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Heaven Series--Surprise #1: Heaven Has A Physical Dimension!

Heaven Series God's Care Heaven

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-12-24

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:3

Author: Mitchell Dillon
7

ILLUSTRATION

One of the most pervasive misperceptions about Heaven is that it is a purely ethereal, non-physical place—a place where disembodied spirits float around in an immaterial dimension, presumably playing harps! Some don’t even consider it a place at all, but have reduced it to a state of mind!

But this is not the Heaven described in the Bible.

Perhaps the strongest argument for a physical dimension to Heaven is the fact that Jesus is there right now, physically, in His resurrected body. And it’s not just Jesus who took a body with him into Heaven; the Bible tells us that Enoch and Elijah were also transported there in their physical bodies (Hebrews 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11). 

So the Bible makes it clear that there are at least three people presently in Heaven who have a human, physical form. This strongly suggests that there must be a dimension to Heaven that makes accommodation for embodied people—that it’s not just an ethereal, non-physical place.

Adding a bit more food for thought is the fact that the Bible describes the Tree of Life (pun intended), first mentioned as being physically present in the earthly Garden of Eden, as now physically existing and producing fruit in Heaven.

Reason also supports the idea of a physical dimension to Heaven. Consider the following illustration:

Let’s say you’ve been invited to have dinner at the mansion of a friend who happens to be incredibly wealthy, with maids and butlers and cooks available at his beckoned call.

On the night of the engagement, as you’re in route, your car suddenly starts to sputter and then comes to an abrupt halt, stranding you nearly a mile from your destination. So you decide to walk the rest of the way.

With just a couple of blocks to go you hear a loud thunder clap, and the next thing you know you’re overtaken by high winds and driving rain.

As you bolt to get out of the torrential downpour, you stumble and take a hard spill on the sidewalk, badly scraping your knee. Moments later you arrive, soaked through to the bone and bleeding. Your host, happy to see you, quickly ushers you in from the storm.

But then your friend does the most bizarre thing. Actually, it’s what he doesn’t do that’s so surprising. Although he sees your terrible condition, and hears your shoes squishing and squeaking as you pass through the foyer, he makes no effort to respond to your obvious needs. No towel with which to dry off is offered, no clothes to replace the ones that are torn and wet, and no bandage is forthcoming for your injured knee. Instead, he invites you directly to the dining room where you spend the rest of the evening in his lovely home over a sumptuous meal, all the while dripping, shivering, and bleeding.

APPLICATION

Here’s the point: The expectation most people have of Heaven bears an important similarity to the way the guest was treated by his thoughtless host. For although we anticipate God ushering us into the most amazing accommodations imaginable, most of us don’t expect that He will pay much attention to our physical condition. After all, it won’t just be warm clothing or a bandage for a scraped knee that we’ll be lacking, but our very bodies!

Think about how utterly absurd it would be to finally stand in the presence of the One Who loves you more than any other, of the One Who promises you a perfect Heaven, and to lack anything, let alone your entire body! Such an idea is not only an insult to God, it demeans Heaven itself—as though Heaven would offer us anything less than what we enjoyed on earth.

The possession of a physical body is a critical component of being human. The notion that we would exist in an incomplete state while in the presence of God makes God less, it makes Heaven less, and it makes us less.

Does this make sense to you? I hope so. But I must also humbly admit that just because something makes sense to me doesn’t mean that it is necessarily true. As the Bible reminds us, "’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8). That being so, we turn to the Scripture for a final word.

There are actually many passages that assert that there are physical dimensions to Heaven, but none address the issue of our need for a physical body as directly as 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (NLT), which reads, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee, he has given us his Holy Spirit.”

Here we have a decisive statement by an Apostle who not only visited Heaven, he came back to tell us “we will not be spirits without bodies.” So, according to these verses, there aren’t just three people with physical bodies in Heaven—rather, every person in Heaven will be made whole and complete

Lenin Looks Great, But ...

God's Care Praise Apologetics

Source: “Thanks to science, Vladimir Lenin looks great at 145,” Published April 27, 2015 Newser

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-12-14

Scripture: Luke 19:40

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

ILLUSTRATION

Newser reports: 

The Soviet Union founder, who died in 1924, would have turned 145 this week, and his mausoleum closed while the preservation team made improvements to his embalmed body.

Their primary goal is maintaining the body's look and feel rather than its original material, Scientific American notes: "They have to substitute occasional parts of skin and flesh with plastics and other materials, so in terms of the original biological matter, the body is less and less of what it used to be," says an expert.

That sets the work apart from processes like mummification, he notes, "where the focus was on preserving the original matter while the form of the body changes." Now, in addition to the skin replacements, Lenin has false eyelashes, and instead of skin fat, researchers have molded a combination of chemicals to keep his skin looking the same.

The body is re-embalmed using a bath of chemicals in alternate years. Lenin has kept scientists busy: During the period between the 1950s and 1980s, as many as 200 experts had jobs maintaining the body, Scientific American notes.

APPLICATION

When you look at the picture of how lifelike Lenin looks, it’s astonishing.

But here’s a thought: It takes 200 experts to keep Lenin looking lifelike, yet it is only a matter of time before they lose that battle.  On the other hand, God infuses actual life into not one, but every single one of us without any help at all.

Thanks to science, Vladimir Lenin looks great at 145.  But thanks to God, you look better!

“I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). 

The World's Most Perfect Food

Grace God's Care Works Salvation

Source: “Scientists think cockroach milk could be the superfood of the future,” Jacinta Bowler, SCIENCE ALERT, JULY 25, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-12-04

Scripture: Romans 5:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
11

ILLUSTRATION

Why would an international team of scientists sequence a protein crystal found in the gut of a cockroach? Jacinta Bowler, with SCIENCE ALERT, explains:

Although most cockroaches don’t actually produce milk, Diploptera punctate, which is the only known cockroach to give birth to live young, has been shown to pump out a type of ‘milk’ containing protein crystals to feed its babies.

The fact that an insect produces milk is pretty fascinating – but what fascinated researchers is the fact that a single one of these protein crystals contains more than three times the amount of energy found in an equivalent amount of buffalo milk (which is also higher in calories than dairy milk).

"The crystals are like a complete food - they have proteins, fats and sugars. If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids," said Sanchari Banerjee, one of the team, in an interview with the Times of India.

Not only is the milk a dense source of calories and nutrients, it’s also time released. As the protein in the milk is digested, the crystal releases more protein at an equivalent rate to continue the digestion.

"If you need food that is calorically high, that is time released and food that is complete. This is it," said Subramanian Ramaswamy, who led the project.

...Now the researchers have the sequence, they are hoping to get yeast to produce the crystal in much larger quantities- making it slightly more efficient (and less gross) than extracting crystals from cockroach’s guts. 

APPLICATION

So, the world’s most perfect food is produced by the world’s most disgusting creature! But why would God do that? Why would He save the world’s most perfect food for baby cockroaches?

Of course, we could just as easily ask why God would save grace, the greatest prize of all, for sinners, the least worthy of such a prize!

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God Watches Over Every Atom

God's Care Fear Apologetics

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-26

Scripture: Colossians 1:17

Author: Richard Swenson / Illustration Exchange
12

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Before My Feet Hit the Ground

Experiencing God God's Care Prayer

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-21

Scripture: Isaiah 26:9 ; Psalms 63:1

Author: Unknown / Illustration Exchange
13

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Making Contact With God

Bible God's Care Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-11

Scripture: Psalms 55:22

Author: Lou Perez / Mitchell Dillon
6

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Dove Super Bowl Ad Celebrates Dad

Fatherhood God the Father God's Care

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-21

Author: Paul Asay / Illustration Exchange
3

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Good Morning Videos Help Comfort Dementia Patients

Aging God's Care Worry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-28

Scripture: Psalms 63:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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No "Hey you!" Savior

Jesus, Savior Names God's Care

Contributed By: Tobey Pitman | Date Posted: 2015-04-16

Scripture: John 20:11

Author: Tobey Pitman
2

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Google Maps Is My Shepherd

Guidance Faith God's Care

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2015-03-20

Scripture: Psalms 23:1 ; John 10:14

Author: Mitchell Dillon
13

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