Do you think of Heaven as a place where disembodied spirits float in the clouds, listening to harp music for eternity? Many people stereotype life in Heaven as a church service that never ends.
In his thought-provoking new book, Randy Alcorn dispels all misconceptions about a believer’s eternal destination and presents a compelling case for one of the least-talked-about subjects in Christianity.
The founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a nonprofit organization that promotes an eternal viewpoint and helps underprivileged people around the world, Alcorn based his entire book on biblical study, research, and extensive reading on the subject of Heaven. The book is divided into three sections: “A Theology of Heaven,” “Questions and Answers about Heaven,” and “Living in Light of Heaven”.
In “A Theology of Heaven,” Alcorn explains that contrary to a popular belief, Heaven is a real, physical place where bodily resurrected people live and engage in various meaningful creative activities. Heaven will not be a foreign place for us but we will recognize it as home: “Too often we’ve been taught that Heaven is a non-physical realm, which cannot have real gardens, cities, kingdoms, buildings…So we fail to take seriously what Scripture tells us about Heaven as a familiar, physical, tangible place.”
The book captures surprising aspects of Heaven that I have never considered before. To start with, Alcorn points out the difference between the present Heaven and the ultimate, eternal Heaven. The present Heaven is where we enter when we die, but it is not our final destination. After the resurrection, according to Alcorn, we will relocate to the eternal Heaven or the New Earth in which God intended for us. This beautiful and joyous New Earth will be a perfect place where all creation will be redeemed and restored, and “where God will dwell with his people on the New Earth.”
Part two of Heaven contains eye-opening information that will satisfy the reader’s curiosity. Alcorn presents common questions people ask about Heaven and answers them with clarity and wit. Some of the questions are the ones that I wanted to know but could not find definite answers anywhere: “What will we do in Heaven?” “Will we rest and sleep?” “Will we literally eat and drink?” “Will we have our own homes?” and “Will we see our pets again?” Others are queries that are a bit strange but good to know: “Will we drink coffee in Heaven?” “Will we find books in Heaven” “Will we all have beautiful bodies?” and “What languages will we speak?”
Another strong point about this book is its easy-to-follow format. Different charts and notes are helpful in understanding the book’s content. Alcorn uses everyday language that is easy to understand even for the reader who might not be familiar with biblical terms or theology.
Heaven is a well-written, thorough, refreshing book that will change the way you think of eternity. It will make you appreciate your life now but at the same time long for the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in exploring this fascinating subject.
About the Author
Sukalaya Kenworthy is a senior library assistant at the Westport Branch. To join the Inspirational Book Group, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816.701.3488 for more information. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m.