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MaAlet

A Literal Paradise

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"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."  — John 14:1–2

The late Isaac Asimov said, "I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing Hell, or fearing Heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of Hell, I think the boredom of Heaven would be even worse."

Trust me. Heaven will not be boring. Some people think of Heaven in a mystical way, with clouds and more clouds and people floating around. Others think of Heaven as a really long church service.

But what is Heaven really like? I'll begin by saying that Heaven is an actual place. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). A place—that is very important for us to remember. Heaven is a real place for real people to do real things. We need to think of it that way.

Heaven is also described as a paradise. When the thief on the cross said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Luke 23:42), Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (verse 43).

The apostle Paul said the same thing. He died and went to Paradise. That is an interesting word, because in the original language, it's actually a word to describe a walled garden like the king of Persia would have had.

Think of a palatial estate with a manicured garden that goes on forever, with every kind of fruit and flower. That is the word Paul used to describe Heaven after God brought him back. Paul was thinking of the best thing he could imagine, saying it was like paradise to him.

That doesn't mean it can't be beautiful on this planet. We see God's glory on display in His creation, even in a fallen state. But Heaven is a paradise.

 

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