Posts tagged ‘eschatology’

May 20th, 2013

Q&A 23: Heaven, Paradise, and Resurrection

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hi Max!

I’m in your philosophy class. I have been trying to process what we talked about in class today and I am stuck on something you said. You mentioned briefly that you do not believe there is a Heaven and Hell yet and that we all go to Paradise until God makes the new heaven and new earth. So under your view point do non-Christians go to paradise until they are judged? Where are you basing this off in the Bible? What exactly is Hell then and where are Satan and his demons now? What about those who have already died who are not Christians? I have never heard this concept before and I’d love to hear your expanded version.

The whole idea of paradise is very interesting. I grew up thinking when we die we go to heaven then the Lord creates a new heaven and new earth where we actually live forever. But paradise..as kind of a waiting place is interesting. The point I am stuck on is when you said that believer and unbeliever go to paradise.

My first thought was in Numbers 16 when Korah rebelled. How the Lord opened up the Earth and it says they fell into Sheol. They were taken down to Sheol with their family (realm of the dead as NIV says it). In your view is that a place where demons and Satan reside and not unbelievers and that was just a special case?

Also, when Jesus was on the cross, why did he only turn to the one criminal and say that you will join me in paradise if both non-believer and believer go there? It would make sense for him to say that to the one criminal only if he was going to paradise and the other one wasn’t.

But then what exactly is paradise if both non-believer and believer are there? Wouldn’t it confuse non-believers because then they think that they are actually in heaven and that they won’t be going to hell? The passages I have found that mention paradise are very vague especially Paul’s little side note about 3rd heaven). Revelation 20:11-15 also talks about “and Hades gave up the dead that were in them….” The context of this passage talks about the judgment of the dead but how do you see this passage in light of your view on their being no Hell currently?

Thanks,

Becky A.

June 26th, 2012

The New Creation–What’s Next?

by Max Andrews

We cannot imagine what is going to come next.  [God] has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end (Ecc. 3.11).  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2.9).  Stretch your mind and strain your eyes to build a sustaining hope.

HOPE is the theme to the new creation.  The creation waits with eager (αποδεχομαι) longing (Rom. 8.19). αποδεχομαι [apodexomai] refers to an anxious, yet careful and patient waiting–a reservation of knowing something is coming but continuing in patience.  Hope that creation will be set free from corruption to bring glory to the children of God (Rom. 8.20-21).  We wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies, we groan inwardly for the hope that we were saved by (Rom. 8.23-24).  The new creation is unique–hope that is seen is not hope (Rom. 8.24-25).

So, where is heaven and hell? Heaven and hell are physical and not just spiritual.  There is a resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15) and a resurrection of unbelievers (Dan. 12.2; Rev. 20).  Heaven and hell continue to exist after this creation.  The Bible clarifies that heaven and hell continue after the moment God commands the cosmos to be “rolled up like a scroll” (Is. 34.4), to “disappear with a roar” (2 Pt. 3.10), and to “melt in the heat” (2 Pt. 3.12).  This of it this way: suppose I have a paper with the image of Dante’s universe on it.  It’s two dimensional (for the analogy to work I need to remove a dimension). If I crumble up the piece of paper the external dimensions where I am do not crumble up too.  I can crumble the paper with those dimensions and still not be affected by it.

May 11th, 2012

The Big Crunch and the Bible

by Max Andrews

The universe was created 13.73 billion years ago.  At about 10-44 seconds after the big bang inflation kicked in and underwent a period of rapid inflation (expansion, this inflation force is thought to be dark energy depicted in Einstein’s lambda term (the cosmological constant) in the right hand side of his field equation describing the energy momentum of the universe.) The cosmological constant is a characteristic of the spacetime fabric of the universe related to its stretching energy (space energy density—commonly referred to as dark energy).  The more the universe expends, the greater this stretching energy becomes.[1]  When the spacetime fabric stretches, the bodies of masses, such as galaxies, move farther apart by the stretching of space.  The cosmological constant is in effect a pulling property that works against gravity.  Since creation, the cosmological constant’s effect has been increasing.  Initial expectations were for the expansion to slow down and for the universe to collapse back in on itself.  For instance, when a ball is tossed in the air its speed slows down and the ball falls to the ground.