Bringing Heaven Down To Earth

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Andrew Bandstra on "The Hope of Heaven"

Dr. Andrew Bandstra, with whom I worshiped at Neland Avenue CRC when I was growing up, wrote the article "The Hope of Heaven," which earned second place in the category of Biblical Exposition from the Evangelical Press Association in 2004. Dr. Bandstra doesn't specifically sketch a terrestrial and cultural framework for heaven the way Anthony Hoekema and Richard Mouw do, but his analysis of biblical texts about heaven and hope is thorough.

What the Old Testament hints at, the New Testament teaches clearly. Jesus, the high priest and guarantee of the new covenant, has introduced “a better hope” (Heb. 7:19). Hope is related to the future. Paul tells us that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to “the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18-25). The whole creation groans “in hope,” and we believers also groan inwardly as we “wait eagerly” for our adoption as sons and daughters, namely, the redemption of our bodies. Paul explains: “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what [they] already ha[ve]? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

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