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Just read your article "Light for our path." Nov 2014 FIC. Your article left me with the impression that there will be heaven on a "new" earth, after judgement day. Is that to say that it will be the same orb that we now live in? I've never envisioned that, and would like to make sure that my thinking is on track. I've always believed that heaven (pre- and post-judgement) will be in a new heavenly realm. I know that when I die, my soul will go immediately to heaven with Jesus, and my soul will be reunited with my body (in heaven) after judgement day. I appreciate your time, and thanks for the article. Answer: The Bible states that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare…That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10, 12-13). It is clear from this passage and others (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1) that on the last day this present world will pass away (Luke 21:33) and God will prepare “a new heaven and a new earth” for his people.The question that remains for us is whether God will 1) annihilate this present world and create another one, or 2) destroy this world without annihilating it and transform our present world into another one. Total annihilation or transformation/renovation: those are the legitimate options for understanding what the Bible says will take place on the last day. Lutheran theologians and commentators have put forth support for both positions. Because Scripture uses language and imagery of “renewal” (Matthew 19:28) and “rebirth” (Romans 8:21-22) in regard to this subject, there are probably more theologians who side with the transformation/renovation view. Martin Luther was on that side.In the end—literally—it will not matter what specific course of action God takes on the last day. The result will be a new, perfect world in which we will live with our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-57). How wonderful it is for us to know that whenever our lives on this earth do come to an end, we will be with the Lord forever. You and I have that confidence because salvation—from beginning to end—is God’s doing. It is his gift received through Spirit-worked faith. I hope this answers your question.Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.
I'm writing a paper on Exodus chapter 3, and we need to explain the basic meaning. I understand it is on the burning bush but I don't know a lot on the text. Just need some information on the text. Answer: I have to be careful that I do not get myself—or you—into trouble with your teacher by providing too much help! You could get good information on the chapter by consulting “Exodus” in The People’s Bible commentary series. The book may be available from your pastor or in your church library. If you are looking for an online source, Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary may give you some insight. I wish you well with your assignment.Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.
Pastor Timothy J. Winkel
2651 Shettler Road
Muskegon, MI 49444
Telephone: 231 777 3011