This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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Have you ever wondered what this life is all about and what living with God in heaven is going to be like; this is what we will briefly consider in this article.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:5-17.... What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Ministering servants [not heads of parties] through whom you believed, even as the Lord appointed to each his task: I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the increase. So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but [only] God Who makes it grow and become greater. He who plants and he who waters are equal (one in aim, of the same importance and esteem), yet each shall receive his own reward (wages), according to his own labor.
9For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God's garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God's building. According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it, for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one). But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, the work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done. If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward. But if any person's work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire.
16Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God's temple (His sanctuary), and that God's Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]? If anyone does hurt to God's temple or corrupts it [with false doctrines] or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy (sacred to Him) and that [temple] you [the believing church and its individual believers] are.
We have the grand privilege and responsibility of being a part of and also helping to build up, a glorified habitation or temple of God! In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 we are called the temple of God; in Revelation 19:7-8 we are called the bride of Christ; in Colossians 1:18 we are called the body of Christ and the Church; in Revelation 21:9-11 the holy city of Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God is called the bride or the Lamb’s wife; in Revelation 21:22-23 it is said that the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple of this great city. Although we cannot fully understand, we can certainly catch a glimpse of the unity and functionality that exists between God and His people, and the glorious future that awaits us when this event takes place.
While we are waiting for this event we are to be working on the temple as Apollos and Paul did, keeping in mind the importance of the quality of the building materials, the possibility of corrupting influences, and the rewards for good workmanship. The quality suggests the fidelity and truth of the Gospel, only the truth of God can stand up for all eternity. The evil, worthless corrupting influences are fit only to be burned up lest they once again bring the destruction we have seen in the past and are presently experiencing. The rewards suggest our individual positions and privileges we can expect because of our faithfulness unto the Lord.
One of the reasons for large families, especially in the past, has been the desire to work together toward building for themselves a monumental establishment in their surroundings; sometimes even to build a governmental dynasty where family members ruled over an area or nation. This seems to be the basic reason that God created this physical universe so that eventually He will rule over it all in a kingdom of perfect righteousness. "After that comes the end (the completion), when He delivers over the kingdom to God the Father after rendering inoperative and abolishing every [other] rule and every authority and power. For [Christ] must be King and reign until He has put all [His] enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death. For He [the Father] has put all things in subjection under His [Christ's] feet. But when it says, All things are put in subjection [under Him], it is evident that He [Himself] is excepted Who does the subjecting of all things to Him. However, when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to [the Father] Who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life]" (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
In the beginning everything was perfect and in divine order with only one thing denied Adam and Eve – fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Their failure came as no surprise to God for He had already made provision to carry on with His plan by having ". . . Jesus, Who was ranked lower than the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of His having suffered death, in order that by the grace (unmerited favor) of God [to us sinners] He might experience death for every individual person. For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering. For both He Who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father]. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren; for He says, I will declare Your [the Father's] name to My brethren; in the midst of the [worshiping] congregation I will sing hymns of praise to You. And again He says, My trust and assured reliance and confident hope shall be fixed in Him. And yet again, Here I am, I and the children whom God has given Me" (Heb. 2:9-13).
This is God’s purpose and plan for man, so it must be one of the main reasons that He created this physical universe. This should highly motivate us to cooperate with God, not only to please Him but also to reach our full potential. To only be concerned about our present existence here upon earth is very short-sighted, and will hinder God’s plans for us. This physical life is as nothing in comparison with eternity, and nothing material that we gain here can be taken with us. This life is meant by God to prepare us for eternity; it is our grade-school entrance exams for eternal higher education: "For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]" (1 Cor. 13:12). That is why God advises us, "If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory" (Col. 3:1-4).
It is sometimes difficult for us to tear our minds away from the things of this world that each one of us has to contend with every day, but if we start each day prayerfully reading from God’s Word we will be reminded that there are eternal values that must be considered and brought into a proper balance with our earthly responsibilities. It will also help us to see the tremendous contrast, advantages and worth of the heavenly over our present physical existence, such as this passage in the book of Revelation reveals unto us. "THEN I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband; then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine). And He [further] said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life. He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son" (Rev. 21:1-7).
The description of this city that Jesus said He went away to prepare for us, is breathtaking, you can read about it in Rev. 21:10-18; 21-23.
God has given us a very good idea of how the things we do and become in this life affect how we will live and function throughout eternity. To begin with God will radically change and make new the sky and the earth (21:1), which those who through Christ have been victorious over evil will inherit (21:7). In addition to this, our special dwelling place will be the New Jerusalem (21:9, 27), and there we will worship and serve the Lord throughout eternity (22:3-5). Makes a person want to get ready, doesn't it?
REVELATION 22:1-7.... THEN HE showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the broadway of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its Twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations. There shall no longer exist there anything that is accursed (detestable, foul, offensive, impure, hateful, or horrible). But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall worship Him [pay divine honors to Him and do Him holy service]. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be no more night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will illuminate them and be their light, and they shall reign [as kings] forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities). And he [of the seven angels further] said to me, These statements are reliable (worthy of confidence) and genuine (true). And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His messenger (angel) to make known and exhibit to His servants what must soon come to pass. And behold, I am coming speedily. Blessed (happy and to be envied) is he who observes and lays to heart and keeps the truths of the prophecy (the predictions, consolations, and warnings) contained in this [little] book.