The Daily Word of Righteousness

Fifty-two Kingdom Concepts, #45

He said to them, "When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.'" (Luke 11:2—NIV)

It is absolutely amazing that we should be so familiar with the idea of going to Heaven when we die, of making our eternal home there, when nothing of the kind appears anywhere in the Scripture.

For how many centuries have the Christian churches prayed, "Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on the earth as it is in Heaven"? Did we have any idea what we were asking?

We go to a funeral. The minister talks about how wonderful it is to be in Heaven. Then we all pray "Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on the earth as it is in Heaven." I think this inconsistency is termed compartmentalized thinking. This means we keep inconsistent ideas in two separate areas of our mind.

Is there a Heaven? Of course! God, the holy angels, and the saints are there as far as we know. Actually the Scriptures do not speak much of what it is like in Heaven.

We Christians have an extensive mythology concerning Heaven, part of our thinking being based on near-death experiences of various believers.

I have no doubt people have seen their loved ones in a glorious, park-like setting.

But what people describe is not Heaven as such, but Paradise. Paradise at one time was on the earth. Deep in our adamic consciousness is the memory of the garden where we were created. Without realizing it, we do not want to go to Heaven and stand on a sea of glass, we really desire to return to the garden where man was created.

You might wonder, "If Paradise is in the third Heaven now, and it indeed is, why does it make any difference whether we want to go to Heaven or to Paradise?"

The reason is, Paradise was on the earth at one time, was withdrawn to Heaven, and will return to earth after the Lord Jesus Christ and His saints cleanse the earth from sin.

What we really desire is to return to an earth from which the Divine curse has been removed. We want to live on a glorified earth, not in Heaven with the angels. We were not created there and would not be satisfied there.

Of course, we want to be where the Lord Jesus is. He walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. Christ will be seated on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and we want to be there.

The reason we shall be raised from the dead is so we will be able to live once again on the earth, not so we can pick up our body from its place of interment and then return to Heaven, the home of the angels. We would not desire that if it were offered to us, once we have seen what the earth will be like after the Lord and his saints have removed all wicked influences.

What God is creating now is a Kingdom, a government. The purpose of the government of Christ is to remove sin from the earth, and then to prevent its return. This is why we have to overcome sin and rebellion in our own personality before we can be permitted to be part of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

To be continued.