Randy Alcorn answers questions about heaven – Millennium or New Earth

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (epm.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world. Randy is a best-selling author of over 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle and the 2002 Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written numerous articles for magazines such as Discipleship Journal, Moody, Leadership, New Man, and The Christian Reader. He produces the quarterly issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives, and has been a guest on more than 600 radio and television programs including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, The Bible Answer Man, Revive Our Hearts, Truths that Transform and Faith Under Fire. (from VIMEO)
See –

  1. Watching from heaven & Is there sorrow in heaven?

Millennium or New Earth

How do we know what parts of the Old Testament prophecies applies to the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 60 & Isaiah 65:17-19)? How do you know what applies to the millennial kingdom?

Turn to Isaiah 60, I think this is a great passage. Now, Isaiah 65, which I’ll mention, as you’re turning to Isaiah 60, says:

17 “For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
    and her people to be a gladness.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
    and the cry of distress.

So, it’s new heavens and new earth. So the question is: How can we distinguish when it’s talking about new heavens and new earth from when it might be talking, in essence, about a millennial kingdom? Well, it’s talking about new heavens and new earth. We know this because it says it is. But, then, what happens in verse 20?

20 No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

What? There’s death! I mean, there’s long life, it will be nice talking about a time that will be much better, but it won’t be perfect, cause there’s still death in the world. This happens in prophecy all the time, where the prophet is looking forward to an era, but sometimes that era is the ultimate, which is the new earth- no more death, no more pain, no more sin in the world.

Now, if you are of the persuasion of the literal millennial kingdom, and again, that’s not required for orthodoxy, there are very amillenial people who are godly in their beliefs. But, if you believe in a literal millennial kingdom, then you would say, „Oh, it looks like now he’s talking about the millennium. Because it will be much better than, but it won’t be perfect, and there’ll still be death. Then it says they will build houses, they will dwell in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

So, should we be thinking of millennium, or should we be thinking of new earth? Well… cause we’ve got both right there. He starts by saying ‘new earth’, he’s talking about it and now he’s this, and that sounds like that just needs to be restricted to the millennium. Well, the building houses and dwelling in them, planting vineyards and eating their fruit could apply to either or both. Now, a lot of people say, „Well, that could only be millennium, because obviously on the new earth, we won’t build houses and dwell in them. There won’t be vineyards on the new earth. There won’t be eating on the new earth…. Well, yeah! There will be. So this could easily apply, the building of houses and all. „Yeah, but Jesus is gonna prepare a place for us.” Sure, but that place is brought down to the new earth. Do you think any of us will use skills and architecture and design, and building and contributing to the development of Godly Christ centered culture. We are exercising dominion over the earth as we reign over the earth. Sure, that would be doing all that to the glory of God. That would make sense. And you have verse 22:

22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

Then you’ve got verse 25

The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Millenium or new earth? Well, arguably both. But I think the most obvious interpretation would be new earth. Why? Because he started this by saying, „I’m talking about the new earth, and sometimes we move into what might be millennial. But, now, when he is talking about the wolf and the lamb lying down together and eating grass like an ox, no more harm and destruction … Well, doesn’t that sound more like the new earth, because what’s gonna happen at the end of the millennium? Rebellion, sin, conquest of Christ, judgment, so there is still some harm, yet to come. There is still some death, yet to come in the millennium. Yet, this is talking about a time where there’s gonna be no more death. So, I  think that’s the proper, that’s the best understanding: That it’s primarily new earth, with maybe a secondary application to millennium.

From a video on Vimeo which is no longer available.

Read another article about this subject:

  1. Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

Randy Alcorn answers questions about heaven – Watching from heaven

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (epm.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world. Randy is a best-selling author of over 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle and the 2002 Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written numerous articles for magazines such as Discipleship Journal, Moody, Leadership, New Man, and The Christian Reader. He produces the quarterly issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives, and has been a guest on more than 600 radio and television programs including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, The Bible Answer Man, Revive Our Hearts, Truths that Transform and Faith Under Fire. (from VIMEO)

Watching from Heaven

Is there sorrow in heaven? Short answer – no more sorrow is in the new heaven and new earth, not the present heaven, as God presently sorrows with His people (martyrs, etc.)

Randy Alcorn: Will believers in the intermediate heaven experience sorrow over what is happening on earth, especially with their families on earth?

One of the things that I would say is that God, in heaven, experiences sorrow for His suffering people on earth. We see this in Exodus, in God’s deep concern for the people of Israel is going through. Sorrow is not utterly incompatible with the PRESENT heaven. When Jesus says to Paul, and he’s still Saul, He says, „Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Well, he was persecuting God’s people, but Jesus was taking it personally. And so, the heart of God, the martyrs who are in heaven now, crying out, „How long, o Lord?” before you bring punishment on those who murdered us, before you bring justice?”

So, the promise for no more sorrow, no more death is in the world where there is no more sin. That promise comes in Revelation 21:4- that is in the new heaven and the new earth. Not the present heaven, where there is sorrow, because God sorrows, there is some sense of recognition, at least, of sin and evil and suffering in the world, by the martyrs. Now, are people in heaven happier than people on earth? Absolutely, to depart of being with Christ, the perspective giving nature of that is great. But, I think that a lot of people argue the wrong way, because they say, „No one in heaven could possibly know what’s going on down here on earth, because they would be overwhelmed with sorrow. God’s in heaven. He’s not overwhelmed by sorrow. God is a happy God: Enter into your master’s happiness. The angels can be happy, even though they see the sin on earth. So, don’t think that ignorance is this virtue that God must place upon us, so that we’re out of touch with the realities of earth. The unfolding drama of redemption is going on down here on earth.

Now, somebody else asked, related to that, can people in heaven really see what’s going on on earth? Well, we know the martyrs are asking the question, „How long, o Lord, before yo bring judgment?” They’re not asking, „Lord, have you, yet, brought judgment, down there on earth, on these people?” No, „how long before you do?” Meaning,  they know He hasn’t. The implication is they know what’s going on. They’re saying, „Well, why haven’t You yet brought judgment?” So, there’s knowledge. Luke 15 is an example of a passage where you have the lost coins and the lost sheep. And twice, in Luke 15, before it gets to the parable of the lost son, the prodigal son, twice, it says, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of heaven whenever a sinner repents.

Now, it’s very interesting language because it would have been very easy for Jesus to say, „And the angels in heaven rejoice, every time a sinner repents.” But, it’s not what He says, He says there’s rejoicing in the presence of the angels, well, God’s in the presence of the angels, God’s rejoicing, but who else in living in the presence of the angels? The people of God who have died, and gone to be with the Lord. So, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels, not only by the angels, but in the presence of the angels, presumably by the people of God. And many of those people will have prayed for this person, who has repented and come to faith. So that would be an example of people in heaven, knowing what’s going on down on earth. In that case, knowing a very good thing that’s happened on earth.

Could people in heaven have known him, when that person wasn’t loving jesus? Could people in heaven have prayed for the person on earth? Yes, by all means. I mean, that’s really what the martyrs are doing. In a sense, they’re interceding for all those who are suffering, for the persecutors- „Lord, bring judgment on them, so other people don’t suffer.” That’s a way of prayer.

Do not get this confused: Were not talking about us praying to the saints in heaven. That’s a totally different thing. There is only one mediator between man and God, the mediator, Jesus Christ. You only pray to Him, you don’t pray to saints in heaven. But, the question is: Do the saints in heaven pray for us? And that, I think, is a greater possibility. Certainly, to the extent that they see what’s going on, why wouldn’t they? I mean, righteous people, people who love God pray and they intercede for those in need. So, righteous people in heaven would be more effective in their prayer.

From a video on Vimeo which is no longer available.

Read another article about this subject:

  1. Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

 

 

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