Here are book reviews on two excellent books about HEAVEN. With all that’s going on in the world it will help us to learn about heaven and keep our eyes on God and our future with Him.
By Randy Alcorn
This is an amazing book. Randy Alcorn gives detailed and convincing explanations of what Scripture says about life after death. He briefly describes the intermediate Heaven but spends most of the book describing the New Heaven and the New Earth.
I read this book about ten years ago and studied it with a Sunday school class. At that point I couldn’t believe what he says. Now I’m convinced!
I had pictured Heaven as a place where our spirits floated around on clouds and we sang praises to God. We were in His holy presence and it was wonderful with no more tears or sorrow. This last sentence is true but the floating around part is not according to Alcorn.
He maintains that Scripture promises a New Heaven and a New Earth and they will be like our physical earth and our universe. Our earth is physical and humans are physical creatures with physical bodies. The New Earth will be a physical one and will be united with the New Heaven, a new universe of stars and planets. Jesus will occupy the New Earth and we will help him rule it as he originally planned for Adam and Eve to rule our current earth.
Throughout the book Alcorn gives compelling Scripture references to prove the kind of New Earth we will live in. Through more than four hundred pages and forty-six chapters he meticulously describes what life on the New Earth will be like. He cites many other experts on this subject quoting from C. S. Lewis, Joni Eareckson Tada, Helen Keller and John Wesley and more. For example, R. A. Torry says “We will not be disembodied spirits in the world to come, but redeemed spirits, in redeemed bodies, in a redeemed universe.” Pg 110 We will keep our unique identities and will recognize friends and family members we have known. And Alcorn says there will be animals in heaven, maybe even your lost pets!
Toward the end of the book Alcorn writes: “Every person reading this book is dying. Perhaps you have reason to believe death will come very soon. You may be troubled, feeling uncertain or unready to leave. Make sure of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Be certain that you trust him alone to save you – not anyone or anything else, and certainly not any good works you’ve done. And then allow yourself to get excited about what’s on the other side of death’s door.” Pg 446 This book is worth reading and rereading!
By Joni Eareckson Tada
This is a beautiful, thoughtful, well written, and well researched book about Heaven as described in Scriptures. Joni Eareckson Tada, is a remarkable person. She is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, has written a number of excellent books, is a national speaker, and has a ministry to disabled individuals. She pictures heaven in vivid, insightful and glorious images.
The book is divided into three parts.
1. What Will Heaven by Like?
2. Will Heaven be Home?
3. The Journey Home.
Throughout the book Joni gives illustrations from her own experiences and from the experiences of others, especially those with major handicaps. Chapter 5 Why Don’t We Fit on Earth? resonates with my own experiences. Our culture’s materialism, tasteless entertainment and corrupt morality cause me to feel this world is not my home. Joni writes “I’m a little like a refugee who is longing for a better country called heaven.” Pg. 98
Throughout the book Joni gives inspiring and thoughtful insights. For example “We are not only to “set our hearts on things above where Christ is seated, but set our minds on things above as well. That’s hard.” Pg. 127 She explains in detail why that’s hard and promises we will have “the mind of Christ when we lay hold of Him and His ideas.” Pg.129 No book review can do justice to this book!
This is not an easy read. It must be read slowly and thoughtfully. It will challenge many Christians, especially Chapter 9 Getting Ready for Heaven and the scriptures about suffering. This book can be very helpful to anyone who is severely handicapped or who takes care of a handicapped person and wants to understand God’s perfect plan for their life. It will give all readers a glorious view of our future home and help us focus on HIm!
“Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3