We begin a new four-week worship series this Sunday called The Difference Heaven Makes. It will be rooted in the biblical texts below and the work of two important theologians: Christopher Morse (The Difference Heaven Makes) and Jurgen Moltmann (Sun of Righteousness, ARISE! and In the End-The Beginning)
Outline of Series
September 8: Hearing of Heaven Today (Isaiah 60.1-9)
September 15: The Theology of Heaven (I Corinthians 7.29-31)
September 22: The Reality of Heaven (Luke 24.1-8)
September 29: The Ethics and Hope of Heaven (Romans 15.13)
This week our study of heaven starts with Isaiah 60.1-9. We invite you to read these words from the Prophet Isaiah with particular attention to the first verse of the chapter.
The following is an interview of Dr. Christopher Morse by Dr Trevor Eppehimer (from http://www.salisburypost.com/Opinion/010911-insight-heaven-pic-qcd).:
Trevor Eppehimer: If then we have some in the church today who interpret scriptural references to heaven too literalistically, we also have, it seems to me, others who think about heaven exclusively as the place one goes to when one dies, rather than the origin of a reality that is coming towards us at present. You argue in your book, however, that the latter view is more biblical than the former. I grew up thinking just the opposite. My Sunday school teachers, for instance, taught us to think about heaven primarily as the place where the faithful go to be with God forever when they die. Was I being misinformed by them about what the Bible actually says about heaven?
Christopher Morse: No, not so much misinformed as incompletely informed. I am grateful for Sunday School teachers, and we must remember we are, as the Apostle Paul says, to “grow up” from childhood in our hearing of the Gospel unto the maturity in Christ that God’s grace provides for us. When even as little children we are taught to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” something more is obviously being heard by “heaven” than exclusively a place one goes after death. I’m wondering how well you were paying attention to your Sunday school teachers!
How was heaven talked about when you were a child?
What spoken and unspoken messages did you receive about heaven as a child?