The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Afterlife, #2

But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. (Daniel 10:13)

My thought is, the same may be true in the afterlife. Some of the deceased will be wandering about in gardens of delight while others are engaged in spiritual warfare. Perhaps these are the coming rulers, or members of the army of the Lord.

It is true even today that some Christians are aware of the terrific spiritual struggle taking place, and are preparing themselves for the conflict of the ages, while others are more concerned with whether or not they should add lamb chops to the nightly barbecue.

It strikes me that life on earth is much more similar to what is taking place in the spirit realm than we have thought. This is reasonable, in that the visible scenes of earth are reflecting what is taking place in the heavens. Isn't it so?

We read in the Book of Daniel of the warfare taking place in the spirit world. But it is safe to say that most of the Jewish people in Babylon were unaware of this, and probably did not become aware of the conflict after they died.

I think we have put together a traditional view of the afterlife that may be more wishful thinking than it is scriptural.

My conclusion is that we should maintain our hope of Heaven, and at the same time be listening to Jesus so we are not unaware of the present struggle against evil spirits and of our need for preparation for the return of Christ and the Battle of Armageddon.

Many years ago I became conscious that the goal of salvation is not eternal residence in Heaven. There simply is no scriptural support for this ancient tradition. The truth is, the Kingdom of God is to be installed on the earth.

I know this may come as a shock to many. But I invite you to read through the Old and New Testaments and find as many verses as you can that teach clearly to be saved is to go to Heaven to live forever.

Actually our goal is to inherit the Kingdom of God, which is a state of being rather than a place. There are two objectives mentioned in the New Testament that are related to inheriting the Kingdom of God. The two objectives are: first, to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus; second, to be one in Christ in the Father, and They in us. Notice that both of these objectives are states of being and are true of us whether we are in Heaven or on the earth. They are not movements to a special place.

Lately I have been pondering what it will be like after we die and pass into the spirit realm. The parks, mansions, flowers, peace, and safety we associate with Heaven are not described in the Scriptures, Old Testament or New.

The Old Testament speaks of the peaceable kingdom, but it is referring to the earth.

The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:8,9)

Another passage sometimes referred to is actually speaking of the people of the saved nations while they are living on the new earth.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

To be continued