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Meant for Heaven, Made for Earth

June 8th, 2008

“The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,

but the earth he has given to the children of man”

(Psalm 115:16)

“…he has put eternity into man’s heart…”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The Old Testament provides the biblical background for the Christian doctrine of heaven. It is through the Old Testament writings that we read about shamayim, translated “heaven.” A close synonym of shamayim is raqia (Psalm 148:4); raqia, being the more specific term, and shamayim the more comprehensive terminology.

In our presentation (06-08-08), we made three points about heaven:

1. Your deepest reality is that you were meant for heaven and are known as eternal in God’s eyes (2 Cor. 5:1-8).

2. Heaven is expressed in symbolism in the Scriptures (Jn. 3:12,13; Rev. 1:1-2;4:1-2). Crowns; harps, and gold (Rev. 2:10; 14:2; 21:18,21) mean something beyond themselves: victory; joy; festivity (1 Cor. 9:25,27); calming, infinity, ecstasy (1 Sam. 16:14-23); preciousness and timelessness.

3. Revelation 4 and 5 express the relevance of heaven in creation and redemption, respectively.

-Robert M. Housby