Heaven & Earth
Biblical Themes
What is the biblical view of Heaven, and how does it relate to Earth? The answer might surprise you.

Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion:

  1. The garden of Eden was the first place where God’s space and humanity’s space were one. Read Genesis 3 and discuss how these two spaces were driven apart.
  2. God wants to live with his people, so he made a place (tabernacle/temple) and a practice (animal sacrifice) for humans to be forgiven so that God’s space and humanity’s space could once again overlap. Explore these ideas in Psalm 65:1-4 and Leviticus 4:34-35. Share your observations as a group.
  3. With all the above in mind, share any significant details you notice about Jesus' dwelling, or “tabernacling,” on Earth (see John 1:14) and Jesus being called the Lamb of God (see John 1:29 and Rev. 5:1-12).
  4. Revelation 21 tells us that one day God’s space and humanity’s space will completely overlap. As you read Revelation 21, how does the author describe the tabernacle and the Lamb? Share your observations with the group.
  5. Take time to discuss other themes, questions, or key takeaways from what you learned together.

What is Heaven like? Does the Bible tell us?

It’s a question many followers of Jesus have pondered. But the Bible doesn’t give us a very detailed account of what we can expect. For most of us, our perception of Heaven is wrapped up in a popular idea of fluffy clouds, pearly gates, and winged angels. But this misses a key idea of the biblical idea of Heaven.

In Genesis 1-3, we see the ideal state of creation, the garden of Eden, as a place where God’s space and human’s space overlap. Humans lived with God in the garden, but when humans rebelled, they were exiled from this sacred space. The rest of the biblical story is all about how God is restoring humans back to the Eden ideal—a place where Heaven and Earth are one.

Jesus came to reunite Heaven and Earth.

When God came to Earth in Jesus, we saw the reality of divine and human space overlapping. Jesus brought pieces of God’s heavenly Kingdom wherever he went, showing glimpses of the ideal creation state of Genesis 1-3 and the new creation yet to come.

Then Jesus took up the priestly duties of sacrifice, atoning for the sins of all humanity and restoring our access to God’s heavenly presence when he died on the cross. He did what no human, and no priest, could do. He is the permanent access point between Heaven and Earth, and the rest of the biblical story points to the permanent reunification of Heaven and Earth—the new creation, where we will reign with Christ in a temple-garden.

So what is Heaven?

This all brings us back to our original question: What is Heaven? Because of Jesus, we can experience Heaven—the overlapping of human and divine space—here and now. Jesus opened that access for us once again. And these glimpses are meant to offer hope for the full reunification of these two spaces, the new creation. The Bible uses Eden imagery from Genesis 1-3 to describe this new creation. All of creation and its inhabitants will be at peace, and humans will be in their intended priestly role alongside God, living and walking in his presence every day.

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The New Heaven and New Earth as Depicted in Revelation 21-22
11 min read
Podcast Series
Heaven & Earth
5 Episodes
Follow discussions between Tim & Jon as they prepare to write the theme video on "Heaven & Earth."
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