Jesus, the Ultimate Heaven and Earth Meeting Place

How Jesus followers saw themselves as a manifestation of God's presence on earth. How to seek God's Kingdom here on earth. And what happens when I die?

Episode 3
Feb 10, 2016
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Show Notes

In this episode, the guys wrap up their discussion on heaven and earth. The guys will solidify the idea that Jesus is the meeting place of heaven and earth. He is God’s temple presence on earth, and his resurrection is the first part of God’s plan for a new creation. Not only do the New Testament authors draw on temple imagery to talk about Jesus, but they also use it in reference to people and communities of believers. What does this mean for followers of Jesus? And finally, what happens to us after we die?

In the first part of the episode (03:06-15:28), the guys look at the story of Pentecost and the start of the Jesus movement. Because of the events in the book of Acts, we know that God’s presence exists in followers of Jesus. We’re not just humans; we’re like little mobile units of God’s presence.

In the second part of the episode (15:50-27:52), Tim and Jon talk about the implications of Christians having the presence of God within them. God’s presence in us means that we are able to see glimpses of his Kingdom now while holding out hope for the fullness of his Kingdom that is coming. This is what the now-and-not-yet Kingdom of God is all about.

In the last part of the episode (28:26-41:57), the guys try to shed light on the question of life after death. Though we’re given few specifics about the afterlife in the Bible, we know that both Jesus and the New Testament authors fully believed that some part of us would be in the presence of God awaiting the new creation after we die.

Video: This episode is designed to accompany our video called, “Heaven & Earth.” You can view it on our youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

Scripture References: Acts 2, Colossians 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Corinthians 11, Luke 23, Philippians 1, 2 Corinthians 5, Revelation 6

Show Music: Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music; Blue Skies by Unwritten Stories; Flooded Meadows by Unwritten Stories

Scripture References
Luke 23:43
1 Peter 2:4-5
Philippians 3:20
Acts 2:3
Exodus 40:37
1 Kings 8:10-11
Ephesians 2:19-20
Colossians 1:19
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
1 Corinthians 6:19
Joel 2:28
Matthew 6:9-10
Philippians 1:23
2 Corinthians 5:1-6
Revelation 6:9-11

Podcast Date: February 10, 2016

(41.54) Speakers in the audio file:

Jon Collins Tim Mackie


Jon: Hey everyone. This is the Bible project podcast. I'm Jon Collins. This is a dialogue with Tim Mackie. We're both founders of The Bible Project, which is primarily just YouTube videos on the internet. It's been a pleasure making these.

This is the third of a three-part series conversation on heaven. In the last episode, we talked about how heaven was perceived by the Hebrew prophets.

Tim: So all of the key passages in the prophets that point to the hope of the world, it's not of people leaving earth and going up to God space. It's the opposite. It's of God space coming to fully overlap with Earth.

Jon: We talked briefly about the prophetic hope of resurrection from the dead.

Tim: That because God was the Creator of the world because the world has been so messed up by humans, that God's going to have to recreate and make new his world, and not abandon it. And so, if God is going to do that, that means His love and His commitment to humans who are Earthlings also needs to somehow go beyond the grave and redeem even the grave.

Jon: Then we talked about Jesus and how he is introduced to us as a person who connects God's space with our space.

Tim: He's introduced to us by the New Testament authors with language and imagery that's all drawn from this heaven temple Garden of Eden set of ideas. The whole point is that God's Heavenly Kingdom is now becoming an earthly reality in and through Jesus.

Jon: Then we talked about how Jesus viewed the temple in his day.

Tim: Instead of being the meeting place of heaven and earth, Jesus said it's now a den of thieves and robbers. So he claimed to replace it and to rebuild the temple in the form of his own resurrected body, and then the community of his followers who will become the new meeting place of heaven and earth.

So it's with Jesus, that this idea of the new temple being not a building like the prophets described in their poetry, but a community of people who are the reality to which the building always is pointing.

Jon: So we're going to explore more about this community of Jesus followers and their identity as the temple and we're also going to talk about something that's been nagging me and hopefully you've been kind of wondering as we've gone through this conversation is, this is all great, but I'm just kind of curious what happens when I die? Where do I go?

What happens then? So we'll talk about that as well. All right, here we go.


Tim: From Jesus emerges the Jesus movement. In Acts 2, Pentecost is a really key moment in the story in the New Testament then. So the day when God's Spirit comes and fills the 120 in the upper room and they go out, spill out into Jerusalem, it said that tongues of fire appear over each - the language is very specific - over each and every person's head. And that's temple imagery.

Jon: How is it temple imagery?

Tim: Well, think of what happened in Exodus 40, or in 1 Kings 8 or in Leviticus 10 when God's presence comes to take up residence in the temple. It's cloud and fire then come hover over the top of the temple.

Jon: These are little mini pillars of fire.

Tim: These are little mini manifestations of God's glory taking up residence in his temple through the Spirit. Except it's the collective temple because it's all these little images here. Surely that experience is what fired Peter's imagination. So in his first letter, 1 Peter 2, he describes the community of Jesus as a community of living stones who are built as a spiritual house with Jesus himself as the cornerstone.

Or in Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he says that Jesus followers are God's house built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus is the cornerstone, and altogether it becomes the dwelling place where God lives by His Spirit.

This image of Jesus as the cornerstone, that itself is a metaphor for Jesus is the first one and whom heaven and earth overlap.

Jon: Because that's the first stone you put down when you're building a house?

Tim: Yeah, the foundation stone.

Jon: It's called the foundation stone, because everything's built on it or because it's the first stone that helps you know where things go?

Tim: Well, it depends on what kind of stone we're talking about. Like you can have a court a keystone of your arch, so it's load bearing or if it's a foundation stone, it's under the ground. You don't see it. But we have symbolic cornerstones still today. It's like on the corner of the building, and it's a showcase stone, but it's also load bearing because it's pretty low to the ground so that everybody can see it. So it's going to be a beautiful stone, load bearing, strong. Usually, it has an inscription on it. So Jesus is that.

Jon: And it would be the first one you put down and then everything would build out from there?

Tim: Correct. There's lots of references to this. Colossians 1, Paul says, "God was pleased to have His fullness dwell in the sun." That's temple language of God's fullness taking up dwelling or resident.

Jon: That's not just talking about Jesus deity?

Tim: Oh, it is but it's using temple imagery as a way of talking about Jesus as the divine/human one. So out of this flows Paul's whole theology of the church as a temple. The two most clear expressions are in his first letter to the Corinthians.

In 1 Corinthians 3, he says, "Y'all are God's temple." There he uses it to warn bad church leaders from turning the community and church community into a personality cold of just favoring different leaders and so on. He is like, "No, no, no, no, this is God's temple. This isn't a popularity contest."

In 1 Corinthians 6, he uses the idea of your body being a temple to reinforce the holiness and purity of the temple. Therefore, don't sleep with someone you're not married to. That's how he applies idea. It's a versatile idea that Paul can use to make claims about who Jesus is. He can talk about the nature of the church as the place where God dwells. He can use it to make moral challenges to people.

Jon: It is interesting when I really come with all this richness of the temple and how important that is, and how grand that would have felt and the holiness to that, take all of that imagery and then go, "Okay, you are the temple of God, God's presence, which it used to be just dwelt in these places." Now, you're like, "I'm little mobile unit of that - yourself - in the same with Jesus was."

Tim: That's exactly right.

Jon: When you think about that, that actually brings a lot of gravity to my life. Because now I'm not just a human trying to make it in the world or whatever. I'm actually this mobile unit of God's presence that...Cherubim were protecting these places. There was flaming swords in front of this thing. I mean, this is intense. There's a gravity to it. And so, then Paul takes the gravity and says, "That's why you don't sleep around. It's not because of STDs. It's not or whatever. It's because, do you realize how important this is?"

Tim: Yeah. You're an expression of God's temple presence to the world. Why would you do such a thing? You're dishonoring God, you're dishonoring your body. Your body's way more than a sex machine. It's a glorious meeting place of heaven and earth.

Jon: It's kind of like if someone was like, "Hey, can we go have sex next to the Cherubim? It'd be like, "No, that's not appropriate. You don't do that."

Tim: It's very inappropriate.

Jon: It's very inappropriate. That's a holy place. So you are holy, let's do appropriate things.

Tim: Yeah. That's a personal kind of moral challenge. Paul also uses it as a corporate moral challenge. So don't put up with bad, arrogant, self- serving leaders in a local church community. That also dishonors God.

Paul actually says, 1 Corinthians, "If someone corrupt God's temple, if someone destroys God's temple - it's an expression in the local church - Paul says, God will destroy him. It's just the principle of James saying, "Yeah, not many people should become teachers in a church because there's an extra degree of accountability before God." Paul's use this template language to make the same point.

Jon: Because priests would get killed if they performed the rituals incorrectly in the temple.

Tim: Yeah.

Jon: We're not messing around.

Tim: We're not messing around.

Jon: It's not JV Ball anymore. It's a temple.

Tim: That's right. There's at least one story of a remarkable tragic event in the early church and a survivor who—

Jon: Get smoked.

Tim: Yeah, totally. They were cheating the early church community with its ability to have benevolence for the poor in their midst, and so they get roasted on the spot. Which is a story that harks back to the two priests in the book of Leviticus who get roasted on the spot for doing the same type of thing.

Jon: Yeah, it's intense.

Tim: Yeah, it is intense.

Jon: I admire the Catholic Church for how beautiful and holy the sanctuaries are or the cathedrals.

Tim: Yeah. It's the same in Eastern Orthodox church too.

Jon: And then you still see that in Anglican or Episcopalian. Churches typically have this as well, right? I don't know I haven’t been to a lot.

Tim: Definitely more than American Protestant multi-purpose room. Jon: Multi-purpose room. And there's nothing wrong with that. Tim: No, there's nothing wrong with that.

Jon: Those who aren't in a tradition that has that. There's still a sense when you go to Sunday morning. It's like it's different than the rest of your week.

Tim: Yeah. We're doing unique practices, rituals, behaviors here that mark this is a unique time and space.

Jon: Right. That all comes from this idea of the temple being a place that you can go and perform these things. So for Paul to say, "You are the temple and you're like this little mobile unit of that," so you can't escape.

It's not like you go, and then you get to go away and you're done with that. It's like, with you and your whole life becomes a ritual, which is pretty demanding. That's actually a pretty demanding metaphor.

Tim: I mean, Paul, he was the most prolific of the early apostles, so we have more of his letters. So the practices of love of neighbor, moral purity, specifically sexual, integrity, generosity, intense commitment to each other in the community, help and support each other.

Jon: In a relentless manner. It's not like you just do it sometime. Tim: And also the reading of the scriptures and prayer.
Jon: Yeah, pray always.

Tim: It's priests. Really, it's like taking up the life of the priesthood which is not unconnected here. Peter in the same passage, 1 Peter 2 says, "You all are the priesthood. You're the temple and the priesthood." Because they're marked by proximity to God's powerful presence, their lives have to have different habits.

Jon: So we're talking about this because we're talking about heaven. I mean, that's where we started. We started with heaven. We got here because it's not so simple. It's not that it's just some other place. It's a place that overlaps. And in the temple is where it specifically overlapped. Jesus comes, and now it's, "No, I'm the temple." And then the Pentecost comes and all of a sudden, the temple have just...

For some reason, I kind of get this picture of some movie scene where it's like, you're trying to contain some power. And it's like, "We're going to take it down." Then all sudden, it multiplies and now it's like everywhere, and you're like, "Oh, no, it's everywhere." That's what's happened at Pentecost. It's now all these people are...

[crosstalk 00:14:10]

Tim: Think of the poem that Peter uses to help explain Pentecost, is from Joel 2, where the Spirit is described as water that God pours out on everybody. "I'll pour out my Spirit on everybody, men and women, old and young, everybody." It's just a huge bucket of water being tossed on a group of people. Just abundant, immersive, indiscriminate. It's for everybody. Very powerful metaphor. And uncontrolled ability to it, just like water when you pour it out.

Jon: So we got now, "Okay, where is God?" Now he's dispersed through this movement of people.

Tim: Like Solomon, we can say he's everywhere.

Jon: He's everywhere.

Tim: He's not in the church building. He's not just inside of me. He's everywhere, but he is especially present with me through the Spirit of Jesus.

Jon: And he's especially president when we all come together.

Tim: And when the community comes together, there's even something more unique there. And when that community comes together to worship Jesus, and to pray in the name of Jesus, and to take the bread and the cup together, there's something really unique and special there.


Jon: So that's where we find ourselves now, I suppose, is a part of the Jesus movement and this belief that Jesus is the temple and then the same time, divine presence and power that he has is available to us. That's great. That's a nice kind of thought and it's very beautiful way to live, but then, you don't have to walk two feet before you run into something really horrible and corrupt and unjust. God's not there

Tim: I don't even have to walk. You're just like alone with the thoughts in my head.

Jon: Right. How is God in that thought?

Tim: Or that outburst of anger or impatience.

Jon: And these prophetic hopes of creation being righted, that hasn't all taken place.

Tim: That's true. This is why Jesus taught his followers to perform a habit that I think he meant for us to do like the Jews pray the Shema every day, or multiple times a day - the prayer, the Lord's Prayer. In the beginning of the prayer is this acknowledgment that not all of Earth is permeated with heaven. Neither is all of me.

So, think of how the Lord's Prayer began. "Our Father who is in heaven" is acknowledgment God is above all. May your name be treated as holy - hallowed. And may your kingdom, your heavenly rule, may it come here. May your will be done here on earth, just like it's done in your space.

But Jesus both acknowledges that inside of me and in our world, God's will is not always done, because our will and the will of spiritual evil is done. But we're praying and hoping for the day when the two meet together. So I was so happy with that moment in the video where the Lord's Prayer is where it all gets brought together. Because it's a hope, but it's also something that I'm to pray every day and to begin to live out.

And so the story of the New Testament is of heaven taking over more and more of earth, one person, one family, one neighborhood or community at a time, all pointing to the future day of the New Eden, the new creation where heaven on earth overlapped fully again because of Jesus.

So we kind of went there in the video, with the last pages of the Bible, the description of the new creation. But once again, it's the place where all of these images superimposed on each other. It's a new heavens and earth, but then it's just, "what is that?" Well, that's the place where the New Jerusalem has descended out of the heavens to earth, but then it's the Garden of Eden, but then at the city, but then there's no temple in that city because enthrone God and Jesus next to each other are the temple presence. From it comes the river. So it's Garden City temple all as one.

Jon: Tree of life is there.
Tim: Tree of Life is there. The nations are all there. No death. All that. Jon: No ocean.
Tim: There's no chaotic seas.
Jon: There's no sea.
Tim: Yeah, there's no sea. Sea is where you go to be threatened, to die. Jon: The Leviathan was in the sea.

Tim: Yeah, yeah. All that. So no more chaos. Again, it's all these images of Temple Garden City, Jerusalem. And once again, I think we need to be very humble with what do we think that actually refers to. If we want to know what Moses thought was up in the sky, we should be humble with, well, what do we think is actually going to happen?

Jon: That's a great way to phrase it because, I mean, imagine...I don't know. This is weird thought experiment. But imagine 100,000 or 200,000 years from now, humans, they're going to be living in a place completely different. I mean, in so many different ways than we can imagine right now.

So even if God's kingdom hasn't come, it's just going to be very, very different. Even 100 years from now, I mean, enormously different. And they're going to look back, and they're going to be like, "So these Christians really believe that, whatever?" They'll be like, "Did Tim and Jon in this podcast, actually believe that was going to be a river on earth?"

Tim: "A big city would descend from the sky?"

Jon: And they'll be like, "I don't know." I guess if they were here talking to us, saying, "Did you believe that?" we'll be like, "That's the image we have. What else do I have? I know what a tree is and I know what a stream is, and it sounds nice. I don't have any other way to imagine this. So yeah, that's what I believe." "But is that all it is?" "Probably not."

Tim: Probably not because the image communicates more than the image itself. I mean, this is poetry. That is poetry. You put language together in unique combinations that communicates more than those words by themselves were capable of. And so that's the nature of metaphor and imagery.

So what is a whole new creation full of superabundance where God's presence is as common as...I mean, it's just like, what does that refer to?

Jon: I think that's tough for most people. It's tough for me and I imagine it's tough for most people to be okay with that ambiguity. It's a lot nicer to be able to hold on to something very concrete. But to go, "We don't know what this means, but we hope in it," that's just a weird thing to say. "I don't know what I'm hoping in completely, but I'm hoping in it."

Tim: I don't think you should say we don't know what it means.

Jon: Okay, sorry.

Tim: We can study these images and their background in the Bible and know what they mean.

Jon: Well, I don't know what it means if I ran into it next week. If it was happening in Boston, and I went over there, I'd be like, "I don't know what this is." And you'd be like, "That's the thing."

Tim: I see.

Jon: And I'd be like, "I don't know." Right?

Tim: Yeah. We're talking about—

Jon: How do I know when I've seen it? And if I don't know, when I've seen it, how do I participate in it? And how do I seek it?

Tim: This is where the resurrection of Jesus is the prototype of the whole thing. The resurrection of Jesus is described as the first act of new creation. So think of the way the apostles, the disciples of Jesus, relate to the resurrected Jesus. Sometimes they don't recognize him, but other times they do.

It's a very strange feature of the story where there's continuity with the Jesus they knew before as he has the nail holes and all this kind of thing. Sometimes they recognize him, but there are other moments where they have no idea who he is. It's the same person.

So there's something there that Jesus...He had a bod. He wasn't a ghost. But his body was such that it had things about it that were indescribable and very unfamiliar and that made it seem like I've never met this person. But there are other things about it that was like, "Oh, that's Jesus who I knew and loved and followed around the alley."

So to me, there's something really rich about that idea. That the new creation, it's a creation. I'm Earthling. I'm not meant to live without a body in heaven. I meant for the earth. It will be a version of the world that apparently I'm familiar with that'll know, but it will be minus the corrupting influences of death, and sin and selfishness. And that will be so different that there will also be moments of like, "What is this?"

Jon: "I don't recognize it."

Tim: "I don't recognize it."

Jon: Do you think it's gonna happen gradually, or is it going to just come in a flash and boom?

Tim: The new creation? Jon: Yeah.
Tim: Oh, boy. Here we go. Jon: Here we go.

Tim: This is all about the timing of the return of Jesus in stages and the millennium. It's very complicated because it's all described in this apocalyptic prophetic poetry and imagery.

Jon: I just want to know, like, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If I pray that every morning, I should do that. I don't do that. I mean, I had this vision just when you're talking of not actually praying that prayer exactly because it's become too rote, but just praying that. Like, "Okay, God today."

Tim: Pray your paraphrase of it.

Jon: Yeah, a paraphrase of it. Why don't I just do that?

Tim: It's a good idea. It's a really good idea. Christians have been doing it for thousands of years.

Jon: Oh, man. I'm such a bad Christian.

Tim: No, you're not any.

Jon: So let's say I'm praying that every day and I'm really, really anticipating that God's kingdom is going to come today in some way. And also, I know that Jesus said our kingdom is here. And so in some way, yeah. kingdom is here so I'm supposed to encounter it, right?

Tim: Yes.

Jon: So I guess my question is like, how do I know when I've seen it? How do I know, “Oh, that's it?” That's the kingdom happening, that's Kingdom coming?

Tim: This is why love comes into its own as a theme in the New Testament, why love is the meaning of the universe. Not the American version of it.

Jon: This is where you break out in a song right now I feel like. Like Moulin Rouge or something.

Tim: Now, I think love, for Jesus, everything boils down to what are humans for to love one another and be loved by one another, and by God? Think of where Paul, 1 Corinthians 11, where he says, "They're just a few traits that really...if you're going to boil down the Christian life into a few character traits, it's faith, hope, and love."

But then he says, "Well, actually, the most important one is love because faith is temporary once you meet the reality. Hope is temporary, once your hope is filled. But love is the whole point. It's about humans know when, and being known by the Creator. And then expressing and showing that to one another in acts of love, and being loved and accepting love."

And so, yeah, where's the kingdom? It's where you love your neighbor, and are loved by your neighbor, and you realize the universe is a safe place, and I'm okay here and I have purpose.

Jon: So when you pray that prayer, one thing you're saying is, "Help me love people better today?"

Tim: I think so.

Jon: "And help me create opportunities for love to exist."

Tim: Yeah, yeah. I mean, if you pair the Lord's Prayer with the great command, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself, I mean, we're to the heartbeat of following Jesus.

Jon: That's cool. [00:28:24]

Jon: So we've done this couple hour conversation about heaven. Heaven is way more interesting and complex of an idea. I've given it credit. I think most people do.

Tim: It's not to be mocked at. Jon: It's not to be mocked. Tim: It's not to be mocked.

Jon: And it's connected to just living life in a really full beautiful way now. That's kind of where we ended, which is really cool. But that's completely disconnected from why we usually talk about heaven because we usually talk about heaven because we need an answer for what happens after I die.

Because there's this weird abyss of like, I know what life is like now, and then one day the lights go out. My neuron, stop firing, the blood stops pumping, my body starts to decay. Consciousness is gone. Nobody knows what that's like. No one's been over there and come back and been like, "Here's what it's like." Except for like near-death experience stuff which some of its shady and so it's crazy and cool. I don't know.

But there's just this whole like, what happens? And so Heaven has always been the answer to that. And in our conversation, heaven has not been the answer to that. Heaven's been the answer to why is earth the way it is now and how am I supposed to live, and how can I encounter God today? Or where do I find what God is doing right now? It's answering those questions. It's not answering what happens when you die. So with that said, what happens when I die?

Tim: Well, I don't claim to know the answer that question. We can trace through the story of the Bible how that works. Throughout most of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the answer is you give up your spirit, your breath, it goes back to the one who gave it to you, and you go to the grave.

The grave is never described with anything more than some kind of shadowy existence. It's usually in poetry, so we don't know quite what it's referring to. But your name lives on through your children and your line and so on. But then we're back to this hope we described earlier of that God's love and commitment to the creation and his people must be stronger than death itself if God is truly God. So they develop the hope of resurrection. So what the hope of resurrection doesn't address is what happens to me between after I die and when I'm resurrected. There are four texts in the New Testament that are extremely brief that address this.

Jon: That time in between you're dead - and that could have been 3,000 years ago...

Tim: Or yesterday until the resurrection.

Jon: It's hard to even imagine what that is, but your body being remade.

Tim: So three passages and they all use the same phrase, which is very interesting. The first one is the thief crucified alongside Jesus who has a deathbed, so to speak, conversion as he's dying. He says, "Remember me Jesus." And Jesus says, "Today you'll be with me in paradise."

The Greek word "Paradiso" was the way that the Hebrew word "Eden" was translated in the Old Testament. "Today you'll be with me and Eden," is what he says. Once again, it's a vision that there's God's temple presence now.

Jon: By saying, "today," he met before the sun goes down?

Tim: I think we're going to die in a matter of moments and hours here. When this is over, this execution, we'll be together in the temple presence of God.

Jon: Was he just being nice?

Tim: No. I think, sheesh, Jesus meant any of that he said. He meant what he said in that moment, which is that God's love for His world, and therefore my commitment to you extends after the moment that our bodies get out.

Jon: Jesus believed that?

Tim: Jesus apparently believed there was a form of existence that he would still have after his body gave out. That wasn't his resurrected body.

Jon: I mean, you would think or Jesus knew the time space continuum shifted after death and it would be the resurrected body in the future.

Tim: There's that. Paul makes a comment in his letter to the Philippians where he's in prison. He thinks he has a good chance of being executed soon. And he says, "That wouldn't be so bad. In fact, I would almost rather get executed." Because he said, "I will die and be with Christ," which he says is preferable to going on in prison. And he's torn between the two. Then in 2 Corinthians 5, he talks about how suffering makes you hope for the new creation and how death really isn't the tragedy the Greek world makes it out to be because it's a bonus. Because he says, "If I'm away from my body, I'm at home with the Lord."

So all three phases use "with." What is the status of believers after they die physically, but before the resurrection? With Jesus. That's the answer of the New Testament. It doesn't say, Heaven.

Jon: That was three. You said there's four.

Tim: There's four. The last one is the apocalyptic visions in the book of Revelation. John sees God's temple presence, and then he sees underneath the altar. So it's as if he's seeing the temple up in heaven, the heavenly Temple of God's presence.

He sees underneath the altar, the being, the souls but the disembodied persons who had been martyred because of the Word of God that they maintained. So he sees the martyrs in God's heavenly temple crying out, "How long, O Lord, before you judge the earth and avenge your blood."

So it's an apocalyptic vision about the martyrs crying out for justice. But the point that's consistent is that they are with God. They're with God.

Jon: So what happens after you die, you're with Jesus.

Tim: You're with Jesus. Paul doesn't envision this as a permanent state and he actually doesn't even see it as a desirable state. He sees it as desirable because you're with Jesus. He doesn't view it as desirable long term because the whole point is new creation.

So for Paul in his same letters in Philippians, he says, "We're awaiting from heaven a savior." When Paul says later on Philippians "your citizenship is in heaven," he doesn't mean and therefore that's when you're where you're going. What he goes on to say is "your citizenship is in heaven and we are expecting a savior from there to come here and transform everything."

As a pastor, this is a very common question in funerals when people have lost their grandma.

Jon: So, how do you do it in funeral?

Tim: If it's someone to follow Jesus, they are with Jesus. And that's a way better form of existence for the moment. But they are awaiting their full redemption and recreation just like I am and just like the world is. So it's hope, but it's not the end of the story. That's the New Testaments answer to that.

So the way we did that in the video is that's not the focus of the Bible story. Because clearly, there's just four—

Jon: Yeah, we just talked for two hours about heaven and then five minutes of like—

Tim: There are four brief texts that address what happens to Christians after they die. And they're important. To be with Jesus is rad. That's really a profound hope.

Jon: But that can mean so many different things, to be with Jesus. Do you have any specific hopes for the resurrection and the new creation? Anything?

Tim: What do you mean specific hope?

Jon: I hope there's still some really good snowboarding. I hope there's some deep, deep pow.

Tim: Oh, yes.

Jon: And then my other very specific one - we talked about this morning actually - I want a big bushy beard. None of the scrappy whatever I got going on. I want like a full sculpted manly resurrection beard.

Tim: While we're on the topic, all right, my nerdy answer is, there so many things I would love to learn about in depth. The depth that I've gotten to study the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament, I would love to learn astronomy, biology, chemistry. I'd love to have a brain that's capable of passing algebra.

Jon: I know. I couldn't get past algebra three, four.

Tim: There's that version of, I just feel like there's so much. Right now, I work and change diapers and manage my young kids, and I love it. But I'm so aware of the universe. This complexity, I would love to learn more about.

Jon: I want to learn how to play the violin.

Tim: One is that. Another is to master an instrument. Either the guitar or the trumpet. Another one would be surfing because I'm so deathly afraid of sharks.

Jon: Oh, you are?

Tim: I can't surf. I've done it a few times. It's totally irrational. I can't do it. Jon: We can get there.
Tim: I grew up skateboarding. How different can it be?
Jon: It is very different.

Tim: I mean, I know it's different. But the idea of forward motion and leveraging your body's weight, I've got that. That's in my muscle memory now. So surfing.

Jon: But there's no ocean. We already established that. So check that one off the list.

Tim: Well, there you go.
Jon: That's why I'm doubling down on snowboarding. Tim: Because we know it's just the Mountain of the Lord.

Jon: We know there's mountains. All right, there we go. Heaven. I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I enjoyed it. We have a lot more of these coming up.

Next set of conversations is going to be on Image of God. We have a video coming out - I think it's going to come out in March - on the image of God as a theme. It's a theme video that traces this phrase that pops up in Genesis. We're going to trace that idea all the way through Scripture. What does it mean that we are the image of God? It's a great conversation. It's a great video. I really looking forward to it.

Also, a really great way to support this podcast if you like it, is to go on iTunes and write a review. If you don't like it, don't go on iTunes to write a review. If you don't like it, you probably didn't listen to the end. So if you're here listening to me now, go on iTunes and write a review. Now, you can say whatever you want. You don't have to pretend to like it

Also, say hi to us. We're on Facebook, facebook.com/jointhebibleproject. We're on Twitter, @JoinBibleProj. Thanks a lot. Peace be with you.

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