believe that when we sin we sin in the flesh. When we are saved we are a new creation and so we are freed from the bondage of the flesh(physical). It is that new creation(spirit) that then shall be allowed to enter the gates of heaven. After physical death there is no way for the flesh or physical self to repent and be transformed by Christ.

Just my 2 cents worth.. Thanks Dan for keeping me up till 2:) Hope all is well in the great NW!