Set Your Hearts

Set Your Hearts

Daily Reading: (Colossians 3:1-2):

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

One of the interesting personal discoveries I made was the more I read about how awesome Heaven is the more disconnected I felt to the world. In some ways, that’s a good thing, why treasure stuff on earth that won’t last? Why should I get worked up when someone has rear-ended me in the line to drop my kids off at school when no one was injured? There are many things that we could plug in here that we experience each day. When our minds are not on the things of the Earth, we are enabled to have the proper perspective of earthly matters. But the problem for me was that the more I read about Heaven, the more my excitement for my daily living seemed to be affected. I knew this wasn’t God’s desire for my life even living in a fallen world. There is so much that God does each day that is magnificent and should lead to our worship. I have never seen the same sunset. His creation is breath-taking, awe-inspiring. Each day offers us so much and then who knows what tomorrow holds? So, because excitement waned, I must have been missing something about my heavenly thoughts. This is where our text comes into play this morning. Get ready to be blessed by the Word!

Colossians 3:1-2 says: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

There are some very crucial things here. First of all, this might seem like a no-brainer, but someone who does not believe in Jesus shouldn’t be dreaming about Heaven one day. Until they receive Jesus and the sacrifice that He made for them on the cross, Heaven will not be their reality. It would be foolish to think they will make it based on their good living. So, setting our minds on things above is for those who have been raised in Christ and all that means, including our eternal destination.

“Set your hearts on things above”, what does that cause you to think of? This is where I had mistakenly just thought about Heaven. It is great to look forward to where we are going but the idea of enjoying the pearly gates and streets of gold, etc… is not what this verse is referring to.

This phrase to “set our hearts on things above” is actually attached to the phrase that comes before it, “since, then, you have been raised with Christ.” The Greek word for “raised” is (synegeirō)- and it means: raise up together from mortal death to a new and blessed life dedicated to God. 

This teaches us three things that in Christ you have been: 1) raised to new life 2) given a blessed life 3) and your life is dedicated to God. Your life is blessed and it is new and it is distinctly different from who you were before your salvation. Your new blessed life is dedicated to God, meaning it is a life of purpose. This is where excitement should come when we set our hearts on these things.

I can still think about Heaven and picture how wonderful it will be but I also can marvel at what wonderful things God has planned in advance for me to do on Earth (Ephesians 2:10). 

As Colossians 3 becomes our daily experience the Kingdom’s reign of righteousness, joy, and peace (Romans 14:17) will be ours on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Every Spiritual Blessing

Every Spiritual Blessing

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 1:3):

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

Normally what I do to help bring clarity to a text is to look at a verse’s context but in this instance all we have that comes before it is Paul’s address to the Ephesians. What this means is that the very first thing that Paul wants the Ephesians to know after his address to them is that God has blessed them in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ and then from this starting point, he will go on to explain what that means for them and for us.

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that there is not a single spiritual blessing that isn’t yours right now in Christ.

“Has blessed us”

It is a done deal, in Christ you are blessed. You didn’t earn your salvation it was a gift of His grace, in the same way, you don’t work for forgiveness, holiness, righteousness, peace, or any blessing. God who freely gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? Everything we need for life and godliness has already been provided for you in Jesus (2 Peter 1:3).

 “Blesses us” comes from the Greek word eulogeō[1]  which means to bestow blessing on, to be favored of God. In Christ this is what you are, you are immensely blessed. No matter what happens to you, the good, the bad, the ugly, God’s favor goes with you through your life. You have been blessed in your past, and you are being blessed now in your present, and your future contains His blessings over you.

Now when you put the “He has blessed us in the heavenly realms” together people can misinterpret this as being that my blessings are all waiting for me on the other side of eternity, in the heavenly realms. Maybe you have heard a pastor say, “just grin and bear whatever comes your way because you have an eternal reward waiting for you one day.” Is that what this means here? No, it’s not. Paul would say in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” While it’s true that even the bad things we experience are working together for our good (Romans 8:28), and that we have God’s favor upon us even during momentary troubles, that is not the point of Ephesians 1:3.

The Word for heavenly realms “epouranios” is an adjective meaning existing in Heaven or things that take place in Heaven.[2]  The blessings that exist in Heaven belong to us now on Earth in Christ. This makes sense when you read later in the same letter to the Ephesians, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Ephesians 2:6 is describing your present position in Christ which reinforces the point that we are blessed with what takes place in Heaven “every spiritual blessing”.

The context of Ephesians 1:3 begins to shine as you work through the chapter. Paul doesn’t give a nice-sounding phrase, ”spiritual blessings” and then leaves us to figure out what those are. The rest of the chapter is all about what those spiritual blessings are and what they mean for us who are living on Earth. There are 15 spiritual blessings that Paul lists directly after Ephesians 1:3:

Blessing #1: Chosen Before the Foundation of the World (v.4)

Blessing #2: You are Holy and Blameless (v.4)

Blessing #3: In His Love (v.4)

Blessing #4: Predestined to Adoption (v.5)

Blessing #5: Accepted in the Beloved (v.6)

Blessing #6: Redemption through His Blood (v.7)

Blessing #7: Forgiveness of Sins (v.7)

Blessing #8: Riches of His Grace Abound To You (v.7-8)

Blessing #9: Made Known to You the Mystery of His Will (v.9)

Blessing #10: Obtained An Eternal Inheritance (v.11)

Blessing #11: Heard the Word of Truth (v.13)

Blessing #12: Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise (v.13)

Blessing #13: You Know the Hope of His Calling (v.18)

Blessing #14: You are the Riches of His Inheritance (v.18)

Blessing #15: The Exceeding Greatness of His Power (v.19-20)


[1] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2127/niv/mgnt/0-1/

[2] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2032/kjv/tr/0-1/

On Earth, As It Is In Heaven

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Daily Reading: (Matthew 6:9-13):

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

The Lord’s Prayer is not a New Covenant prayer. When Jesus taught this prayer, His disciples lived under the dispensation of the Law. However, the first three petitions of this prayer remain for us today.

Petition #1 “‘Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name”

These first two words would have blown everyone away. In all the personal prayers that we find in the Old Testament, God is addressed in many different ways, but never as ‘our Father’. 

Jesus said in John 17:5-6a: “And now, Father, (underline emphasis is mine) glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed. I have revealed Your name to those You have given Me out of the world.

In His prayer, Jesus revealed what would come for us who believe in Him. Through His death, adoption into the family of God, God would be forever known as our Father (Romans 8:15).

What we pray for first and foremost “hallowed be God’s name”. We should render or acknowledge God’s holy and special name as our Father. He is the One we venerate and honor. Before we utter a single word of what we need, we first acknowledge we are talking to our Heavenly Father who knows what we need before we even ask and He delights to give good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11).

Petition Number #2 “Your kingdom come,”

The word “kingdom” here means “reign.”[1] The petition is the expression of a wish that God may “reign” everywhere; that His heavenly laws might take root here on earth; and especially that the Gospel of Christ may be advanced everywhere, until the world shall be filled with His glory.

So, we are recognizing God as our Father who delights to give us good

Petition Number #3 Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”

If we ask anything according to the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ or if it is that of what God wishes to be done by us…. the answer will be yes.

So, if the answer that God gives doesn’t make sense within the first part of the definition of His Will, then He must have something better in store for us that He wishes to be done by us. That’s why Paul would write to the Ephesians, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We give thanks to God in all things when we realize God’s purpose is to bless us and others in Christ.”[2]

May the King’s reign come down in my household, in my neighborhood, and in my city. May God be glorified in the very things that I am praying for right now.

The first part of the Lord’s prayer which is (verses 9–10) has those three petitions;

  • hallowed be your name
  • your kingdom come
  • your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

These petitions do not change even when we move from Old Covenant to New Covenant that is enacted upon Christ’s death.

The second part of the Lord’s prayer (verses 11–13) has three petitions as well. The last three call attention to our needs and as you probably have guessed our needs changed with the cross.


Petition #4 “Give us today our daily bread”

We still have daily needs and we should daily “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (as this prayer taught us to do first), and all these things (that we need) shall be added to you. Jesus is the only manna or daily bread you need in any and every area of your life. And so we don’t have to ask God to give us His Son every day. God already gave us the bread of life. “For God so loved the world He gave His only Son” (John 3:16).

In John 6:35: Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Receiving our daily bread is done as you study the Bible and you feed on the person of Jesus.

When we partake of Communion, we are partaking of Jesus as the “bread of life.” The holy Communion is our “manna” today.

The holy Communion is God’s ordained way of reversing the curse brought about in the fall of man. Every time you partake of the holy Communion, you receive Jesus’ overcoming life, His royal life, His disease-free life.  

Petition #5 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”

Now, it should really start to be clear about the great divide here between New Covenant and Old Covenant living and why this isn’t a New Covenant prayer that Jesus prayed. In the Old Covenant, this was the standard of the Law. Forgive so you could be forgiven. In the New Covenant, grace instructs us to forgive others because we are already forgiven.

Today all believers are already perfectly forgiven. God has already forgiven us of our sins when Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross. There is no more forgiveness that remains to be given.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Forgiveness is in the past tense, it has already been done and since it was done for us we can then forgive others. We don’t need to pray for the forgiveness of sins, it is already ours in Jesus.

At this point, the disciples haven’t been taught to pray in Jesus’ name. The Lord’s prayer isn’t a prayer that asks for God’s blessings in Jesus’ name.

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24 NKJV).

Petition #6 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”

In the New Covenant, we have already been delivered from the evil one. Colossians 1:13-14: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

We walk in victory because the enemy has been defeated in the finished work of Jesus Christ.


[1] Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/6-10.html

[2] Matthew Webster. Making Disciples Through Sharing the Good News. https://www.amazon.com/Making-Disciples-Through-Sharing-Good/dp/B096TQ4V5F/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= June 10,2021.

Citizens of Heaven

Citizens of Heaven

Daily Reading: (Philippians 3:20-21):

“But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

What does that phrase “citizenship is in Heaven” mean for you? Many people look at that verse as speaking only of their future hope with heavenly citizenship having little impact on their lives on Earth. Hope is unique in that hope is always dealing in the future. But this verse doesn’t just get us hope, while hope is clear and plain to see, our Biblical hope is the very next sentence in this verse, “and we eagerly await a Savior from there.” Biblical hope is Jesus. He is our blessed hope! This verse also gives us great faith in how we are to live today.

Our citizenship tells us that we are aliens here. We are strangers, foreigners and sojourners at least in the earth as we know it in its present fallen state because of sin. The new Heaven and Earth will be our home. This is where our citizenship lies. A place with no more sin or the effects of it- sadness, sickness, diseases, etc…

We don’t have to live our lives according to the desires of our flesh, desires of the eyes or by the pride of life, we are citizens of Heaven and have as Peter would say, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Our treasures are in Heaven.

What I love about being citizens of Heaven means that we do not have to pursue after earthly treasures. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Being a citizen of Heaven means we are under the government of Heaven. Jesus is our Lord and King. The Spirit of God reigns in our mortal bodies on earth. Our identity is shaped by our citizenship, our identity is now in the new creation we have become in Christ. Even though every human being has been born into this world, all believers have been reborn spiritually into the Kingdom of Heaven. “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (NLT) So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want” (Galatians 5:16-17).

We are called to live our life in accordance to the laws of Heaven, which is where our true citizenship lies, and not according to the world we live in.

The Word of God gives us the instruction for us as citizens of Heaven who live here on Earth:

Getting Revenge

The world says: If someone has wronged you, don’t get mad, get even.

But we are citizens of heaven we don’t have to follow the ways of the world we get to walk by the Spirit, we can,“Love our enemies, pray for those who have wronged us” (Matthew 5:44). We don’t have to seek revenge because when we have been wronged, Romans 12:9 reminds us “never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.

Do you want to get ahead financially?

The world teaches: Money doesn’t grow on trees, (maybe you have heard that a lot when you were younger) it’s up to you and onlyyou to work hard to get what you want out of life.

Citizens of Heaven:

“But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

Our ability to do what we do is owed to His grace. Paul said, “God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, We are His offspring” (Acts 17:27-28). The very breath we take we should thank God for it.

Gaining an Advantage in Life

The world says:“It’s a dog-eat-dog world.” Do what you got to do to succeed.

Citizens of Heaven don’t have to worry about this.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

We are to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

If it is God lifting us up, why would we try to lift ourselves ahead of others or foolishly think we need the higher uppers to notice us to lift us?

The Lord being with you is all that you need in this life, because the Lord Himself is the One who blesses you with righteousness, holiness, success, victory, favor, provision, healing, wisdom and much more!

In Romans 12:2 Paul tells us that in order to live out our heavenly citizenship, we are to not conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.”[1]

  • Your heavenly citizenship is defined by who you are in Christ.
  • Heavenly Citizenship gives us irrevocable rights, privileges, and protection.
  • Believers are called to live our lives in accordance to the spiritual laws of Heaven, not according to the ways of the world we live in.
  • We live out our heavenly citizenship by setting our minds on the things of God, and not the things of this world.
  • Everything in Heaven belongs to us, it is our inheritance.
  • Our business on Earth is to be about Kingdom work for we are ambassadors of Christ. 

Our heavenly citizenship impacts us today on Earth. It actually focuses us now to live for the Kingdom and to transform our minds as we develop thoughts of peace and not of evil, thoughts of hope and the bright future we have. We understand that our time on earth is to be used for God’s glory as His ambassadors.


 

 

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Daily Reading: (Revelation 21:1-4):

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

The question that maybe you have thought of before is, “how can I pray big bold Kingdom prayers, God’s will on Earth as it is in Heaven?” What I mean when I say “big bold Kingdom prayers” is the King’s reign being our experience on Earth today. Instead of longing for the future, may a better understanding of what God is preparing us for in the future have an enormous impact on our present-day lives.

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Revelation 21:1).

Every time I share Revelation 21:1 I feel like the grandfather in the movie Princess Bride, who reads a surprising plot twist in the story which leaves his grandson dumbfounded. The first Heaven and Earth passed away? It puts a new outlook on the mindset that we better sacrifice everything we have to save our planet. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be good stewards of God’s creation, but all the efforts we make to protect or preserve the planet and trusting in man to save things need to be rethought in light of this verse. We don’t have to worry even when things get worse on our planet, God is bringing about a new Heaven and Earth. We should make efforts to lessen our negative impact on the planet for now but ultimately the first Heaven and Earth will pass away in the end.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

You mean Heaven is going to be literally on Earth? Yes! Heaven will be here. He’s not sending us to Heaven for all eternity, He’s bringing Heaven to Earth.

The earth will not be the same as it was, it will be even better. 

Part of the gift of Heaven on Earth is that we all experience this together. We aren’t going to hear about it second hand from Peter and Paul and Moses and any other saint who went before us. The world as we know it that is marred by sin is done away with “ the first earth had passed away” and I “saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven” (Revelation 21:1-2).

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

I totally understand we are longing for a time where there will be no more sickness, no more sadness as the old things, the terrible things we are experiencing now are gone. My five-year-old asked me a question a few months ago, she said, “why did God create sickness?” I love the mind of my little girl. I told her He didn’t. You see even a five-year-old has the sense within her that things are not as they should be. Why would God…? Haven’t we all asked similar questions before? God didn’t create sickness, man brought it about because of giving into Satan’s temptation. The world before sin was a paradise. It was the Garden of Eden where they had everything they would ever need and God walked with them and talked with them. We are progressing to the time where there will be no more sickness or death and it will be as it was before sin.

God being with us what does it accomplish in Revelation 21? We are comforted (wipes the tears), He removes our sadness. There is no more death, crying or pain. In Heaven our new bodies will not grow old, be weary, tired, or in pain.

Did you know that healing and restoration are available even today.

God didn’t just leave us to ourselves in the world today. He is with us even now (Matthew 28:20). King David learned and he wrote the following in Psalm 30:11: “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.” Or in Psalm 16:11 “Thy presence is fullness of joy.” Did David write this from beyond the grave? Was he writing from experiencing being in Paradise on the other side of eternity?  No! What this means is right now, the Kingdom emotions of joy and peace, being comforted and even having our pain removed can be our experience now. Healing is available not just on the other side of eternity, but is available to us in Jesus’ name.

Let our lives be living testimonies of the transformative power of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When bad things come upon us, may we speak out by faith the promises that God has made to us. We will find joy in God’s presence, and He will turn our mourning into joy. 

Welcome to Paradise

Welcome to Paradise

Daily Reading: (Luke 23:43):

“Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).   

Knowledge of Heaven is important. Access to Heaven or accessing the blessings that are already yours in Christ is even better. I know this might come as a shock to you, but since you spiritually died which happened the moment you first believed in Jesus, the Kingdom is now yours. Paul would say in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Now that you know that you have already died spiritually what happens when you die physically on earth too?

Heaven on Earth is the believer’s ultimate destination. So, let’s take a minute to imagine what Heaven will be like. What are some things you envision in your mind that Heaven will be like? Streets of gold, pearly gates, reunited with loved ones, a beautiful river running through the center, the tree of life, the throne of God. If you have spent any time reading the book of Revelation, these are some of the images that probably came to your mind. Even though we are given grand images of Heaven, we still have a long way to go in imagining what Heaven will be like one day.

It is interesting to learn that Jesus talks about being in “Paradise” instead of just saying Heaven when talking to one of the criminals on the cross.

To begin with, I want to go to the scene right before Jesus’ death. “But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence” (Luke 23:40)?

What sentence could these criminals be under? They are under the sentence of death. They are dying a criminal’s death and so was Jesus. We can find it hard to connect with the criminals on the cross that day, but Paul would write to the Romans that the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). Anyone who has sinned “has fallen short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23), and so we all are given the same sentence as those criminals on the cross that day, the death sentence. There are two options for us, which are displayed by the actions of the two criminals. One criminal mocked the salvation of the Lord. “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” He rejected the very grace of God while the other recognized his need for a Savior. “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41)?

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And because of this Romans 6:23 becomes this criminal’s reality: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The first criminal rejected the very grace of God while the other recognized his need for a Savior. “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). The point is that since God is righteous and just, our sins needed to be punished. Only the perfect spotless Lamb of God could be offered for the atonement of our sins. He died so that we might be given His life, but we must receive the free gift of salvation that He offers to us to be saved.

The keyword is “gift”. A gift cannot be earned because if it was earned it would be a wage, the criminal didn’t deserve such great a gift, that is how grace works. Jesus was on the cross for both criminals that day, He went to the cross for you and I so that we might receive the gift of everlasting life. 

So, some might expect to hear Jesus say, I’ll see you on the other side in heaven my son- but He doesn’t He says something different.

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).“Paradise”/Paradeisos: a park, an Eden.

Have you ever seen that show Extreme Home Makeover? It used to be hosted by a guy named Ty Pennington who would send a family on a mini-vacation so when they returned home they would be surprised when their home would be completely redone and it would look amazing and so much better.

So, when you die, if you are in Christ, you go to Paradise, Eden Park. Jesus is there and so are your loved ones and all the saints who went before us. So, Paradise is Heaven where Jesus is at. It is perfect and there is no suffering or sin there, it will be incredibly wonderful and yet it is still different from what we will experience as our wedding gift when Heaven comes down to a new Earth.

The Bible tells us when we enter into this new Heaven and Earth and the grand thing about it is all saints over all of the time will enter it together at the same time.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). I like to think of it in much the same way as a family would on the Extreme Home Makeover Show that is sent to a fantastic place because their home is being specially prepared for them. So, Peter and Paul haven’t been relaxing in the new Heaven and Earth for some 2,000 years, they are in Paradise because we still have our wedding feast in Heaven to come and then our wonderful gift of Heaven on Earth.

“Paradise” is used is in Revelation 2:7 and it is the location of the tree of life. This makes sense as “paradise” means a park-like setting: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 22 talks about Eden/paradise restored.

This is a huge clue because Revelation 2:7 tells us specifically that “the tree of life, is in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). What this means is that we are given a partial picture of what Paradise is like now, because Revelation 22 talks about Eden being restored and mentions the tree of life (which is already created) and some other things already existing in Paradise (God being there). However, some of the other things mentioned seem like they are yet to come after the old earth passes away, such as there being no more night and the curse removed. Our loved ones in Paradise aren’t experiencing night, they are in the presence of God’s light. The effects of the curse are not present in Paradise, but we still experience them on Earth. Eden restored is mentioned after Heaven comes to earth (yet to happen) in Revelation 21. So, some of these things are still to come.