(Do you love Heaven or Jesus?)


Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (I John 1:3,4)
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (I John 14:3—NKJV)

“That where I am, there you may be also.” By trying to make Christianity like other religions, emphasizing the need to escape Hell and go to Heaven, we have missed the point. The Good News is that God, Who through the Lord Jesus Christ created all that exists, wants to have fellowship with His children. To this end, He sent the Lord Jesus as a Man to make an atonement for our sins, and to reconcile us to God. God desires a close personal relationship with each individual who will receive Him. God is a Spirit, but Christ is a Man, and through Christ, God can reveal Himself to us as our Father.

How wonderful to know our Father and to realize that we are His children! Jesus came to bring us to His God and our God, to His Father and our Father.

“That where I am, there you may be also.” Where is Jesus? He dwells in the center of the Father’s Person and will. This is where each one of us belongs—in the center of the Father’s Person and will.

That has little or nothing to do with Heaven. Sin began in Heaven. There is war in the heavenlies. Heaven is filled with angels, cherubim, seraphim, and other creatures of which we know little. Heaven is not the original home of man nor is it the future home of man.

The spirit world is an exceedingly vast area. All the people who have been born on the earth are there, in a wonderful area or in an area of pain. The Gospel has little to do with Heaven. Search the New Testament and see how many times it speaks of our going to Heaven.

Our goal is to know Christ, and then the Father, as Christ reveals the Father to us.

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3)

I do not remember ever hearing anyone speak of having fellowship with the Father. Have you heard someone talk about fellowship with the Father? One problem here is that the doctrine of the Trinity appears to emphasize that there are three equal gods, or that the one God appears in three forms. So our understanding of fellowship being with the Father and the Son becomes a trifle cloudy.

I like what Jesus said: “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” This simplifies the relationship and fellowship to me. Jesus is our elder Brother. God is His God and His Father, and our God and our Father. That is simple to understand and clear to me.

When we pray “Our Father,” we are including the Lord Jesus as One who is praying along with us. Did you ever think of that?

I can see the signs that point to chaos in our country. I believe it is going to be difficult for us Americans from here on out. I have read somewhere that detention camps are being built throughout our country to detain terrorists. I read also that those who do not believe in abortion are listed as terrorists, which means, I guess, that some day they might be incarcerated for no reason other than they do not believe in abortion-on-demand.

It is difficult to believe that such a thing could be. But I have read that the Jews in Germany did not at first perceive Adolph Hitler as any kind of a threat. I guess they thought he was some kind of fool. By the time they realized what was happening in Germany, it was too late for them to do anything about it. Could that happen in America? I do not know, but it may be possible.

I am not writing this in terms of politics, but in terms of our survival as Christian people. I think we need to wake up to the fact that there are numerous people in our country who do not have the same values we do. We no longer are a melting pot, but a multicultural society, in which each culture is vying for power and advantage.

All of which brings me to the idea of fellowship with God and with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The idea that God gave His Son that we might escape Hell and go to Heaven is a long-standing premise of the Christian Gospel. But it is misleading. It assuredly is not the emphasis of the Old Testament or the New Testament.

In the Old Testament, much is said about punishment for sin. Little is said about escaping Hell and going to Paradise in Heaven. The punishment for disobedience to God often was war or famine.

In the New Testament, little is said about escaping Hell and going to Paradise in Heaven. Read the New Testament through and see for yourself whether this is true.

Jesus mentioned Hell, but He spoke mainly about eternal life, the resurrection of the dead, and the Kingdom of God. The Apostles followed along the same line. Also, Jesus and His Apostles taught us how to behave. When Paul spoke about what would happen to us if we continued to walk in the sinful nature, he mentioned spiritual death and that we would not inherit the Kingdom of God.

I am not certain Paul even mentioned Hell in all of his epistles.

I would say the most important topic of the New Testament is the Lord Jesus and our finding a new life through Him. By finding a new life, I do not mean an improvement over the life we have at this time. I mean His own Life replacing our life as we are crucified with Him.

God desires to create a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9), of which the Lord Jesus is the Head, whom He can use to remove the curse from the present earth, fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord, and govern the nations of the earth in justice and righteousness.

If we are to be qualified to accomplish God’s purposes as members of the royal priesthood, we must be born again, delivered from sin and rebellion against God’s will, have our adamic personality replaced with the Virtue of Christ, and then be filled with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We cannot possibly bring about the new world of righteousness that God has planned until we become an entirely new creation.

When all men have been judged, then God will remove the present earth and sky and replace them with a new sky and a new earth. The new earth will be populated with saved people from the nations of the earth—with the “sheep,” we might say.

The royal priesthood will continue to govern from the new Jerusalem. This is the Kingdom of God. It will expand forever. I believe that the people soon will be too many in number to live on the new earth. I believe colonies will be established on the new stars, which will shine with the Glory of Christ, not nuclear fusion.

Before God could implement His plan, Christ had to die for our sins. Then God had to bring into being a Body for Christ who could govern with Him. When Christ, Head and Body, have descended to the new earth, there then will be the nucleus of a righteous government God can trust to govern the unlimited populations of people He has in mind to create.

All evil, sin, rebellion, and self-seeking must be removed completely from mankind. Man is to be made in the image of God. God will have no more rebellions, and that is why He will remove the present earth and heavens. They are contaminated as far as God is concerned.

His plan is to make all things new, not all new things. This means that all that is not in the image of Christ will be removed and destroyed, and Christ continually will be enlarged until the entire creation of God reflects the Lord Jesus. But the world will not consist of new things, rather of the things to which we are accustomed made new in Christ.

The great Day of Atonement, of reconciliation to God, has begun in our time. We are required to confess and renounce our sins, turning away from them diligently. As far as I know, the work of reconciliation will continue forever—throughout the endless ages to come. This is necessary because individuals, having wills of their own, may at any time decide they wish to follow their own wills rather than that of Christ.

One such rebellious person has the potential to ruin the new world of righteousness. Provision will be made to renew that person in Christ. However, incorrigibles who have exhausted God’s attempts to reconcile them to Himself, will be thrown into the Lake of Fire to be with all those who are the enemies of Christ.

This may seem harsh and unloving to some. But it is better that willful people be removed from the new world of righteousness than it being necessary for God to be forced to institute another six thousand years of instruction!

But let us look at the big picture. God is enlarging Himself through Jesus Christ so He can contact, through His priesthood, all of the people whom He has created. Remember, God is love. God so loved the world that He gave His Son to die and live on our behalf.

Not only are we saved by the death of the Son, but also by His Life. His Life is in His body and blood which have been multiplied, just like the loaves and fish, until there is enough for all who are willing to partake. In the body and blood of Christ, there is resurrection Life. We humans, the children of Adam, live by means of our blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood. It is not eternal; it is corruptible. But the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ is eternal and incorruptible. We must partake of Christ continually if we are to live so as to please God. We partake of Christ as we live in daily communion with Him, renouncing and turning away from sin.

In view of the difficult days ahead, we must learn to live by the Life of the Lord Jesus. It will not be enough to say we have accepted Christ and believe in Christ. We must be crucified and alive with Him if we are to survive and help other to survive.

We are to learn today how to live by the Life of Jesus. We do this by calling on the Lord for His help as soon as we awaken in the morning. Then continually, throughout the day and night, we are to talk to the Lord Jesus; ask for His help; thank Him for the solutions to our problems He provides. Christ is to be our constant companion, our best friend.

The Lord Jesus is alive. You will discover that as you enter His Life. Confess your sins when they are pointed out to you, and ask Jesus to help you turn away from them for eternity. You don’t have to sin. Nothing can force you to sin. Jesus will deliver you from sin if you ask Him.

Jesus wants you to be where He is, in the center of God’s Person. He loves you far more than you love Him. The Father loves you more than you love Him. They would like very much for you to return their love by walking in Their Presence at all times.

“That you may be with Me where I am.” Heaven and Hell will take care of themselves once you decide to live by the Life of Jesus, and always to be close to Him, and through Him to the Father.

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (I John 1:3,4)

(“Fellowship with God”, 3389-1, proofed 20211009)

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