Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Tidbit: on going to earth when we die

From Christopher H. J. Wright, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God:

"The consistent biblical hope, from Genesis to Revelation is that God should do something with the earth so that we can once again dwell upon it in 'rest', in sabbath peace, with him. The Bible speaks predominantly of the need for God to come here, not of the wish for us to go somewhere else. This earth is to be the place of God's judgment, and also the place of God's saving power" (154).

Are you going to heaven earth when you die?


  1. Well, ok, that might leave the wrong impression. The question should probably be "Are you going to earth when Jesus returns?"

    I'm quite sure that Christopher Wright thinks we go to heaven when we die . . . in the meantime. But when God's kingdom is fully established, it will be on his green earth. I, for one, plan to be here to enjoy it!

  2. But will it be the earth as we know it now? Or will it be something else? I always thought the earth was going to be "folded up like a blanket." :)

  3. Folded up, yes. But when the earth as we know it is folded up, where will we be? Heaven?
    John sees "a new heavens and a new earth" . . . which I take as a reference to "new creation" (see Gen 1:1 and 2:1, where "heavens and earth" is the entire created order).
    Yes, there are "pearly gates" (Rev 21:21), but they lead to a brilliant walled city which cannot be "heaven" because it "came down out of heaven" (Rev 21:2, 10).

    For what it's worth, I'm still working this one through in my mind, and I haven't fully re-examined all the relevant biblical passages in light of what Wright is saying. But it seems to me that we may be off-base when we think of our ultimate destiny as an escape from life on terra firma.
    What do you think?