Thursday, January 10, 2008

Does Heaven Begin Now?

32. How intimate is the connection between Heaven and Earth?


The joy of Heaven does, because Christ is our joy, who tells us "I am with you always, even to the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20, Phillips). We do not now fully appreciate that joy, but it is here, because the very life of Heaven, the very life that flows from the Vine into the branches, is here. If it is not here in us now, it will not be there in us then.


If Heaven is not in us now, we will not be in Heaven forever. For Heaven is where God is. God determines where Heaven is; Heaven does not determine where God is. God contains Heaven; Heaven does not contain God. If God is in our souls now by faith, then the very life of Heaven is here in us now, in seed form. That is what Jesus came to preach about and to give, the focus of all his sermons: "the kingdom of Heaven." It is the "pearl of great price," the thing for which the whole world is far too small a price to pay. And it is free.


33. How do you get to Heaven?


This is the most important question anyone can ask. The answer has already been given: It is free. "Let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price" (Rev. 22:17). Faith is the act of taking.


It sounds crazy, too good to be true. But it makes perfect sense. For God is love. Love gives gifts, gives itself. God gives himself, his own life, membership in his family. We are made "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). For God is pure love, and pure love has no admixture of stinginess in it.



This was published in the Christianity Today book, Tough Questions Christians Ask. Peter Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and the author of more than 40 books
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