HEAVEN
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HEAVEN
Treasures of Our Everlasting Rest
Published:
12/3/2004
Format:
Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:
132
Size:
6x9
ISBN:
978-1-41840-957-9
Print Type:
B/W

In heaven we shall know everlasting rest and the full measure of our inheritance. Though no eye has seen what God has prepared for us, from Revelation 21-22 we can understand a little of what heaven will feel like. We shall know a new freedom, economy, purity, peace, and so much more. Those will be the simple experiences.

The greater experiences will be in everlasting love, most especially in an everlasting marriage and an enduring intimate community. Likewise, we shall know a growing and everlasting security within our grand heritage within God’s promises and in the work of Christ.

Yet the greatest experience of all is also the hardest to understand, because it is the farthest removed from our earthly experience. The greatest experience of all will be that—for the rest of our everlasting loving lives—we will share in the very life and glory of our dynamic and loving God, our loving Father and Abba. The greatest experience in heaven will be the very life and light that we share with God Himself, so very personal and loving to the uttermost.

Our eternal marriage is no real marriage when one party is fixed or settled. There is no marriage worthy of the definition when only one party grows in Love and devotion and in intimacy and the other is fixed, impotent, and sterile of any emotional vigor. There is no marriage when purged of any ability to experience something new and fresh day by day. That should be obvious.

Remember, these passages are “true and trustworthy.” Symbolic, yes, but they truly represent a reality that no eye has seen, at least not yet. God chose to reveal heaven as a marriage, and that is instructive (or it ought to be). What is most important is that a denial of God’s heavenly growth in a marriage is diametrically opposed to Revelation 21-22, because the passage contains its own interpretative qualifier “true and trustworthy.”

Some people kick goads here, and they neuter marriage when they deny God a dynamic relational ability that at a minimum requires some amount of day-to-day freshness. That is what living is all about, literally and biblically. If God does not enjoy some kind of give and take and enjoy some kind of fresh day-to-day vigor in our eternal marriage, the passage has no meaning whatsoever, and the term marriage itself loses all luster.

………

The Holy City is also the New Jerusalem, the bride, and the wife of the lamb. The Holy City is also the church, the redeemed, and a picture of what our everlasting state of affairs will be. At the very least, the Holy City is a picture of the feelings and experiences of heaven.

Remember, we are not trying to discern the visual or auditory as much as we are trying to discern the feeling and experience. This is much more than the mere picture of a newly-wed couple before a wedding cake. Oh yes! The experience and feeling of the wedding night is so much more profound and intimate. Certainly give and take. Ideally, the wedding night is to be a unique experience for both parties, a prize of intimacy and a cherished moment of devotion.

Who does not know this? This picture of heaven in Revelation 21-22 is for adults only. Only adults can appreciate the magnitude of the pictures. Wee little children cannot fathom the richness or even understand the bare-bones meaning of “devotion”: children know devotion and exhibit it to a selfish degree and on an elementary level. But children do not understand devotion or know how to pay the price that quality devotion demands, much less the meaning of everlasting Love. The wonder and pleasure of the wedding night and the grander experience of a long-term and devoted marriage are exclusively adult pleasures and experiences. Profoundly adult. God could not have been more clearly personal.

     Maness grew up in Southern California and migrated to Texas in 1972.  After a short stint in the U.S. Air Force, Maness earned a B.A with a double major in Bible and Counseling at the Criswell Bible College from 1978 to 1985.  This was a time of dire poverty and much struggle.  He went on to earn a M.Div. with languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in 1990, 1,600 hours of clinical from the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education at Shannon Hospital in San Angelo in 1992, became certified as a Suicide/Crisis Intervention Counselor for MHMR in the Concho Valley in 1991, and a D.Min. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997.

     He has received specialized training with the Texas Dept. of Human Services in Child Protective Services and with Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) in Cultural Diversity, Safe Prisons crisis intervention program, and in TDCJ’s Post Trauma Staff Support team.

     He has traveled throughout the United States and to several countries including Belgium, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

     He is the Senior Clinical Chaplain at the Gib Lewis Texas State Prison and a Certified Correctional Chaplain with the American Correctional Chaplains Association.  He is also a member of the American Correctional Association, Lions Club International, the Evangelical Theological Society, and several other state and national organizations.

     He has written on a large variety of topics, both published and unpublished, and much of the work of his pen can be seen at his web site:

www.PreciousHeart.net

His interests focus on matters that affect the heart...the precious heart.

 

 
 


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