The Way It Happened

Revelation 22:2, Are We in Heaven?

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.

//Big deal, eh? If I want fresh fruit in today’s world, I take a short walk to the supermarket any time of year.

Revelation promises we’ll never thirst again, never hunger again. I can’t say I’ve ever been really thirsty or really hungry in my life.

Revelation says there will be no night in heaven. Electricity has delivered on the promise.

As Lisa Miller says in Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife, “Real life has delivered on so many of the Scripture’s promises of heaven. We have glittering cities, blossoming public parks with gushing fountains, libraries filled with books in every language, and a government predicated on justice and equality for all. We have gyms and Pilates classes that keep our bodies youthful, Botox to ensure that our faces remain unlined.”

Our every desire lies before us, and all it takes is a little cash. Far from money being the root of all evil, it appears to be the currency of heaven.

Universalists may be disappointed to learn that not all people attain heaven. Jesus promised many mansions there, and at the height of the housing boom in America, nearly 70% of us lived in homes of our own, homes that would seem extravagant if compared to Bible days. But that leaves 30% still outside the pearly gates. Perhaps hell exists as well? The blessed have money, while the not-so-blessed must be atoning for the sins of a past life.

Yes, it appears heaven has arrived, yet something remains awry. In heaven, says Revelation, there will be no tears. Yet those lives enjoying heaven-like conditions seem just as fraught with tears as those dwelling in hell. Even with all our comforts, it turns out that heaven isn’t so heavenly after all.

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