Can I Build a Railway in Heaven?

Kunshan_South_Railway_Station_Platform_1Question:  Can I build a railway station in heaven?

Answer:  You know that heaven will come to earth in the end (Revelation 20,21).  Will there be a need for railways?  Will you be able, if so, to build one that doesn’t pollute?  Will we need a railway to our solar system or to other solar systems?  Will you cease to be creative…NO.  That is how God made us and we reflect Him in our creativity.  Will we want/need to work…YES, because God is a worker.  It’s in our nature.  Will our resurrection bodies be able to travel instantly where ever we want without use of a railway?  Perhaps.  Jesus was able to do that in his resurrection body (Luke 24).

For Further Reading:

Will There Be Winter in the Eternal Kingdom?

In Heaven Will We Recognize and Be With Those We Love?

Are My Husband and Father in Heaven Yet?

In Heaven Will We Recognize and Be With Those We Love?

Question:  My big sister just passed away a month ago. I know she is with Jesus, but I wanted to know if I will see her again in heaven.  Everyone says I will , but I don’t believe.  Is there any Bible verse that I can use to support this.

Answer: Consider Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 where he is comparing spiritual gifts and love as to their completeness and lasting nature.  He says that when the perfect (or mature) comes then the partial will be done away with.  Then, he says, we will know fully even as we are fully known.  This marks a change in our level of knowledge that is so incomplete at present, and others’ knowledge of us is incomplete as well.  But then it will be complete.  We will not lose our individuality and identity, but will be even more completely identifiable.

We see this when, for example, Saul consults a medium to talk to Samuel (1 Samuel 28) and the medium recognizes him.  When Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus and his three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17) they are recognized.  When John has a vision of heaven (Revelation 4,5) he recognizes identifiable groups of people, the “elders,” for example.  We will never lose our identity and so we will be recognized and known in heaven.  Heaven is to be that place where all the perfection we have longed for will come true.  Our relationships will be at the level we always dreamed relationships could be.  Our selfishness will be eradicated.  We will love unconditionally.  Your relationship with your sister will be even more wonderful than it was in this life.

For further reading:

What is the meaning of the second death in Revelation 20:11?

Question: I just found something about the “Second Death“, Rev 2:11… I checked the concordance and it seems that the meaning is “The Lake of Fire“… but honestly, I still do not understand What’s the meaning of the second death… Could you help me with this?

Answer:  In the context of the passage we are told that those who were martyred during the great tribulation will be resurrected and reign with Christ 1,000 years.  This is the first resurrection.  Following the premillennial scheme, I view this as the resurrection of all who are saved during the tribulation.  Those who are saved during the millennium will be resurrected after the millennium.  Those who are resurrected are not affected, John tells us, by the second death.

This suggests that the first death is the death we experience in this age, the death of the body, which means the soul is separated from the body and goes either to Hades or Heaven (see article).  The second death then would be described in Revelation 20:11, where those already dead by the first death are now called before the great white throne of Jesus for judgment.  They are judged out of the book of life and because their names are not found there (they aren’t followers of Jesus), they perish or die the second death, consignment to Hell or the Lake of Fire forever.  The severity of their judgment is based on the deeds recorded in the “books” in this passage (see article).

This seems to be another way of saying that there is no chance of heaven, once someone dies, if they have never trusted in Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.  We must keep reaching the lost wherever they are.  This is Christ’s great commission for us (Matthew 28:19,20).

Are My Husband and Father in Heaven Yet?

Question: I have been challenged on my saying that my husband and my father are in heaven.  I am being told that they will not go to heaven until Jesus comes back to earth.  But in reading some of the posts I see that it is mentioned that the spirits are in heaven and will be rejoined with the body when Jesus comes back.   Is there a biblical basis for my belief.  I know part of my belief comes from my desire and from songs and from things heard at church in my youth.

Answer:  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is one of the key passages in this matter.  Here Paul tells us that,

We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

If God is going to bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep (that is, those who have died), where is He bringing them from and what is He bringing?  Jesus is coming back to us from heaven.  Our bodies are not in heaven.  Our bodies are in the grave.  Jesus will therefore come back from heaven with that part of us that is in heaven, our spirits, and resurrect our bodies to be rejoined to our spirits.

Further evidence of this is found in 2 Corinthians 5:6,7, where Paul writes,

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

And again in Philippians 1:21-24,

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

For Paul, death meant the departure of his spirit from his body and the entering of his spirit into the presence of Christ in heaven.  This is in agreement with the teaching of Jesus in Luke 16.  In verse 22 Jesus depicts the death of the beggar Lazarus and describes the angels taking him to Abraham’s side.  Did they take his body or his spirit?  His body was in the grave.  So it had to be his spirit that they took.  When we did our spirits are escorted to heaven if we are followers of Jesus.  One day, our resurrected bodies will be rejoined to our perfected spirits and we will forever be the spirit/body persons we were meant to be.

Can We Be Booted Out of Heaven Like Satan Was?

Question:  Were angels created on the first day when God made the heavens and earth? Or do we know when they were created?

Also, if Lucifer could be kicked out of heaven, is the reason we can’t be kicked out of Heaven because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit? Or when God makes a “new heaven and a new earth” will it be different than the old heaven and no one will be able to be kicked out because there won’t be sin? Or can we be kicked out just like Lucifer was?

Answer:  We might infer from Genesis 3 that angels were created before humans since we see the devil already fallen and speaking through the serpent in the garden to tempt Adam and Eve to disobedience.  Of course, this gets us into questions about whether Genesis 1 depicts 24 hour days or day-ages, etc.  If you subscribe to the Day-Age theory of creation I suppose you could have Satan and the other angels created on the first day of earth creation or before and that would be way earlier than humans.

Job 38:7 makes it sound like the angels were already in existence and rejoicing over God’s creative work on earth, so my thinking is that they predated the creation of earth.

 Apparently angels (who it seems are created in God’s image and are each individual creations of God [see below]) included those who were chosen for salvation and those who were not (1 Timothy 5:21).  Satan was not, and he chose to rebel against God (though Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are said by some to refer to Satan’s fall, I think there is good reason not to see it as a direct reference to him).  The elect angels could not rebel, and we, as you noted, being sealed with the Spirit, cannot turn away from God either.  Heaven will only consist of those whose “spirits” have been “made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23).  Many other Scriptures make it clear that we cannot lose our salvation.

The new heaven and earth is the place where heaven ultimately will reside.  Revelation 21,22 describe the heavenly Jerusalem coming to earth as its resting place, and God dwelling in its midst.  So we’re safe in either place.

BIBLICAL DATA ON ANGELS

            Ps. 148:2,5; Col. 1:16; Job 38:7; Heb. 1:14; (Lk. 24:39; 8:30)

             A.  Angels are created

            B.  Angels were created before man, perhaps before earth

             C.  Angels are spirits and do not have bodies of any kind 

  • spirits do not have flesh and bones
  • spirits do not take up space
  • spirits can not be in more that one place at a time

  

            2 Sam. 14:20; Mt. 24:36; Eph. 3:10; 1 Pet. 1:12; 2 Pet. 2:11

             D.  Angels are intelligent but not all knowing

             Mt. 25:31; Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Ac. 10:22; Rev. 14:10

             E.  Angels are holy

             Lk. 20:35,36

             F.  Angels are immortal and non-reproductive (each is an individual creation of God)

            Ps. 103:20; Dan. 10;  Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:21; 3:10; Heb. 1:14

             G.  Angels are God’s servants and stand in various ranks before God

             Dt. 33:2; Ps. 68:17; Mk. 5:9,15; Mt. 26:53; Rev. 5:11

             H.  Angels are multitudinous

Will we recognize one another in heaven?

Question: Often, when someone dies, the survivors say, “We’ll get to see him/her again in heaven.” Is there any Biblical support that Christians who knew each other on earth will recognize or know each other in heaven?

Answer: It appears that whether we knew each other on earth or not we will know each other in heaven and in the kingdom. I base this on the account of the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17. Peter says in verse 4, “If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Now unless Jesus specifically told them who the two standing with him were when He was transfigured, Peter just somehow knew this. I get the sense that whatever identifiers we now use (outward physical appearance, voice, etc.) will be communicated more immediately to our spirits once we are confronted with each other in spiritual form in heaven or in our spiritual body/spirit forms on earth in the kingdom.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that in the kingdom we shall “know fully” even as we are “fully known.” Certainly this would include knowing one another. But even in the most unlikely event that we don’t immediately recognize one another, we will certainly be able to identify ourselves to one another. I can tell you who I am and you can tell me who you are and we will be able to reminisce.

Randall Johnson

How was it possible for Satan to sin if he was in a perfect state in heaven?

Question: If Lucifer was one of the most beautiful angels in Heaven, and Heaven is a perfect place without sin, how did he sin against God in Heaven and become a fallen angel with many angels following him?

Answer: The short answer is, “I don’t know.” You have made some assumptions here, which I mostly hold to myself. Satan (the term “Lucifer” may not be the correct translation of Isaiah 14:12; most modern translations translate “morning star”) is probably not the one being openly described in either Isaiah 14 or Ezekiel 27, but is apparently a created angel who somehow chose to rebel against God. Remember, earth was not in a state of sin either, and Adam and Eve did not have sin natures, and yet they both rebelled. The how of this is a mystery that the Bible does not address, either in terms of Satan or our first parents.

And why did many other angels choose to follow him? We don’t know. But the original temptation he made to our original parents was that they might have the right of self-determination and not need God’s guidance. There is something in us that still struggles to trust God with everything He determines for our lives. Something in us still wants to have the control, thinking that we would make better decisions about our lives than He would. This is the lie that has led the world into chaos and tragedy for all these millennia.

Randall Johnson