Is It Really Heaven On Earth?


Q: Would it be off course in the Christian faith to believe that we cannot truly experience Heaven on Earth? In other words, as there are believers and non-believers of Christ in our present lives, we would not be able to live in a perfect world...even if Christian segment follows the teachings of Christ. Can it be then said that experiencing Heaven would be reserved for the intermediate world for Christians following our death where we may reside with God and Jesus Christ; and then on earth when Christ returns following His resurrection?

I wish I could answer this question quickly. After all, the best answers are the short and sweet ones. I personally hate it when I ask a question that has a reply of "well, yes and no."

Unfortunately, I must start answering this question by saying, "You are right! But not 100%". So, first, I'll give you the backstrory, and then answer the question.

Throughout the Bible, there are examples "holy moments." One example is found in Genesis when Jacob has an experience with God through a dream (Gen. 28). He attributes it to the location, so he builds an alter. In Exodus, Moses has a "God moment" (my terminology) when he speaks to God through a burning bush (Ex. 3).

Wherever there is a God moment, that location became known as Holy Ground. But, the actual dirt and geographical coordinates is not what makes that place holy. It is the rule of God over that location that made it holy. Throughout the Bible, God does some pretty amazing things on these Holy Grounds. After all, if God has complete reign over a certain area, only God's will can happen, right? Well, yes for the time being.

So, the ancient Hebrews asked the question, "Can we have a place where God's control is always present?" God answered by giving them detailed instructions on how to make the most elaborate tent (called the Tabernacle). Whenever they pitched it, God's presence will rest in the center of it. This small area of God's complete reign is called Heaven on Earth.

Midway through the Old Testament, this tent gets upgraded into an actual building called the Temple. People traveled miles to come to the Temple to be as near as possible to God's presence.

However, the people of Israel began getting increasingly corrupt, and eventually God's presence left the temple (read the Book of Ezekiel). Yet, the people of Israel continued their Temple rituals as if God was still there. The Temple was empty, and so, it was no longer Holy.

Enter Jesus, the Son of God. People observed that wherever Jesus walked, God's reign seems to be present. In other words, wherever Jesus was, Heaven followed. He even taught that He would tear down the Temple, and in three days He will rebuild it (John 2). Obviously, He was speaking metaphorically - He was saying, "tear down this corrupt system, and when I raise from the dead in three days, I will create a new way to connect with God."

It is on the back of this truth that the church is built. We are filled with the Holy Spirit (God), and wherever we go, we bring heaven on earth (although it isn't permanent).

Can we "truly" experience Heaven on earth? Absolutely. When there's a breakthrough for someone who has been addicted, when there's healing, when there's reconciliation in broken relationships, when lost people are found, we are experiencing Heaven on earth.

But if the question is "Are we living in heaven now?" The answer is No. We bring small pockets of heaven to this world. It may be here now, and it may disappear tomorrow. There is nothing permanent about the heaven we bring, although Paul the Apostle reveals to us (1 Cor. 15) that our efforts in bringing Heaven on earth is not in vain - it will somehow, mysterious count towards the New Creation in the future.

Is Heaven "reserved" for the life to come? No. As small and imperfect as our experience of Heaven is today, it is a taste of things to come. Heaven, fully realized, is reserved for the Age to Come, but the mini-heaven is for us to spread today.

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Kats Omine

Kats Omine