Biblical Reasons Why We Should
And Practical Suggestions on How We Can
Create Heaven on Earth
I'm going to ask you to consider a wild idea.
You'll hear the voice of your Sunday School teacher telling you not to think like that.
Your favorite theologians, Dr. So-and-so and Prof. Such-and-such, will warn you that this is dangerous heresy.
Perhaps it is.
But I'm not asking you to believe it. I'm only asking you to consider it. Then, even if you believe it's untrue, I'm hoping you'll live your life as though it were true. And by the time you finish reading my argument, I think you'll agree that even if this notion isn't true, living as though it were true could lead to the most dramatic and positive change in your walk with the Lord that you've ever experienced.
A number of solid, Bible-believing theologians in our day have come to the conclusion that a lot of prophecies in the New Testament have already been fulfilled -- prophecies that millions of church-goers are still waiting to see fulfilled. Men like R. C. Sproul have concluded that many prophecies which have been thought to be about a future second coming and the end of the world were actually describing the coming of Christ in judgment against Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant Age. Events like The Great Tribulation, Christ's Coming on the Clouds, the collapse of the Sun Moon and Stars, the Sign of the Son of Man in Heaven, The Clouds of Heaven, The Gathering of the Elect, the Coming of the Antichrist, The Great Apostasy, all took place in "The Last Days" of the Old Covenant and the first days of the New, culminating in the destruction of the Temple, the Levitical System -- indeed, the entire Mosaic order -- when Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70.
These modern theologians are learning from many great theologians who lived in centuries past. John Owen, a prodigious Puritan theologian who lived in the 1600's and defended Christian orthodoxy with great erudition, and whose overall fidelity to the Scriptures is questioned by no one today, concluded that the Apostle Peter's prophecy about a "New Heavens and a New Earth" (2 Peter 3) was fulfilled when the old heavens and earth -- the Old Covenant Order -- were destroyed in AD70. We're now living in "the New Heavens and the New Earth."
In a review of a book espousing these ideas, the great Baptist Charles H. Spurgeon, writing in the October 1878 issue of The Sword and the Trowel Magazine, said
Though the author's theory is carried too far, it has so much of truth in it, and throws so much new light upon obscure portions of the Scriptures, and is accompanied with so much critical research and close reasoning, that it can be injurious to none and may be profitable to all.
This kind of thinking is called "preterism." Virtually all Christians are at least partial preterists, acknowledging that at least some prophecies were fulfilled during the years AD 30-70.
I'd like for you to imagine that they all were.
I want you boldly to believe that you are now in heaven!
I'm a normal, ordinary, average guy. I know how odd it is to suggest that we're already in heaven.
You know loved ones who have died, and you know you're going to die, and you've been taught from an early age that there's no death in heaven.
I'm not asking you to change your ideas about what will happen to you when you die, nor am I asking you to change your ideas about what has happened or will happen to loved ones of yours who have died.
This is a teaching device; a "spiritual exercise." I'm asking you to change the way you think about how you live today, tomorrow, and how you should plan to inspire your children and great-great-grandchildren to plan for a future here on earth that may last thousands of years.
Once you get over the shock, I think you'll find the advantages to this exercise are nothing less than thrilling.
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