What Will Heaven Look Like?

James Preston 2 7:30 AM
Back in 2011 I wrote a two-part series on the controversy surrounding Rob Bell's book "Love Wins".  In case you missed it, I'd encourage you to read Part 1 and Part 2 here.  I didn't want to write a review of the book or write a theological response to its critics.  Instead, I wanted to share my sadness at the reactions of Christians.  The ones who are meant to profess a life of "love your neighbour as yourself".

I have finally got round to getting my hands on the book and diving in.  At the moment I have about 5 books I could and am keen to read, but since getting my hands on "Love Wins", I have been gripped by Rob Bell's preposition and so have decided this will be my book of choice for the coming weeks.

It really is a gripping read.  The first chapter especially if you are one of those who battles to comes to grips with reconciling a loving God with the eternal damnation of His created children and other such anomalies.  But what has gripped me most in the first 47 pages I have read thus far has not necessarily been his viewpoint on who goes to heaven and who doesn't, but his view of Heaven.

There are a few wildfires of God's revelation sweeping across the planet at the moment.  Among them, Grace, God's Love for mankind, and eschatology.  Eschatology (the study of things related to "the end") is one serious view that I had to shift back in about 2009 when I realised that God is a lot more interested in the outcome of this planet than we think.  I didn't really think that this belief was very widespread.  But then I started hearing it from other circles.  And now from one of Christianity's most talked about books.

It is a stunning paradigm shift from the traditional view of Heaven most Christians have held for the past 50 years or so.  The view that Heaven will be a giant city in the sky with golden streets and majestic mansions for those lucky enough to make it in.

Just one search in Google Images of the word "Heaven" and the typically traditional images appear.  Like this one below...


But it would seem people are realising that there must be more than that...  People are finally using their God-given logic (me included) and joining the dots.  Why would Jesus teach us to pray to make Earth look like Heaven if He was going to destroy Earth with a sulphuric rain of fire in "the end"?  Why would God reveal to John in Revelation that the Earth would be "made new" if it wasn't going to be used in the future?

Rob addresses this subject quite brilliantly in the second chapter of this controversial book.  This alone would be quite controversial for most Christians.  Because for so long we have been made to believe that Heaven is "out there somewhere".  But it would seem God is forcing us to think differently.  He is shifting mindsets in all circles and forcing a shift in how we do things.

Christians should be the most environmentally caring group on the planet!  If we don't get our eschatology right, we will always lag behind those whose only faith is in the world they are living in now.  But what a paradigm shift for us as Christians to have a hope that we get to co-labour with God in "preparing the way" and making this Earth look like Heaven.

Rob addresses this subject fantastically and if you read the book only for this viewpoint, it would be well worth it!  I believe this is a revelation God is stirring all over the world and is one of the most important in these significant days we are living in.

2 comments

Hi James. I read the book just to see what the fuss is all about. Unlike you, I was unimpressed. Rob Bell poses more questions than answers. I've since developed my own "theology" on hell & cannot agree with Rob Bell's "rhetorical" that everyone eventually gets to Heaven...or that is what he seems to be saying...I think

I also listened to a podcast in which Rob Bell was interviewed. Quiet frankly, it was like listening to a politician skirting around providing honest & sincere answers to questions posed.

I also feel that Rob Bell's videos that I've seen are somewhat shallow & too "artsy" for me.

So, obviously I'm not a Rob Bell fan & would much prefer listening to the likes of Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack & Bill Johnson.

Keith du Randt

Hi Keith,

thanks for the comment. I hear what you're saying, Rob is very diplomatic and clearly shies away from confrontation and obviously doesn't like it. A weakness in my opinion.

And I also understand what you are talking about in terms of his work not delving as deeply as other theological scholars. But I think this is the way God created him. Rob Bell is a gifted communicator, and his purpose is to make people think. Which he does very well. In today's day and age of entrenched religiosity, it is imperative that we come to our own conclusions and convictions.

I think we need to be open to people like Rob and celebrate the fact that he is causing us to ask such questions. We should never fear people coming to conclusions that we disagree with.

Good point though and I hear what you are saying! That's for dropping by and leaving a comment.

:-)

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