For the last article of the year I thought I would like to write on something positive. There are so many negative things in the world that perhaps we need some cheering up by focussing on what will be in the future. After all, we have an almost unbelievable inheritance with Christ Jesus in the future. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” I Corinthians 2:9-10.
Our destiny as Christians is to be united with God the Father. He is in heaven. Jesus said of him, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10. God’s will is done in heaven. We wish it would be done on earth. We are to pray that it shall be done here, and it shall be, when Jesus reigns. At the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, Jesus will deliver up his kingdom, which shall take up the whole world, to God the Father. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” I Corinthians 15:24.
God the Father is beyond heaven in his magnitude. Solomon said of him, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” I Kings 8:27. David said of him, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139: 7-10. God the Father dwells in the heaven that is above the heaven that all people are in contact with. The heaven all people are in contact with is the blue sky above us, containing the air we breathe. The apostle James, speaking of Elijah, said, “And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” James 5: 18. That heaven is the first heaven.
I suppose the second heaven is the stars and other celestial bodies above the first heaven. That would be the heaven of heaven spoken of by Solomon. God said to Abraham, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:5-6. The second heaven is so vast that we cannot even imagine it. There are tens of billions of stars in our galaxy and tens of billions of galaxies in our universe. Solomon said even that could not contain God the Father. So, is there a third heaven above the second heaven?
The apostle Paul wrote, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” II Corinthians 12:2-4. Reading this account by Paul, it gives me the impression that the third heaven is something beyond our universe and of such magnitude that it cannot be comprehended by our mortal minds.
Our inheritance in Christ Jesus is beyond anything we can imagine. We are promised that we will inherit all things as children of God. However, we also know that God the Father is beyond all of his creation and all of creation is a mere reflection of his glory. To know him is something that would be unbelievable, but it has been handed to us freely by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is love beyond any love we can understand. Rejoice in his love for you as the year of our Lord 2016 comes to an end.