Heaven and Hell

Throughout the Bible, including the New Testament, it is mentioned that we shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven; we shall sit at the right Hand of God; we shall be cast off into hell or abandoned to endless suffering. Many Christians believe that in going to heaven, there will be a great reunion with family and friends. Many Christians believe that going to heaven is an eternal spiritual state of happiness. Some Christians believe that heaven and hell are the state of one’s heart at any given moment while they are alive. Some Christians, who lean more to pantheism, believe that heaven is no more than a transformation that returns one to the great Cosmos created by God.

Who is to say which, if not all are correct? Generally speaking, one’s perception of heaven is tied to one’s perception of God. If God is a literal being and controls behavior and history, then it seems natural that God’s history continues after death. If one believes God is a spiritual force in the universe, then it follows that heaven is a spiritual state. If one believes God is a human-centered experience, then it follows that heaven also is to be experienced while alive. If one tends toward a pantheistic God, then the phrase “from dust to dust” is quite literal.

The modern Christian may incorporate any vision of heaven that is important to them. Choosing God’s will in one’s life is driven in part by the reward of peace and grace, whenever or however it occurs. However, the modern Christian should not follow God’s will for the heavenly reward. The modern Christian lives in the Spirit and gives one’s spirit to God’s will on a daily basis.


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