I am leading a small group Sunday School class through Randy Alcorn's book on Heaven. We are reading about two chapters each week and then coming together to share what we are learning about the eternal destiny of those that know Jesus. I thought I would take the opportunity each week to blog about what I am learning in this study. This week we read:
- Chapter 13: How Far Reaching Is The Resurrection
- Chapter 14: Where And When Will Our Deliverance Come?
This is one of the chapters that I started to feel Alcorn takes the imagination a bit too far. He makes the point that not only will we survive on this earth after the resurrection, but also some of the things we have done on this earth. He says that what is "done in this life has a direct carryover to the next life" (129).
Now, I agree to some level that our deeds will impact the next life. I can imagine our faithfulness here on earth now will impact what God gives us to do in the New Earth. Faithful in a little, much will be given.
But I just wonder if he takes it a bit too far. He talks about a child's story written out of love for Jesus possibly surviving. Or maybe great works of art or literature or music could survive. He wonders if a piece of furniture that Jesus made in the wood shop with Joseph could survive. It just seems a bit of a stretch to me. I wonder if this book will survive? [Okay, that was a bit of sarcasm].
His point is that thinking like this "elevates resurrection, emphasizing the power of Christ to radically renew mankind--and far more. God promises to resurrect not only humanity but also the creation that fell as a result of our sin" (129).
But the one good point he did make in this chapter is refining our terminology so that it fits with a belief in the resurrection. If someone is in Christ, it might not be good to say, "I'll never see them again" or "That's the last time I'll get to hug that person." It might be better to say, "I can't wait to hug them again in the New Earth." I think that is a helpful terminology change that will bring comfort to us at the death of our loved ones who know Jesus Christ.