On Sunday I spoke about the vision of heaven that we see in Revelation 5, with ranks of angels surrounding Jesus, the Lamb of God, on the throne of heaven. We asked where we fit in this majestic scene and I proposed that we aren’t meant to count ourselves amount the angels serving God in his heavenly throne room. Instead, we are like the friends of Jesus in John 21 in whose hands he places the care of his kingdom in the world until he comes again bringing heaven to earth and making all things new.
Visions of heaven fuel the imagination of every believer. From the Bible, we pick up some idea of what to expect of the life to come and frequently we speculate, in ways that are helpful and unhelpful, to fill in the rest of the details. One of the most useful and encouraging books I have read about the hope we have for heaven is The Heaven Promise: Engaging the Bible’s Truth About the Life to Come by Dr. Scot McKnight, Canon Theologian for our diocese, Churches for the Sake of Others.
The simple premise of the book is that God’s promise of heaven is found throughout scripture and it is sufficient to give us a clear view of the eternal life we anticipate. Not only that, but the promise of heaven is tied to Jesus’ resurrection and the promise of our own resurrection when he returns. McKnight is a knowledgable New Testament scholar who writes in a very approachable style that is grounded in scripture and addresses the concerns that we have about our loved-ones and ourselves.
The Heaven Promise is broken out into easy to read sections, including answers to common questions like, Will there be pets in Heaven? or What about Purgatory? McKnight also includes touching personal stories from those who are facing death or grieving loved ones who have died that are instructive and helpful in forming a faithful personal response in light of what we learn from scripture. Heaven is God’s promise to us. Get The Heaven Promise and deepen your understanding and anticipation for the life to come.