A City Called, “Heaven”
Warning! Pray and hold on to your seat.
City called Heaven? I cannot say that there is no city called, Heaven, but I have to admit that there is no city that the Bible calls, Heaven. There is a city that the Bible calls, New Jerusalem. Going outside of scripture, people call it, “Heaven”. Put your tradition aside and don’t change the city’s name; let it be what God names it, New Jerusalem. How did you figure out that it was named, Heaven? Think about where you are coming from. It is not heresy to call the city by her actual name.
Be honest before we go any farther. Heaven is heaven and New Jerusalem is New Jerusalem; let us not call them both the same thing.
I posted some of this on Facebook and someone, evidently not getting what I had written, posted this reference to a verse in response: “Abraham looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. ~Hebrews 11:10. I never said that there was no city; I had posted that people are going outside of the Bible and changing the name of that city. They give the city a name that God did not give it. They call it, Heaven. I admonished them to always call the city by her actual name. Still there was a debate, but not with the same person. Someone thought that Jesus was preaching Heaven when He preached the kingdom of the heavens. (See the post entitled, The Reign of the Heavens). Someone seemed to think that to mention the word, heaven, is to preach, Heaven. I was informed that Jesus referred to the word, heaven, more than 40 times as being an actual place. How did they go so far off from what I had posted? I was not trying to argue that, heaven or the heavens or Heaven was not an actual place. I was just admonishing the people to stop renaming New Jerusalem. Let New Jerusalem be New Jerusalem; God did not tell you to rename it.
So you want to preach, Heaven instead of the Kingdom. You can find a lot of things in the Bible about the Kingdom being promised. You cannot find anything in the Bible about Heaven being promised. But also, you cannot find any picturesque descriptions of Heaven in the Bible; nevertheless, you still want to preach Heaven instead of the Kingdom. So you decide to steal. You steal the picturesque descriptions of New Jerusalem and tell the people that this is Heaven. How dare you! No, you didn’t steal it. Somebody else stole it and gave it to you. You are holding on to it and possession is nine points of the law.
So for your sermons and for your church doctrines, you need to be able to impress people concerning Heaven. The only way you can do this is by adding to the Scriptures. Something was stolen and given to you. It is too precious for you to give it up; you dare not come out and be honest and tell people the truth. The truth is that the apostles preached the kingdom of God throughout the book of Acts, to the very last chapter and to the very last verse. They did not once preach Heaven.
The truth is, if you want to preach Heaven instead of the Kingdom, you are on your own. You will not be able to impress your congregations unless you embellish what the Bible says about heaven. Heck, why don’t I steal the whole city and rename it, Heaven? Well, people did that and now there is a city called, Heaven. New Jerusalem is now called, Heaven, by man of course. She is not called that by God.
Now what if you never tricked people into thinking that New Jerusalem was, Heaven, how would you keep people in your churches? You would have no other picturesque descriptions to give them. You could not say, “Heaven has streets of gold”. You could not say, “Heaven has gates of pearl”. So you’ve got a problem.
Your problem can be easily solved; go back to the old landmark; do as the apostles did; preach the Kingdom as the hope and expectation of God’s people. Will your bishops and district elders and prelates and other higher ups boot you out of the organization for preaching the gospel of the kingdom? I hope they wouldn’t do that. Some of the people that Jesus taught got booted out of the synagogues. Getting booted out did not hurt them, because they went with Jesus.
What is the gospel of the kingdom? Will you believe this? Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
The gospel was news. Jesus was announcing that the kingdom of God was at hand. He was telling the people to repent and believe it.
Before His death, Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom. Now notice here, before He dies He preaches a gospel. In His preaching, He does not include His death, burial and resurrection, but it is still the gospel. So here is the biblical definition of the gospel and it is defined independently of His death, burial and resurrection; it is the news of the kingdom. We must all learn what the gospel is; it is the news of the kingdom. After Jesus has died, we do indeed include the news of His death, burial and resurrection in the preaching of the gospel. But if you leave out proclaiming the Kingdom, you have left out the gospel from your preaching. If you preach His death, burial and resurrection and proclaim Heaven instead of the Kingdom, you are going overboard with taking license upon yourself; you are not following Bible command or Bible precedence.
Get with the Bible and throw out the stuff the theologians have taught you, read up on the things concerning the Kingdom and this time let God teach you. Some things come by revelation from God and even the theologians do not get those things; some of the theologians did not have the Spirit of God.
The reason I wrote this is to admonish people to return to preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. It is not heresy to preach the original, Bible gospel.
Assignment to pastors:
Put together a committee and divide it into two groups. Have one group find and list all the scriptures in the Bible that contain the word, heaven. Have the other group to find and list all of the scriptures that contain the word, kingdom. Now, study to find which list is more conducive to preaching the gospel. If you do this without sincere prayer, it doesn’t count.
Also, anybody can do this.