On Earth as It is in Heaven

On Earth as It is in Heaven

My son asked me today if I think Heaven is a real place.

I don’t know many Christians who haven’t wondered about Heaven. What will we see and hear? How will it feel and smell to be there, in God’s holy presence, reunited with those whose homecoming preceded ours?

When I think of Heaven, I don’t think of the material riches. I don’t imagine abundance. I don’t expect wealth or prosperity or any other superficial reward for my return home.

When I think of Heaven, I think of love. I picture the pure bliss that results from loving and being loved. My brain can’t 100% fathom the love we’ll give and receive in Heaven because I know it will be unlike anything we’ve experienced here on Earth.

Yet I also know God has allowed each of us to have a glimpse into the experiences of Heaven through the lives we live here on Earth.

The Lord’s prayer speaks of God’s will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I’ve recited this prayer countless times in my life, but I’ve only recently started to truly consider what it means, what we can glean from those few words of verse. These are just some of my revelations about God’s will being done here on Earth, just as it was, is, and will be done in Heaven.

On Earth as it is in Heaven…God’s will on Earth is for each and every one of us to be restored fully back to our Creator. God longs for us sons and daughters to be brought back, regardless of how far we’ve strayed. In Heaven, we will be home, but until that time, God desires a relationship with each of his created during our time here on Earth.

On Earth as it is in Heaven….There will be no separation in Heaven. There will be no segregation in Heaven. There isn’t going to be a Baptist Heaven and a Methodist Heaven. There won’t be a black area of worship and a white area of worship. There will not be an exclusive American Heaven for American Christians. Republicans and Democrats will inhabit the same space. There will be no man-made titles of separation. All of those outward signs of racial, political, geographical, and theological differences will disappear. If God’s will in Heaven is for each of us to worship as one body of Christ, we should be working in that direction here on Earth.

On Earth as it is in Heaven….There will be no patriarchy in Heaven. There will be no hierarchy of spiritual power or privilege based on gender. As image bearers of our Creator, a daughter of God will stand in the same place of honor as a son. We will enter the same gates, and we will stand before the same God. We will receive the same words of commendation, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

On Earth as it is in Heaven….There will be so special authority for men in Heaven, and I truly believe God’s will was never for there to be special authority for men here on Earth. Why would our God, omniscient, infallible, and all powerful, fully capable of doing His will on Earth just as He does in Heaven, need to place human men in a place of spiritual authority over women?

Some point to the fall and Genesis, but we are not living under the curse. We’ve entered fully into a new covenant with our God, one sealed with the redemptive, freeing blood of Jesus Christ, blood shed for men and women alike. A covenant much more reflective of God’s will in Heaven.

On Earth as it is in Heaven….There will be no division of roles for men and women in Heaven; therefore, there should be no division of roles for the genders here on Earth. God saw fit to allow his Holy Spirit to bestow each and every one of us with gifts while we’re here on Earth, thus why they’re called the gifts of the spirit or spiritual gifts. There are no qualifications for the gifts. There isn’t a single verse of scripture which differentiates the gifts men receive from the gifts women receive; therefore, we can understand men and women alike are gifted with any of the talents and abilities of the spirit. This includes leadership and teaching.

The Bible also makes it clear each gift is equal to the other in its ability to further the kingdom of God. The body metaphor is used to demonstrate this uniformity. The head is not more important than the limbs. All must function together for the body to work to its fullest potential.

If we limit the spiritual gifts of women here on Earth, we are not working to do God’s will as it is in Heaven. If the spirit sees fit to equip women with the gifts of teaching and preaching and leading, which women are clearly gifted to do, then legalistic rules which prohibit her gifts in the home and church are ultimately prohibiting God’s will for her here on Earth.

On Earth as it is in Heaven….There will be no marital titles like husband and wife in Heaven. When we enter into Heaven, we will do so separately. A husband will not be there to guide and lead his wife into Heaven. A husband will not be there to interpret God’s will and judgement for the wife and family. A husband will not be there to give account for how he failed or succeeded in helping his wife be the godly woman God called for her to be. A husband will not act as his wife’s spiritual covering or husband pastor at the gates of Heaven. A husband will not go before, with the wife and children following behind, under his special Earthly, spiritual authority. A husband will not assume any sort of special role in Heaven period.

Why then, do we feel God desires for him to do so here on Earth?

God’s will on Earth is being done through the Spirit, and the spirit dwells equally and fully in each of us as believers. As a woman, I am just as equipped to be lead by the Holy Spirit as a man, and I believe the directive of the Holy Spirit is sufficient.

How can a wife be lead by the Holy Spirit if she’s being lead by her husband’s will? What message are we sending about God’s competency if we place men in roles which God already inhabits with full adequacy?

God’s will is made clear in the whole of Gospel, not just a verse or two here and there in the Pauline letters. God’s will on Earth can not and is not summed up in a single verse or book or epistle of the Bible. God’s will for us here on Earth is made clear through the gospel as a whole and through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven….

Yes, we can experience glimpses of Heaven on Earth but only if we remove the distorting lenses of hierarchy and inequality and patriarchy which cloud the view.

Heaven is a real place, my son, but we don’t have to wait to fully understand its glory. When we work towards mutuality, equality, and love, and when we and live fully into the freedom which Jesus died for on the cross, we are experiencing Heaven right here on Earth.

 

 

 

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