Heaven & Earth Bible study recap
About 35 people at King of Grace met during the month of October, spread out over five different times, to learn about the biblical theme of Heaven and Earth. Some of these sessions were in person and others were online. You can join us in November for a study on the theme of Holiness.
Here's a recap about Heaven and Earth. This summary and the video we watched are available from The Bible Project.
Christians often find themselves wrestling with the question, what is Heaven like? Without a doubt, it's a question we would all love to know the answer to, but one that the Bible spends very little time focusing on. What we do know about Heaven, though, is that God's realm and ours are a lot closer than it might seem.
When God first created the Garden of Eden, Heaven and earth existed within the same realm. Mankind dwelt with God in the garden, and the garden itself was a form of paradise. It was God's intention that Heaven and earth continue to coexist like this, however, the fall of man made that impossible.
When mankind chose sin over God, the earth became a ruined and imperfect place. God's realm, being perfect and purely holy, was no longer able to coexist within our realm, and Heaven and earth were driven apart. Thankfully, God had a plan to bring them back together.
The first reunions between Heaven and earth took place in the temple. Here, animal sacrifices were used to atone in part for the sin of mankind, creating a sort of "clean zone" where Heaven and earth could meet and God could dwell with His people. We see this most clearly in accounts of the Holy of Holies - a place in the inner temple where God Himself resided and one that the high priests had to take the utmost care and precaution before entering.
Temples and animal sacrifices, though, were only a temporary solution for reuniting God's realm with ours. God's permanent solution was His son, Jesus Christ.
There are several Bible verses about Heaven that talk about Christ bringing Heaven down to earth. In Matthew 2:1-2, John the Baptist proclaims "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand," and in the Lord's Prayer, Christ says, "your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."
Everywhere on earth that Christ visited, He brought little pieces of Heaven with Him, and though mankind ultimately killed Him, His death created a permanent access point between Heaven and earth. Today, Christ intercedes on our behalf and allows us to approach the throne of God whenever we desire through prayer. Though Heaven and earth are still far from fully united, the two realms do overlap thanks to the death of Christ - the ultimate sacrifice that offers us the forgiveness and sanctification we must have in order to interact with God and the heavenly realm.
Though Christ has allowed Heaven and earth to overlap, the story is far from over. We see throughout the Bible the theme of Heaven and earth being brought back together, and, when Christ returns again, this theme will be complete. Once again, God and man will fully coexist within the same realm, and Heaven and earth will be one.
So is Heaven real? Not only is the answer to this question a resounding yes, but the truth is that we are able to interact with Heaven right now in this very moment. Until the day comes when we die and go to Heaven or Christ fully reunites Heaven and earth, we as Christians should all be doing our part to make the bond between Heaven and earth a little bit stronger.