Where/What is "Heaven"?
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Homer



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: Where/What is "Heaven"? Reply with quote

We have had a surfeit of discussion regarding hell. "Heaven", the destination of the saved, is not talked of or written about much. For example, in Shedd's Dogmatic Theology, there are two pages about Heaven and eighty-seven pages on eternal punishment.

(For purposes of this discussion, I consider "heaven" to be a sort of generic term for the final state/place of the saved in the afterlife, wherever/whatever you believe it to be)

Is "Heaven" located somewhere "up there" as some scriptures indicate or will it be here on this earth, or on another "new" earth?

The following scripture seems to indicate we will go "there", wherever it is:


John 14:1-3 (New American Standard Bible)

1. "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
2. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
3. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.


If we will be with God, will God be on earth?

1 Kings 8:27 (New American Standard Bible)

27. "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!


Where will we spend eternity? More than one place? What do the scriptures say?
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the Scriptures indicate whether heaven is a state or a physical location. I suspect the former.

I don't think John 14 about "The Father's House" refers to heaven. It refers to the Body of Christ here on earth. As it is written, "We are His House..." The whole context of John 14 points to "where I am you may be also" as being the Body of Christ which would be the dwelling place of the spirit of Jesus after His resurrection.

Nowhere is heaven referred to as the "House of God", not even in Psalm 23.

What leads people into thinking "The House of the LORD" in Psalm 23 is heaven is the translation, "And I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever." But the whole psalm speaks of the psalmist's life here on earth.
His aim and expectation is to dwell in the Household of the LORD [Yahweh]permanently, that is all the days of his life. I think the Psalmist used "olam" (the Hebrew equivialent of "aiōnios") so as not to be repetitious. He already stated, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
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TK



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion-

when you say "state" what exactly do you mean? something non-physical?

TK
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Homer



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion,

You wrote:
Quote:
I don't think the Scriptures indicate whether heaven is a state or a physical location. I suspect the former.


So are you saying we will exist, but not in any particular place? And if in a particular place, where/what is it?
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SoaringEagle



Joined: 19 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hebrews 11:9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
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Paidion



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TK wrote:
Paidion-

when you say "state" what exactly do you mean? something non-physical?


Perhaps. I don't know. We have always lived in the physical realm, and know nothing else. It is written that God resides in heaven, with Jesus at His right hand. Is that a physical place that one could travel to in a space ship (if it such a space ship were invented)? And if not, why not ---- if heaven is a physical place?

But if it's not physical, and we are conscious in heaven, then where are we? I think that's Homer's question. However, if heaven is not a physical place, then perhaps the question "where" cannot be meaningfully asked.
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TK



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P

i always entertained the idea that it was in a different dimension, for no other reason that what you suggested- i dont think we can get into a spaceship and "find" heaven.

i am fairly confident, though, that ultimately heaven will be on a physically recreated earth, with plants trees and animals, just like the garden of eden.

there was a good book called "heaven" by Randy Alcorn that was good. i didnt read it with a very critical eye though. it sounded good, though.

TK
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Homer



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe there must be a physical existence and a physical place for that resurrected body to exist in. I have long believed the point of Jesus eating food after He was resurrected was a demonstration of His physicality.
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Homer, I am inclined to agree with you here.

But in that case, where is it? Or do we want to accept the "different dimension" concept as TK suggested.
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TK



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is possible that heaven is not a physical place right now; since the inhabitants of heaven right now are spirit beings, i dont think it has to be physical; therefore it might be a "state." Not sure what kind of state though.

Scientists keep talking these days about "dark matter" and "dark energy." maybe that has something to do with it.

TK
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roblaine



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TK wrote:
I think it is possible that heaven is not a physical place right now; since the inhabitants of heaven right now are spirit beings, i dont think it has to be physical; therefore it might be a "state." Not sure what kind of state though.

Scientists keep talking these days about "dark matter" and "dark energy." maybe that has something to do with it.

TK


TK, where do you think Jesus is?

Robin
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TK



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good point, Robin. i'd say I kind of forgot about Him when I made my last post, but that would be too embarassing.

Jesus indeed has a physical, but glorified body. He is in heaven. However, perhaps his resurrected body allows him to also exist in a non-physical "state."

Heck, I don't know. what do you think?

TK
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roblaine



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TK,
I don't think I could answer with any confidence. In His glorified state, Jesus was able to appear and disappear. I'm not sure what kind of environment would be needed to necessitate His physical state. I guess I'll just have to wait and find out.

Robin
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Father_of_five



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Homer,

The following passage from 1 Cor 15 has led me to believe that we will be spirit beings in heaven.

1 Cor 15:42-46
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." F51 The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.

Todd
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TK



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi todd-

your point begs the question- was Jesus a "spiritual being" in his resurrected body?

TK
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