1. Because when Jesus said “I go to prepare a place for you,” he didn’t mention heaven (John 14:2-4).
2. Because the “place” Jesus refers to in John 14 is only dimensionally, not geographically or spatially, distant from earth.
3. Because “the word was made flesh,” not just spirit (John 1:14).
4. Because Jesus physically rose from the dead and made it plain he was no ghost or apparition or mere spirit.
5. Because Jesus did not leave his flesh behind when he ascended to heaven.
6. Because Romans 8:21-23 promises “the redemption of our bodies” when all creation is “set free from its bondage to decay.”
7. Because Peter preached that we are now waiting for Jesus to return “to restore everything, as [God] promised long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:21).
8. Because God intends to fully answer our prayer that his will be done on earth as in heaven.
9. Because Messiah “will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth” and the earth is “full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 42:4, 11:9).
10. Because the New Testament speaks of two comings of Jesus Christ to earth, but only one leaving.
11. Because the Bible nowhere talks about “going to heaven.”
12. Because the basic meaning of “heaven” (when not referring to “the heavens,” the skies) is the presence of God.
13. Because nowhere does the Bible say “the Promised Land” is heaven.
14. Because the ultimate promise is earth renewed, new heavens and earth, creation healed.
15. Because Jesus came “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8), cleansing out all evil, not to destroy the earth which he created.
So. These fifteen could of course be fifteen hundred if all the relevant Scriptures were referenced. And I haven’t even mentioned my favorite verse about God’s purpose and plan to bring everything in heaven and earth together, healed and reconciled, under the headship of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:10).
What then will happen when I die physically? I expect to be in the immediate, joyful, restful unending presence of the Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus called this “Paradise” (Luke 23:43), as did Paul (2 Cor. 12:4). Jesus said that in his Father’s house there’s plenty of space—not to worry. Plenty of rooms where we can lodge until he and we return to earth. To the restored heaven and earth, the kingdom of God in total fullness, creation healed.
Think of it as a restful lodge, a retreat, a way station, until the kingdom of God is fully “prepared” (John 14:2) and we see the complete glorious, joyous, fulfillment of all God’s redemptive promises.
Worth waiting for, certainly, between physical death and final resurrection.
Then the really creative stuff begins.
This post was written by Dr Howard Snyder. For the original post, go to: http://howardsnyder.seedbed.com/2014/12/08/dont-expect-go-heaven/