Archive for the ‘End times’ Category


New York, New Jersey, New Earth

June 24, 2010

I was thinking about the verses in Matthew 24 (35), Mark 13 (31) and Luke 21 (33) that I tend to skip over — the ones that say heaven and earth will pass away — when the Holy Spirit said out of the blue, “Think New York.”

I had been thinking about this planet being devastated, the mountains lowered, valleys raised, oceans evaporated, plant and animal life dead and rotted, even the elements melted. And wondering how long it would take to make parts of it habitable again, after Jesus brought us all back again. What a mess to clean up.

I Thessalonians 4:15-17 says those believers still alive when he returns will meet the resurrected dead ones in the sky. Some people believe we’ll all be in heaven for a while after that (7 years, or maybe 3-1/2 years), then be brought back with Jesus after he wins the last big battle with his enemies.

But I wonder about that – why bring the two divisions of Christians together in the air, one being the spirits of deceased believers coming down from heaven to reunite with their reconstructed physical remains, the other being the live believers going to heaven without having to die first?

It makes more sense to me if the two are meeting simply because Jesus is collecting the whole group to move us somewhere safe here on the planet earth. And after that, we’ll have a thousand years to learn how to manage the planet the right way, considering the lousy job human beings have done of that so far.

But those verses about heaven and earth passing away — and II Peter 3:10 about the very elements burning up — is that before or after the thousand years of peace? I haven’t made up my mind about the timetable.

In any case, I have thought all along, whenever I thought about it, that the new heaven (atmosphere, air) and new planet would be located right on top of the old ones. Archeologists often find cities built atop ruins of former cities, sometimes three or four cities deep as they dig. That’s the way I always thought, until the other day.

“Think New York,” he said. Hmmm.

New York was not constructed on top of the old, original York. It’s not even in the same continent. Likewise New Jersey. They are very distant, completely removed from the old country. They were built new, in a new country, on a new continent. A fresh start, just with reminiscent, memorial names.

New Earth. Different solar system? Different galaxy? A city called New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, it says in Revelation 21, and settles on New Earth. City… or city-shaped ship…? Headquarters, moving from heaven onto New Earth.

Interesting to think about.


Immortal – why I like the Twilight saga

December 21, 2009

During the 1000 year period when Jesus is governing the planet, will heaven still exist? Will it be occupied by anyone or anything? If everyone in heaven up to that point returns to earth with Jesus, that is. That point hasn’t been cleared up for me yet, because some people in heaven might still be young children and bringing them back to a war zone doesn’t seem logical to me.

While thinking about that several other questions came up.

Who will be alive on earth when Jesus returns? Unchanged, mortal human beings. Men, women and children. Believers and non-believers.

What will happen to them when they die? And die they will, surely. The new heaven and new earth don’t merge into one until after that 1000 years, the way I read Revelation. The laws of physics that operate here on earth now, will no doubt operate here on earth during that time span. So, people will be born into physical bodies which eventually die. Since the present heaven was created for body-less believers, I think it will be necessary for a while yet.

When the believers in heaven return to earth with Jesus, what will they be like? Well, the mortals will have put on immortality; their bodies will be changed as Jesus’ earthly body was changed. Their new immortal physical abilities will be like his abilities.

When I read the Twilight books for the first time, what I liked the most wasn’t the good-guy vampires versus the bad-guy vampires story line, or the romance story line. It was the vampires’ physical transformation from mortal to immortal, with the resulting new abilities permitting them to survive in a hostile environment.

I’ve read many vampire stories this year and watched several television series, since getting interested in Twilight. I noted major and minor differences in the authors’ concepts, vampire abilities and weaknesses, even transformation methods. I’ve read opinion pieces on why most Christians don’t like the stories. And what people have believed or not believed throughout history — do these creatures exist? Are they totally myth, imaginary, or not?

One thing I know from personal experience, the supernatural isn’t fiction. This planet we inhabit has more than human inhabitants, and I don’t mean plants and animals that are visible to the eye. I’ve met a few of them and they are not pleasant. They are hostile. They don’t like the fact that we’re here and that Jesus plans to set up his headquarters here, permanently. And one really important fact about them: they are immortal, already.

I like Twilight because the stories give me a glimpse of what being an immortal good guy in a hostile environment might be like in the future. Training goes on in heaven today, training of immortal human beings to fight and defeat non-human immortals one future day here on earth. As I read about special gifts of individual vampires and about the unique ability that Bella had to train in using, I saw a similarity.

Of course these books have been somewhat sanitized. Vicious, inhuman, horrible combat and torture is not described graphically, yet it does go on in the world and will in the future. I don’t need to have it described in bloody detail to know about it and I’m glad the author didn’t include those details. There’s enough about the conflict, mortal versus immortal, immortal versus immortal, to earn my interest and my appreciation.