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By Jerry L Walker Sr.

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  • July 24, 2015: Book Review: The Living Mind by Alan Scott


  • June 14, 2015: My Thoughts On Heaven


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    My Thoughts On Heaven

    Jerry L. Walker Sr.
    June 14, 2015


    Ozarkcountry Common Sense makes no claims (far from it) of expertise in theology but tries to use the Ozarkcountry common sense when it comes to philosophy. Our Sunday School class has recently been studying heaven; all that has done is plant many questions in my mind. After studying what the bible says, praying about it, and dreaming about it, my newly more comfort level Ozarkcountry Common Sense philosophy about heaven is described below.

    While religious leaders and bible scholars may scoff at those individuals who have had near death experiences and then report having glimpsed heaven, I'm not so sure but that they have indeed had some sort of a heavenly encounter. No doubt some of the stories are scams but I think many of them are thought to be true by those who tell of them. There are many such accounts on record and some of those personal accounts are documented in the website Eternity in Our Heart

    Currently, the most prominent of these is the subject of a best selling book and a popular movie entitled "Heaven is for Real"

    Personally, I've never had any such experiences but I did recently have a dream which, at the time and immediately upon my waking, seemed uncannily real to me. There was no background during my dream as to how or why I was there, but I was walking toward a shiny gate which, somehow, I knew was the entry to heaven. As I walked through the gate, two dear friends came to meet me. They each put their arms around me and said, "Welcome home Jerry, we've been waiting for you." One was a childhood friend who, everyday from the fourth grade through high school had come to my front door to accompany me to school. The other was a friend I met much later in life but with whom I worked as we developed a close and trusting friendship. Both died suddenly more than twenty-five years ago.

    In my dream, as I hugged my friends, I remember saying, "Gosh, it's wonderful seeing you two, but I didn't know you even knew one another." And they answered, "Up here Jerry, everyone knows everyone."

    Is there life hereafter? I have no doubt. What will heaven be like? The bible shows us only glimpses such that what heaven will be like remains a mystery made clear only in our dreams.

    Trinity of Man

    Just as there exists the Holy Trinity of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit so does, in my mind, exist a trinity of Man. We accept without fully understanding how such a thing as the Holy Trinity is possible; we accept the concept that the Holy Trinity consists of three separate entities but exist as one. The trinity of Man is similarly mysterious .

    In this Earthly existence Man is comprised of a temporary physical body which is subject to the physical laws created by God for the current universe in which we live. Just as God created time, put this universe in it with a finite life-time, so He also created us to spend a fraction of a second within that universe.

    But He gave us an eternal soul to be initially housed in that temporary body. This soul is the essence of our existence, has been given free will and contains all our morality, creativity, conscience, memories, thoughts, emotions, loves and hates.

    Also eternal, and the third component given to Man is his spirit which houses his soul independent of a body. The soul and spirit are, like with the Holy Trinity, separate but one. When the bible refers to “the heart of Man” it is referring to this combination of the soul and spirit. (Ephesians 3:17 " so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.&qupt;

    Is this what is meant in Genesis 1:27 ? ("So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.")?

    So what happens when this Earthly body returns to dust? The "heart" (meaning the soul and spirit) ceases to be bound by the physical laws of the present universe, including time, and enters the realm of God.

    What Is Heaven Like But not being a philosopher or theologian, I can't know or describe this new existence as well as they maybe can. Several years ago I bought a very old book on Amazon entitled, "The Philosophy of the Future State" thinking that this would give me an incite from the early 19th century as to what this author of that day thought the nation might be like today. As I perused the book I realized I was totally off-base because the "future state" was referring to eternity. I buried the book deep into a seldom used bookcase and forgot about it. But it mysteriously reappeared recently as my thoughts about heaven became aroused.

    "The Philosophy of the Future State" is a very old book (1829) by Scottish philosopher, scientist, and author Thomas Dick. Re-discovery of this book fit right in with our Sunday School class study about the heaven we will enter after our worldly exit (i.e., the future state) . In this book, Dick develops a Christian theology compatible with the science of his day which is equally applicable to today's science 200 years later.

    The following excerpt from that book describes our future state far better than ever I could:

    He who created the human soul, and endued it with so many noble faculties, can continue its existence, through an unlimited extent of duration, in a thousand modes incomprehensible to us. If a material system of organical powers be necessary for the exercise of its energies, He can either clothe it with a fine ethereal vehicle, at the moment its present tenement is dissolved, or connect it, in another region of the universe, with a corporeal frame of more exquisite workmanship, analogous to that which it now animates

    Is There A Heaven?

    Is there life after death? Is there a future state? The bible tells us "Yes" in many places in both the old and new testaments. Some examples of these are:

    From "The Living Bible"
    Psalm 16: 10 For you will not leave me among the dead; you will not allow your beloved one to rot in the grave
    Psalm 48:14 For this great God is our God forever and ever
    Psalm 49: 15 But as for me, God will redeem my soul from the power of death, for he will receive me.
    John 3: 15 so that anyone who believes in me will have eternal life
    Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
    Romans 8: For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow,
    1 Corinthians 15:55 -57 O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin—the sting that causes death—will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge. How we thank God for all of this! It is he who makes us victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    Revelations 22: 14 Blessed forever are all who are washing their robes, to have the right to enter in through the gates of the city and to eat the fruit from the Tree of Life.
    Isaiah 25:8 he will swallow up death forever. The Lord God will wipe away all tears and take away forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The Lord has spoken—he will surely do it!

    And there are many more such verses and "…He will surely do it!"

    What Will Heaven Be Like?

    What will heaven be like once we get there? I won't attempt to answer that question but the answer has been attempted by many more able than me. One such brave soul ("…fools rush in where angels fear to tread.") has made the attempt. One such notable person is Peter Kreeft who is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King's College. He is the author of numerous books as well as a popular writer of Christian philosophy, theology and apologetics.

    Peter Kreeft wrote "What Will Heaven Be Like?--Thirty-five frequently asked questions about eternity".

    I'll quote only one of those answered questions here in hope that you will then read Peter Kreeft's answers to the other 34 questions about what heaven will be like:

    Will we recognize our loved ones in Heaven?: George Macdonald answers this question with a counter question: "Will we be greater fools there than here?" Of course we will know our loved ones. This is a divinely designed, essential part of our joy. We are not designed to be solitary mystics, lovers of God alone, but to be, like God himself, lovers of men and women as well.
    Just as Jesus on Earth loved each person differently and specially--he did not love John as he loved Peter, because John was not Peter--so we are designed to love people specially. There is no reason why this specialness should be removed, rather than added to, in eternity. Our family and special friends will always be our family and special friends. In this life a child begins to learn to love by loving mother, then father, then siblings, then pets. The concentric circles of love are then gradually expanded, but the beginning lessons are never abandoned. There is no reason to think God rips up this plan after death.

    And in my dream, recognizing people went one step further, " --- in heaven everyone knows everyone." Ozarkcountry says to all of you, "God Bless."


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    Copyright © June 14, 2000 Jerry Lee Walker Sr.