Getting a Head Start of Heaven

Posted on August 15, 2018

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By David Ettinger

The Grim Truth
fire fireIt is a portion of Scripture which begins with a grim truth. It is 2 Peter Chapter 3, and it concerns “the Day of the Lord,” that time period at the end of this age of human history when the Lord Jesus will return to earth and pour out His wrath on the world’s evil.

Verse 10 is particularly grim: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

In other words, where in Noah’s day the world was judged by water (the Flood), at the end of the age the world be judged by fire.

Comforting News
Notice how I did not say the world will be “destroyed” by fire. Remember, in the Noahic Flood, the world was not destroyed, but restored. The same will happen at the end of the age. The fire of God’s wrath will not destroy planet Earth, but will cleanse, restore, and refresh it in preparation for both the Millennial (1,000-year) Kingdom and the eternal state.

Continuing his teaching on the Day of the Lord, Peter says in verses 12 and 13: “That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

new earthOf note here is the Greek word for “new,” kainos, which gives the sense of something made new and fresh, as being superior and unprecedented compared to what has come before. It is not a new creation, but a vastly improved recreation of something which already exists.

In this case, the planet on which we live will be scoured clean with fire and will become the new abode of God’s residence – Heaven. (You can read about this in Revelation Chapters 21 and 22.)

Heaven’s Main Characteristic
Continuing in 2 Peter 3:13, Peter reveals the eternal state’s dominant characteristic: “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (italics added).

Righteousness will be the rule of the new heaven and new earth. The Greek word for “righteousness” is dikaiosynē, which in the general sense refers to “the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God” (Strong’s Concordance). More specifically, the word dikaiosynē, “righteousness,” means “integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting” (Strong’s).

What a world that will be!

Getting a Head Start
lushBut guess what? You don’t have to wait until you enter Heaven in order to live a life filled with dikaiosynē. In verse 14, Peter writes: “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” These are all ways in which you can live righteously, i.e., in a way which is acceptable to God and pleases Him.

In other words, Peter is telling you that since this is what Heaven, or the eternal state, is going to be like, why wait until you get there? Rather, start now! Live the righteous life now! Do that which pleases God now, and get a head start on living the kind of life you will be living for eternity.

Being found “spotless” has to do with sin, particularly, not doing it. Living “blameless” concerns your dealings with others, specifically, living in way which demonstrates Christ in your life by being a bold and loving witness for Him. Living spotlessly and blamelessly adds up to righteousness, and this, indeed, pleases God.

So, do you find yourself growing more and more discouraged with life in this ever-spiraling-out-of-control world? So do I. One solution to help fight back is to live as though you are already in the eternal state, thereby getting a head start on Heaven!