The Daily Word of Righteousness

Six Unscriptural Traditions, continued

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10—NIV)

There is no passage of the Scriptures that teaches the Lord is coming to take His Church to Heaven. Imagine! One of our basic statements is not found in the Scriptures. Actually, the purpose of the Lord's return is to install His Kingdom on the earth; to establish justice among the saved nations. This is taught clearly by numerous passages.

Heaven is not our eternal home. We shall be with the Lord on the earth when He governs from Jerusalem ("so shall we ever be with the Lord"). We shall be with the Lord forever on the new earth. We all agree with this. Why then do we speak of making the spirit Heaven our eternal home? This is Gnosticism!

There are a few verses (not many!) in the New Testament that portray the deceased saints in the spirit realm. None of them describes the paradise reported to us by those who have had near-death experiences. We do not discredit these near-death experiences but take hope from them. However, the tremendous evil forces of our day require that we hold steadfastly to the written Word, for it is the Word that is our only reliable anchor and judge of the spirits.

The commonly held notion that we shall receive our reward when we go to Heaven also is a product of Gnostic thinking. The Bible does not teach that we shall receive our reward when we go to Heaven but when the Lord returns. This fact can be demonstrated readily from the Scriptures.

Some may not agree with the author's contention that we Evangelicals do not believe the physical body will be raised from the dead. But it is a fact. Our traditions describe our dropping our sinful body and rising to find our eternal rest in Heaven. This is pure Gnosticism. Paul did not groan for escape to the spirit realm but for the redemption of his body, the very opposite of Gnosticism.

Paul desired to be with the Lord (who wouldn't in his circumstances?). But the only groaning Paul did was for the redemption of his physical body. Think of it!

The hope of the resurrection of our body from the dead and the clothing of it with incorruptible life is a central aspect of the Divine redemption. The resurrection of the physical body is vastly more significant and important than "going to Heaven."

The Gnostic influence has relegated the doctrine of the resurrection to a place of minimal or no importance while the thought of the "catching up" of the saints to Heaven has become the blessed hope of the Church. My Brother and Sister in the Lord, the catching up of the saints to Heaven never has been and never shall be the blessed hope of the Church. We are drifting away from our scriptural moorings. Our traditions are leading us ever further from scriptural truth.

Can you imagine such a departure from the Scriptures? Can't you just see Jesus Christ and His Apostles emphasizing the "catching up" in their statements? Imagine Paul stating he was seeking to attain the "catching up." We are way off base in this, thanks to the occult philosophy of Gnosticism.

To be continued.