THE CENTRE CHAPLAIN’S CORNER – July&August

As I start to write this Chaplain’s Corner for July and August 2019 Ascension Day has just been and gone – in remembrance of the day Jesus ascended to heaven. “The Son (Jesus) is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1 v 3).

In Acts we have been assured that Jesus who had been taken from the disciples will come back in the same way they saw him go into heaven. We are reminded at the end of chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians that Jesus will return coming down from heaven.

Heaven

I thought for this magazine I would endeavour to write something on ‘Heaven’ as we touched on the subject in June’s magazine.

What do we understand about heaven? It is somewhat beyond our finite minds. Randy Alcorn (Pastor from Gresham, Oregon, USA) describes heaven as a present or an intermediate place which is temporary and where Christians go when they die. The Christian hope of heaven is a genuine hope because it is anchored in the cross and resurrection of Jesus and is ‘a future of certainty’ motivating us to live for Jesus today.

A way of potentially describing Heaven is to take the word itself and see what it spells out for our finite minds to understand about it.

H

A Holy City

A Holy God

Revelation 21 v 2a
I saw the Holy City , the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God ……

E

Eternal

Romans 6 v 23
The gift of God is eternal life

A

Adopted

Ephesians 1 v 5
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and his will

V

Victory

1 Corinthians 15 v 54c
Death has been swallowed up in victory
1 Corinthians 15 v 57
He (God) gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ

E

Endure

2 Timothy 2 v 12a
…… if we endure we will also reign with him

N

Name

Philippians 2 v 9b
…… and God gave him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow

As we look at heaven, who God is and what has he done, is doing and will do?

Heaven is about God, who is holy and perfect. Heaven is a reality; it exists now and is filled with the glory of God. It is a place of total safety and security.

Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3 v 20).
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2 v 9).

God has in store for his people a new world which is not just spiritual but also physical – this is what eternity will be like – a new heaven and a new earth!
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Revelation 21 v 5a).

He, God, who was seated on the throne said “I am making everything new”! (Revelation 21 v 5a). It is said in one of the books on the subject of heaven that the new universe will be this present one radically transformed and renewed, just as our bodies will be too.

There are parts of our world which are absolutely beautiful, for example:- Switzerland, Canada, Africa and many other countries but sadly man has damaged some of this beautiful world by cutting down trees, filling the atmosphere with toxic fumes or wasting tons of food, plus all that plastic that is being used, the latter being a very topical issue at the moment.

Eternity is about God’s new world but it is also about God’s new people. This reminds of the old negro spiritual “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through – O Lord, you know I have no friend like you, If heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do; The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore”.

Are you looking forward to a new heaven and anew earth which will be the home of righteousness. Heaven is going to come down to us. “Now the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them. They/we will be his people and God himself will be them/us and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their/our eyes. There will no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21 v 3b – 4). What a day that will be!

We as human beings are made up of a material body and a ‘non material’ inner person i.e. soul or spirit. When we die the spirit or soul is separated from the body … and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12 v 7). However, one day we have been promised that the Lord Jesus Christ who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they be like his glorious body (Philippians 3 v 21). An amazing promise to end this part of the Chaplain’s Corner.

Bibliography:
The Bible
Heaven – forever, for real for sure. By Andy Telfer 2105
Heaven – Randy Alcorn 2004
What happens when I die? By Marcus Nodder 2013

POEM ON HEAVENby Rowan Nunnerley (2019)

What will heaven be like we ask
In God’s glory his people will bask

A place which will be beyond our human mind
Because all the evil this world will be left behind

There will be a unique beauty to behold
Far beyond our imagination as there will be no old

Heaven will be a place where God will dwell
No death, no mourning, no crying, no pain, no tears to well

It will be a safe and totally secure place
Where day by day we will see God face to face

No need of the sun, moon or an electrical amp
The glory of God will give light and the Lamb will be its lamp

The Holy city will be an extraordinary size
Much larger that anyone can ever summize

The walls will be lined with precious jewels so bold
And the streets will be paved with glistening gold

The throne of God and the Lamb will be in this city of light
Let us bow down in humble adoration acknowledging God’s might

***************************************************************

Every blessing and knowing our current world is in such a turmoil let us look forward to a wonderful new heaven and earth!

Rowan Nunnerley (Chaplain)
Contact details: 01306 886830 (09:00 0 14:00)

Dates for the future:

Holiday at Home 19 – 23 August 2019
Information will be available mid/late July
 

Email: centrechaplain@gmail.com

 
                                                      
                                                        
 
 
 

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