Boy who told fibs about heaven

Titled The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, this 2010 bestseller from Tyndale by Alex Malarkey and his father Kevin Malarkey has sold more than a million copies. And why not, we ask, for a book that purports to tell the story of six-year-old Alex, who sustained head injuries in a vehicular collision that left him comatose for two months and paralyzed permanently. While in the coma, said Alex, … [Read more...]

OUR FUTURE SELVES

Oh, to live forever! Do you ever long for that? It's a grandiose wish, all right, and certainly not unqualified or without reservations. We would not want any pain, for example, should we somehow manage to live forever. Most of us have experienced pain here; we clearly have no appetite for any more. An unending life ought to be pain-free. While we are at it, let's stipulate that sickness also is … [Read more...]

WHEN A PET DIES

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "We are in the process of watching a family dog die, and I'm feeling rather inadequate to prepare my children for this inevitable event. Has God no further use for animals after life on earth? I would appreciate your thoughts." * * * I don't know any New Testament passage that clearly says animals will inhabit the Age to Come. However the prophet Isaiah includes … [Read more...]

TIME AND ETERNITY

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "My question concerns the statement in Revelation 10:6 that "time shall be no more" (KJV), which the NIV translates 'there shall be no more delay.' Is time done away in the future eternal kingdom of God? Do the new creation and the New Jerusalem function beyond the confines of space-time-matter-energy? Will we transcend time in eternity?" * * * The New … [Read more...]

WILL WE REMEMBER THIS LIFE IN ETERNITY?

A member of our circle notes God's declaration in Isaiah 65:17 that the "former things" will not be remembered in the new heavens and new earth. "Does that include people and relationships," he asks, "and questions we now have?" * * * We need not reach that conclusion, it seems to me, since the preceding verse assures us that the "former things" which are forgotten are the "former troubles" … [Read more...]

ACTIVITY IN ETERNITY

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "When I consider an eternity of praising God, it scares me that I think that I will get bored. I pray all the time for God to give me the kind of heart that will make that thought desirable, but nothing happens. What's wrong with me?" * * * Perhaps you have been wrongly taught. God's people certainly will praise him in eternity and enjoy unhindered fellowship with … [Read more...]

NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH (2)

A gracEmail subscriber asks for "a bit more elaboration" on the notion that God's redemption will include the creation itself as well as individual children, women and men. * * * According to the Bible, God brought the physical universe into existence and he heartily approved of all that he originally made (Gen. 1:1, 31). From dust of the earth God formed a man-creature, breathed life breath … [Read more...]

NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH (1)

A gracEmail subscriber asks for "a bit more elaboration" on the notion that God's redemption will include the creation itself as well as individual children, women and men. * * * According to the Bible, God brought the physical universe into existence and he heartily approved of all that he originally made (Gen. 1:1, 31). From dust of the earth God formed a man-creature, breathed life breath … [Read more...]

GOING TO HEAVEN

"I hear people talk about 'going to heaven,'" writes a gracEmail subscriber. "Does the Bible say that the saved will go there? If it does, do people 'go to heaven' as soon as they die, or at the end of the world?" * * * Scripture assures us that believers now have a house that is from heaven (2 Cor. 5:2), treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20), reward in heaven (Lk. 6:23), names written in heaven (Lk. … [Read more...]

LIFE NOW AND FOREVER

This final week of 2004 has seen what is perhaps the largest natural disaster in the world's history, following an earthquake under the Indian Ocean more than 740 miles long and having the force of a million atomic bombs. The quake, which jolted the earth's rotation, spawned monster waves called tsunamis which swept across the Indian Ocean, killing (says the Associated Press) more than 44,000 … [Read more...]