Viewpoint XX

The church teaches that the Scriptural expression “heaven and earth” means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: “the earth” is the world of men, while “heaven” or “the heavens” can designate both the firmament and God’s own “place”-“our Father in heaven” and consequently the “heaven” too which is eschatological glory. Finally, “heaven” refers to the saints and the “place” of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.186 (CCC 326)

Most of us have heard that a good life has its rewards; and Jesus has proven this to us by his resurrection and ascension.Eternal life is ours, by choice of course, since death was conquered by him for all of us. He paid the price for the sins of mankind by being sacrificed on the cross by the Romans on behalf of many of the Jews at “the fullness of time.” He gave positive meaning to the concept of the Kingdom of Heaven as the reward for those who are faithful to his teaching in the name of the Father.

About fourteen percent of the worlds population cannot or will not believe in God, no less being “redeemed” by a man who claimed to be the Son of God, and rightly determined, God himself by the church he founded simply relating to his own words and deeds, “I and the Father are One.” (John 10: 30) “That all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17: 21)

Isaiah, the prophet, who lived about 700 years before Christ said: 

“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation. (Isaiah 25: 8-9)

“What is signified is the admission of all nations to communion with the one true God, and, as a consequence of this, the cessation of all the evils of human life. The whole passage, standing out as it does from a gloomy background of judgment and terror, is one of the most remarkable and fascinating in the Old Testament.” (Bible Hub: Cambridge commentary)

“Our Lord tells of a “marriage supper,” to which he will invite his friends (Mathew 22: 2-12); and the scene of the “marriage supper of the Lamb, “according to St. John in the Revelation” (Revelation 19:7-9), is heaven.  (Bible Hub: Cambridge commentary)

Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. (John 5: 10)

From the sermon on the mount, the Beatitudes 

The Secular Humanist Society doctrine generally states: 

Humanity is capable of morality and self-fulfillment without belief in God so it goes without saying that a heavenly reward is  irrelevant to many of our modern culture. Other than the fantastic elaborations given by  St.John in Revelation, Jesus explains heaven primarily with the gentle, loving parables of  the gospels, particularly Matthew’s:

Matt.13.11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

Matt.13.24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,

Matt.13.31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.

Matt.13.33 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

Matt.13.44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Matt.13.45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,

Matt.13.47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.

Matt.13.52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Matt.14.19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Matt.16.1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

Matt.16.17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Matt.16.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (New Testament Hyper-concordance Home page)

 

The parables are all available in the gospels for those who have faith in the Word of God—in the promises of Christ.

St. Paul in 1 Corinthians gives us hopeful and definitive words 

from Isaiah on the expectation of heaven as promised by the Lord:

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— (NIV) (1 Corinthians 2: 9) (Isaiah 64: 4)

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