Thanks Peter for responding because I do want to see all sides of argument here. but to put your view in perspective, let’s look at the quote from revelation 21.
The New Heaven and the New Earth
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
It does say that it will be a new heaven and a new earth. it is not a renewed earth. The first heaven (whatever you look at the sky above) and the first earth (whatever you see on the ground) had passed away. The new earth does not even have the sea (water). So I guess that this new heaven and this new earth is so unlike the material universe that we know of.
I of course never dare to present evidence as such, that is why I recall saying “guess”. I just don’t see Jesus resurrected body is part of this material/physical universe. It is a spiritual body, not natural body. It might be from different realm or dimension as we know it.
That is probably easy to explain based on what we know about energy and mass (thanks to Einstein). For Jesus to convert energy (which he had abundantly available) to become breads and fish were actually child’s play.
Spiritual means other dimensional than the four that we experience in the nature of our spacetime. That does not mean it necessarily excludes the material that we know. It was physical enough that Jesus was seeable, touchable and that he could eat. Maybe you are overthinking this?
The Bible says no such thing. It says both heaven AND earth will be renewed. It is make quite clear that the eternal destination of the redeemed is heaven not earth. The renewed earth only mean that life continues on the earth after God’s kingdom comes to the earth as well. But the Bible consistently and overwhelmingly teaches that we go to heaven: John 14:1-3, 2 Cor 12:2-4, Matt 5:12, Luke 23:43, Phil 1:23, Psalm 23:6, Phil 3:20-21, Matt 18:1-5
Indeed. The earth remains a place for children to be conceived, grow up and develop a relationship with God.
Physical as in bodily? Yes. Physical as in laws of nature and earthly? No. Paul taught in 1 Cor 15, a bodily resurrection not to a physical/natural body but to a spiritual body. He taught that the spiritual body grows from the physical/natural body like a plant from a seed. And while the physical/natural body is temporary, weak and of the dust of the earth, the spiritual body is imperishable, powerful and of the stuff of heaven.
You did not provide convincing evidence to support your opinion. What happens between our death and the resurrection is not evident for me, maybe we are waiting in a state that could be called ‘paradise’ or ‘heaven’, maybe not. Anyhow, what happens after our resurrection seems to be that we are with our Lord on Earth, at least some time.
About the verses you mentioned:
Joh 14:1-3 speaks about ‘My Father’s house’ but does not tell where it is.
2 Cor 12:2-4 speaks about the trip of a man (Paul?) to ‘third heaven’ or ‘paradise’. Whatever the ‘third heaven’ is, that is not explained. ‘Paradise’ is mentioned, which suggests that the ‘third heaven’ may be the same place.
Matt 5:12 ‘your reward in heaven is great’. This does not actually tell that we are going to heaven. It can be interpreted as ‘when you go to heaven, you will get a reward’ but it can also be interpreted that there is a reward saved for you (‘in heaven’), you will get it later when you arrive to the place where you will be with me. Jesus promised seats of power to his apostles, that they will rule the tribes of Israel.
Matt 18:1-5 ‘kingdom of heaven’ can be understood as ‘kingdom of God’. Kingdom of God is where the will of God happens, partly where Jesus was, partly in the life of believers and in full measure in the coming kingdom.
Luke 23:43 promise that the crucified man will be with Jesus in paradise. Did Jesus say: today you will be with me in paradise? If that was what Jesus said, then paradise is probably a waiting place because it took time before Jesus resurrected and then later left Earth. Or did Jesus say: I say to you today…? That would probably not change the point because we have to guess what ‘paradise’ is and how long we will be in ‘paradise’.
Phil 1:23 Paul tells that he would like to be with Christ. That does not tell much.
Phil 3:20-21 tells that our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are citizens of heaven but this does not tell we are going to heaven. Instead, it tells that we are waiting for Jesus to come from heaven.
Psalm 23:6 my dwelling in the house of the LORD forever. This does not tell where the house of the Lord is. It may be that the writer was thinking of the temple on earth - he was an Hebrew at the time when the temple was the focus of service and the house where God (His name) rested.
Revelation 21:1 may be symbolic expression. At least Rev 21:2 is symbolic because it speaks about the new Jerusalem as a bride. ‘The first heaven and the first earth passed away’ does not need to mean that this planet is gone. It is more probable that it speaks about a renewed Earth, a place that have been freed from those who acted against God. Rev 21:24-27 speaks about the kings of the earth and says that no one who practices abomination and lying shall ever come into the new Jerusalem. Earth clensed from those who rebelled against God is more consistent with the thinking seen in the OT scriptures, especially the writings of prophets.
It is good to treat the nature with care, it may be that we have to face the destruction done by humans in some form when we are in the future kingdom. What you leave behind may be what you have to face in the future. I do not know, this is just a possibility.
I would say physical on a different level, but still physical. Note that the seed is as physical as the plant. And I think Paul is more talking about the ‘fallen’ body which is indeed subject to death and disease. That susceptibility will be removed.
The problem with such a view of Revelation is that Paul uses similar language to describe what happens on conversion - the old has gone, the new has come. In fact a new creation. Yet we are still very much here.
If you are interested, you might want to read Richard Middleton’s book ‘A new heaven and a new earth’. I may not agree with everything he says but I found his book very insightful.
So, then can we imagine having a “physical” body that is imperishable (like Jesus glorious body), does not need to be sustained by food and water, can appear / disappear? So in another word, this body is above the law of nature that govern this universe namely the second law of thermodynamic or maybe all the laws of nature that govern this universe. And yes, this glorious spiritual body can enter the realm of human and interact with us if He so chooses to do that. Jesus ate, appeared in physical body that can be touched and seen by His disciples. (Just like God came to Abraham and ate his food and talked with Abraham). Then, what kind of physical body (if you insist) is this? What is it made of? from material that we know exist in this universe?
Also, I don’t see the theological significant of why insisting that Jesus after His resurrection retain His physical body.
Also, I don’t see the significant in retaining the belief that the new earth will be the renewed earth of this one. I mean, although this earth is very special to us and unique, it is insignificant in the big picture of the universe that has hundred of billion of galaxies that may contain hundred of billions of stars. And that is only the visible universe. We know that this earth won’t last forever and our sun won’t last forever and even this universe will eventually experience a cold death. but if you look at the book of revelation, this new Jerusalem do not have sun or moon. A planet that survives life without a sun? not in this material universe. And this new Heaven and new Earth will last forever and ever.
I think there are some passages in the Bible that is very clear about where Jesus is going.
John 8:21-23 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
John 14:2-4 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
I provided far far more convincing evidence than you did for your opinion.
Jesus says he goes to prepare a place. And as you have already stipulated heaven is the place He goes. And a house is where one resides and the Father resides in heaven.
Which only means like Jesus says in John 14:1-3 that heaven is very big place.
Which only shows that the Bible can be twisted in many ways to mean what people want – even to support murder, abuse, and slavery. But the most straight forward understanding is that our reward waits for us to get to heaven.
Yes you can ignore what the Bible actually says and edit the Bible to make it say what you want. But the Bible clearly speaks of the kingdom of God both in heaven and on earth, and thus the most straight forward understanding of Kingdom of heaven is the Kingdom of God which is in heaven.
What is clear is that Jesus is not speaking of any kingdom of God on earth.
On the contrary. The Bible is very clear about where Christ is.
No that is not what the word “citizen” means. It means an inhabitant (who has their home in that place) with all the rights and privileges of an inhabitant even when they are away from home.
But the Bible says many times that God has his home in heaven.
All you have proven is that you don’t want to believe what the Bible says.
It is good to treat nature with care because that is what we leave to our children. If people cannot be bothered to do that then I don’t think they will be going to heaven regardless.
But that is not what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15.
Paul says bodily but NOT PHYSICAL! So there are two meanings of the word “physical”: physical as in bodily and physical as in natural. The resurrection is physical as in bodily but NOT physical as in natural. And that is what Paul means when he says the resurrection is NOT to a physical body. He mean it is a bodily resurrection but it is not to a physical/natural body. And Paul explains the differences at length. The physical/natural body is perishable, weak, ἀτιμίᾳ (dishonored, disenfranchised, disempowered, or indebted), and of the dust, while the spiritual body is imperishable, powerful, glorious, and of heaven.
I mean it insinuates that what makes a human a human is their decomposing guts and bones and skin and blood. If Jesus had a human mind, and a human will, and human emotions, and human language, and a human imagination, he would be a human even if his physical body were made of different stuff.
I used to have the opinion that we go to heaven. Then I heard teaching about what happens after the resurrection and it seemed evident that those that are part of the ‘first resurrection’ will meet our Lord when He comes on Earth to establish a kingdom. The kingdom is told to last 1000 years but that may be a number that is not exact, rather tells that it is a long time. After the kingdom (1000 years) comes the general resurrection and judgement.
What happens after the judgement is an open question because there is very little information about that time in the scriptures. The end of Revelation tells something but it is probably mostly symbolic expression. It also seems to mix the description of the new Jerusalem with the more general description. As far as I understand, the new Jerusalem is a symbolic description of the bride of Christ (universal church of believers).
What happens between our death and resurrection is something I do not know yet. There are two different kind of teachings, waiting in a ‘sleep’ or life in paradise (etc) without a body. I guess I have to wait until I see or I get a better understanding.
What is our understanding (interpretation) about the future events affects our attitudes and behavior in this life. If we think that we will live in heaven and everything on Earth burns and will be created again after that, there is not much motivation to work for the wellbeing and preservation of Nature. Few believers think deeply about ethical questions and are eager to do what is ethically correct, if what is around us will soon be destroyed.
That is a very interesting thought Christy, but what you said about being human is not quantifiable (mind, will, emotions, language and imagination). In addition to that, if we christians have died and resurrected with the glorious body like Jesus, how much we remain the same in term of mind, will, etc is unknown. We are created imago dei.
Who said “humanity” should be quantifiable? “Humanity” is an abstract construct, not a chemical composition or a specific genetic makeup.
Sure, but if we look at the resurrected Jesus, his friends recognize him as their friend and Lord, even if it takes them a bit. He was enough of his “old self” that people believed he was the same person who had died.
Well, in that sense, you are entitled to have your own opinion because then you can even call God as a “human” if you insist. There is no boundary for “humanity”.
I believe that His disciples recognised Him as the same person/being and yet different. I think when we rose again gloriously with Jesus, we will be the same being/person and yet different with spiritual body that is imperishable, eternal, not with physical body with its limitation. Our mind should be freed from the limitation of our brain. Our will might perhaps be freed from its duality. We perhaps need not to converse in language though we can if we want to. The emotion of the bad kind (Such as lust, envy and greed) should be no more. I am not sure whether our future self needs any more imagination if everything is open book. If you like to call our future glorious self with spiritual body as part of humanity, then I guess you are perfectly entitled to that and nothing can change your mind.
No, that’s a complete misrepresentation of what I said. We certainly can (and have) come up with a construct for what counts as humanity and that construct has boundaries. Chimpanzees aren’t human, for example. I said not all elements of the construct are empirically quantifiable or based in measurable biological parameters.
Obviously. But the “different” part was that he was resurrected from the dead, the firstborn of the New Creation, it wasn’t that he was no longer a human. He had a different kind of human body. He wasn’t freed from an embodied existence to float around as a disembodied God-mind. He still used language and was audible, touchable, and visible.
I wonder if his wounds remained there until he left. I often wonder if his resurrected body is the same body as when he came back.
If it is the same body, I wonder if he had scars or if the wound was just a bloodless hole or what. If Philip would have poked it would it have hurt and so on. It’s just weird to try to think about within our my framework.