Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #39 If Creation, Why Heaven?

Yesterday on “Answering “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer“,” we looked at the material riches of heaven in light of the apparent Biblical mandate against material riches.

Given the theme of heaven, today Thomas Neil transitions into questions about Heaven’s perfection. Neil asks:

Why isn’t Creation perfect?

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39 – If God is perfect then his creations should be perfect, right? Then that would mean that the earth is a perfect creation. Then why would God have to create another perfect place, heaven, and use it to entice us to believe in him?  What kind of assurance do we have that heaven would be any better than his other ‘perfect’ creation, earth? 

The human beings seen at the beginning of the book of Genesis were innocent in that they had no “knowledge of good and evil.” They did not choose to be innocent, they were created that way. Indeed, when the choice was given, they opted for corruption instead of innocence. The human beings seen in heaven are innocent through no act of their own. Rather, they are made innocent by the work of Christ who absorbed their sin and credited them with his righteousness. These human beings have made the conscious choice to pursue a relationship with their Creator at the expense of their selfish desires. Having tasted corruption, they have pursued perfection. These humans have a comprehensive relationship with their Creator in a way that innocent Adam could never have had. However, this relationship would never have been possible without the entire story of corruption and redemption seen in scripture. Moreover, God would never have been able to actualize his nature through Jesus Christ without this entire process.

If time is seen as a series of individual events, each of which exists independent of the temporal context in which it exists, then one might argue that “this aspect of creation is imperfect, therefore creation is imperfect.” However if one sees time as God presumably does – himself being outside of time – then the entirety of time, taken as a whole, completes a story of the struggle and triumph of God’s nature that is, indeed, the perfect story. Like any other story worth telling, it begins on an average note, descends into danger and heartbreak, and resolves at the end with triumph and redemption. All of God’s attributes – love, holiness, justice, grace, patience, and wisdom – unfold in a way they never would have outside of this creation. To have character, one must have characteristics. A persons character is determined by their action, not their inaction. In acting out his entire nature on the scroll of creation, God has actualized himself, and reconciled his love and justice in the process. Reconciliation having occurred, corruption is overcome by perfection, and a perfect Heaven is possible, wherein people have free will, and are assured not to exercise this will in a rebellious manner.

 

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