Jun
18

Heaven on Earth? by Randy Rowley 6/18/13 ©

By

I love to bird hunt, especially for ducks and dove.  I also love to fish, especially for bass.  But it’s exceedingly rare when I get to do both on the same morning.  So when I have an opportunity to go on a ‘blast and cast,’ I jump at it.  In mid-September, I had such a chance at Joel Kirby’s A-OK Ranch near Lometa.

It was cool when we arrived, but my eight friends and I knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long.  We gathered our guns, shell bags, buckets, and Mojo’s (motorized decoys) and headed over to the mesquites and stock tanks (ponds).  I also brought along a dozen teal dekes, as it was the opening day of teal season.  I put them on the largest stock tank, set out my Mojo, and then sat under a big solitary mesquite, which was the only cover that I could find.

The day started slow.  Tim Price and I had two dove come in at first shooting light but didn’t see any more for nearly an hour.  Neither had any teal shown up.  The guys by the spring-fed stock tank weren’t doing much better than we were.  Shots were few and far between.

Tim decided to move into the mesquites, but I chose to stay with my decoys.  Tim’s decision proved to be the right one – I soon heard several shots coming from his direction.  He had four birds in his bag by the time I joined him.  I put out my Mojo, plopped down about 25 yards away, and then the action started.

I dropped a bird, went and got it, and then dropped another one on the way back to my bucket.  It happened again and again.  I didn’t make it back to my bucket until I had bird number 14.

A few minutes later, I limited out (15 birds).  There was a good mix of mourning dove and white wings.  I then joined Tim and Jim Gault at the big stock tank.  They both had limited out and already had a nice stringer of bass.

The area was in a drought, so the stock tank was the smallest that I’d seen it.  This proved to be a good thing for us, as the bass were congregated.  They were also hungry.  We threw lipless crankbaits, and they hit them with abandon.  The bass we caught were two pounds or less, but the three of us caught between ten-fifteen each.  We released most of them.  I hauled in my tenth bass right before the lunch bell rang.

Over the years, I’ve shot many limits of dove and caught more than a few limits of bass.  But never before had I done those feats on the same morning.  I thought to myself that we’d experienced a bit of Heaven on earth.

Later, as I reflected on that day, I more deeply examined what Heaven will likely be like.  Many in Hollywood and the advertising industry seem to think that all those in Heaven will do is float on clouds and strum harps.  Some Christians believe that we’ll mainly sing hymns and praise songs without end.

Indeed, there are many verses to support that some of what we’ll do is joyfully praise our Lord and Savior.  But that’s not the entire picture.

Genesis paints a picture of the Creator spending time on earth with his creation.  Genesis 3:8-10 says, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’”

Notice that Adam didn’t say, “I was afraid because this was the first time that you walked on the earth.”  There was no element of surprise; therefore, God taking a walk in the Garden of Eden must have been the norm.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, he banished them from the garden.  Genesis 3:23-24 says, “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.  After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”  There is no mention of God the Father again walking on the earth until Revelation Chapter 21.

Revelation 21:1-3 says, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look!  God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

Ultimately, Heaven is not going to be a celestial home among the clouds. Rather it will be on a new earth!

God never gave up on his plan to walk on the earth with man.  We are still living in Plan A.  He never considered the need for a Plan B.  He knew when he gave Adam and Eve free will that they would eventually rebel.  He knew that he would have to make a way to restore mankind to right standing with him by sending his only son to take our punishment for us.  And he knew that one day he would walk on a new earth with his redeemed creation.

Will we sing in Heaven?  Yes!  Will we shout praise?  Definitely!  But we’ll also be learning a multitude of things.  We’ll “have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2b-3).  It will take all eternity for us “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18b-19).

We’ll also have jobs – not for procuring money so we can pay bills and buy things, for God will meet all of our needs in Heaven.  Rather, God will reward us with jobs for our faithfulness, obedience, and for making disciples.  We will joyfully want to serve him.  Revelation 22:3 says, “No longer will there be any curse.  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

Revelation 19:6-7 says, “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.’”  Revelation 19:9a says, “Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’”

Weddings during that time might go on for days.  They were extravagant parties.  (For a hint on what one was like, see John 2:1-10.)  John described what he witnessed in God’s revelation as something that he was very familiar with – a wedding feast.  Meals for me always include meat – and a feast has a lot of it!

Many Christians believe that we will not eat meat in heaven.  But I see no Biblical evidence that we won’t eat meat when we have heavenly bodies.  After his resurrection, Jesus ate fish in front of the disciples.  Luke 24:40-43 says, “When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”  As Jesus ate fish post-resurrection, it is logical that we will also eat fish and other meat after receiving our resurrection bodies.

That meat is going to be provided somehow.  Certainly, God could create it out of thin air, but I believe that he will give some of his children the job of obtaining meat.  I hope that the Lord will choose me to serve him by hunting and fishing in heaven.

God once walked on the earth with mankind.  He will dwell with mankind again on a new earth.  One day blasts and casts like the one I experienced near Lometa might be my norm in Heaven.  One thing is certain – those who belong to Jesus will experience Heaven on earth for all eternity.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 9-10-11_tim_randy_and_jim-300x226.jpg

Tim, Randy, and Jim

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/