Posted in theology

Heaven Week: Links, Wrap up & Resources

By Elizabeth Prata

This past week, I published 6 essays looking at what heaven is from the Bible. I did this because I sense that in my world here in America it’s darkening at an extremely rapid pace. Our once free and open capitalist society is sliding down fast into socialism and totalitarianism. John MacArthur said

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Posted in theology

Heaven Week #6: What we can’t understand and what we can

By Elizabeth Prata

This week we have looked at heaven. If we focus on Jesus and His heavenly habitation, we tend to enlarge our perspective and fixate less on the darkness flooding the earth at present. It was an encouragement week here at The End Time, and a reminder that as dark as things get, we will not be here forever. It’s only our temporary home. We have a permanent citizenship in heaven, where everything is perfect.

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Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Heaven Week #3: Heaven won’t have time

By Elizabeth Prata

Missionary to Vanuatu in the late 1800s, John G. Paton, writing about the death of one of his first native converts in his book Thirty Years Among the South Sea Cannibals, said:

“While staying at Aneityum, I learned with as deep emotion as man ever felt for man, that noble old Abraham, the sharer of my Tannese trials, had during the interval peacefully fallen asleep in Jesus. He left for me his silver watch one which I had myself sent to the dear soul from Sydney, and which he greatly prized. In his dying hour he said, “Give it to Missi, my own Missi Paton; and tell him that I go to Jesus, where Time is dead.”

That converted cannibal had a real and profound grasp of his position in Christ. I have read many times that in heaven sin will be dead, tears will be dead, sorrow will be dead, but I never read anything put quite like that. In heaven, time is dead.

Continue reading “Heaven Week #3: Heaven won’t have time”
Posted in theology

Heaven Week #2: It’s a real place

By Elizabeth Prata

Yesterday I wrote about heaven and we defined terms and talked about how exciting the first space trips were when we got to look back and see earth from the heavenly perspective. How wonderful it will be to look to Jesus when we are all really in heaven and see the universe from HIS heavenly abode!

J. C. Ryle wrote:

There is a glorious dwelling place provided by Jesus Christ for all His believing people. The world that now is, is not their rest: they are pilgrims and strangers in it. Heaven is their home.
There will be a place in heaven for all sinners who have fled to Christ by faith, and trusted in Him : for the least as well as the greatest. Abraham took care to provide for all his children, and God takes care to provide for His. None will be disinherited; none will be cast out; none will be cut off. Each shall stand in his lot, and have a portion in the day when the Lord brings many sons to glory. In our Father's house are many mansions.
Continue reading “Heaven Week #2: It’s a real place”
Posted in theology

Heaven Week #1: Saints, we’re headed there!

By Elizabeth Prata

The unsaved man says, I am a good person, it’s just that the world doesn’t give me a chance to show how good I am.

The saved man says, I am no good. I was of the world and the world is evil.

This is why Jesus had to come from elsewhere than this world to save us.

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).

Continue reading “Heaven Week #1: Saints, we’re headed there!”
Posted in theology

Exactly what ARE the ‘Treasures in Heaven’?

By Elizabeth Prata

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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal …” (Matthew 6:19-20).

That is a familiar passage to us. We know what it says. We understand that we cannot serve two gods, mammon and Jesus. We comprehend that the love of money is the root of all evil. We all feel sad when the Rich Young Ruler turned away from Jesus, rejecting eternal salvation because he clung to his earthly wealth.

But what does treasure in heaven truly mean? What are the treasures in heaven, specifically?

Continue reading “Exactly what ARE the ‘Treasures in Heaven’?”
Posted in theology

When we’re ‘up there’, will we know/see what is happening down below?

By Elizabeth Prata

Some believe that the souls in heaven have absolutely, not one iota of a visual of what is happening down below (John MacArthur). Others, for example, Catholics, (a false religion) think that the souls in heaven hear our prayers and intercede and even visit down below. The Catholic stance, I believe, has led to the popular culture’s opinion that the souls in the heavenlies are “looking down on us”. Certainly their false notion that we can pray to the dead saints and they will intercede for us adds to the misperception. Let’s explore this a bit more. Do dead saints know or see what is happening on earth? Continue reading “When we’re ‘up there’, will we know/see what is happening down below?”

Posted in theology

How to Visit Heaven

By Elizabeth Prata

I visited heaven last Sunday.

Am I going to write a book about it? No. A book has already been written about what I saw there. It’s called the Bible.

I’m fascinated with glimpses of heaven. I love to read the visions Ezekiel had, and Isaiah, and John. (Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 6, Revelation 1, 4, etc). Interestingly, the details all three men recorded are consistent with each other. None of the details that other alleged visitors to heaven who allegedly visited there are consistent with each other nor with the Bible.

I read and re-read those glimpses because that is our home! It is where we believers are headed and will dwell for eternity!

Though I’ve read through Exodus before, I had overlooked (or the Spirit just now applied the words to my mind) the little nugget nestled in  Exodus 24:9-11.

Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, And they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

WUT???

Well how beautiful, another glimpse of His holy habitation! Jamieson Fausset Commentary says,

sapphire—one of the most valuable and lustrous of the precious gems—of a sky-blue or light azure color and frequently chosen to describe the throne of God.”

Let’s compare that scene with Ezekiel’s in chapter 1:26,

And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.

Barnes notes says of the Exodus scene, “The pure blue of the heaven above them lent its influence to help the inner sense to realize the vision which no mortal eye could behold.

When I read these and get to the jewels part it’s hard to visualize (how did he know it as sapphire when it’s clear?) but I envision sparkle, brightness, and purity. With the world becoming more and more wretched, I delight to ponder the purity that awaits.

One final thought, Nadab and Abihu saw, supped, and were blessed to behold. Yet that was not enough! They still failed to do as the LORD commanded and they offered strange fire in worship. They got lazy and would not worship as He had commanded. Perhaps they took their eyes away from the LORD, though it’s so hard to believe, since they had seen Him, or at least, His majesty.

Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. (Leviticus 10:1-2).

How easy is it for us to do the same, we who have not seen? O, keep your eyes on the Lord! Behold Him always. And when you need a pick-me-up, read of the visions of heaven as recorded in the Bible. What a wonderful day awaits us believers!

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Posted in theology

“You’re so arrogant to think that…!”

By Elizabeth Prata

If you have been in the faith for more than a minute, you are aware that when we share the Gospel or defend the faith by saying Jesus is the only way to God, people hurl the accusation of “Arrogant!” “You’re so arrogant to think that!” I know I have been on the receiving end of that accusation, and I’ve seen it happen to others.

RC Sproul preached about a time when he was first saved and then went to college, and his Professor said it was arrogant to believe that God would make only one way to heaven. Of course, being RC, his defense of that accusation is beautiful and God-honoring. His response is also logical. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think for a long time.

In thinking, it occurred to me that the arrogance is not on the side of the Christian sharing the one and only way to heaven, which is through Jesus (John 14:6).

Pagans (and I was one for 42 years myself) on the whole, believe that there is a heaven. People generally believe that it’s perfect and beautiful and there will be no strife or anything to interrupt their eternal drift. They think that because they are a pretty good person, that when they die, they’ll go there. As far as the unsaved person’s thinking goes, that’s usually as deep as they go into the topic.

Sometimes they think that their works will get them there. I personally know someone who has said to me, “I’m on the (false) church board and I do good in the community and I’m a good person,” she said when I asked her to share her thoughts on the afterlife. Lots of people think the same way. They give to a charity or they serve the homeless or because they’re a deacon, those or other works they perform will be the ticket into heaven.

Here’s the question: Isn’t it arrogant to think that the works you do will bring you to heaven? The works done from a fleshly mind the same mind that thinks perverted thoughts or mentally proposes violence against a neighbor or nurses grudges and gossips against a fellow? Isn’t it arrogant to believe that our own self is beautful enough to go to the most beautiful place?

Yes, that’s the true arrogance.

heaven