Heaven is real. Heaven is concurrent. Earth is what we see in the viewscreen; heaven is everything else!*
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
We will follow two themes today. One deals with verse 11, and the other concludes our study on the New Covenant and its ramifications (not that we have dealt with all of them).
First, a wicked person is one who is self-made. In other words, he has no room for God’s opinion. Even the good things he does have a wicked core, which is his own opinion of himself and what he considers good. Anything done outside of the direction and participation of the Holy Spirit is evil and will not carry into eternity. We are to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven;” the wicked person does not do that; instead, he stores up treasures on earth.
The second thing is the reference to a house. A house is a symbol of permanence. By building a house, a person is saying, “I’m staying right here. I am investing in my life in this house.” Notice that the upright uses a tent. Why? Because he can then use what he saved by not investing a house for heavenly investments. Also, he is making the statement, “I am not investing in this world because even though I am in this world, I am not of it (John 17:14-16). I have my sights set on the place my Father has in store for me in the kingdom of heaven.” Why do the upright flourish? Because they are spending their lives, their time and their resources wisely according to God.
Which brings us to the conclusion of the New Covenant ramifications. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36. So, where is His kingdom? Let’s look:
It’s not with the religious rulers of the temple, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” Matthew 21:43
Many of Jesus’ disciples got to see Jesus come in His kingdom, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Matthew 16:28
Jesus brought His kingdom to each believer at Pentecost, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:3-4
Why do I think such a thing? Because Jesus said, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst [within you].” Matthew 17:20-21. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” Colossians 1:13.
The kingdom of heaven is wherever Jesus is, so if Jesus is in our hearts, then the kingdom of heaven is within us! In view of this revelation, what does it mean concerning the coming of the kingdom? It means that the kingdom of heaven comes to earth as the people of earth receive Jesus into their lives. Want His kingdom to come, His will be done? Then pray that people will receive Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach!
* The beginning statement needs explanation. When COVID 19 hit, we went to an online service. That Easter, we had one scene for the music and then a living room scene for the sermon. People saw the scenes as the cameras focused on them. I was standing just off-camera as Bryan and Luann finished up the sermon when I realized that Bryan and Luann were “standing on earth” while I was “standing in heaven.” What we perceive on this earth is only what we can see through the lens of the camera. Heaven is everything else: the scene where Robin and I sang, the rest of the stage, the empty seating, the tech area, etc. We should think of heaven as something just outside of our perception. Think about it: All Jesus did to show up in the upper room with His disciples was to step into the scene. He stepped out of the scene when He was with the two disciples at Emmaus. Where is heaven? It’s right beside you–just off-camera. The threshold of death is just that, a threshold, a doorway into the spirit world.
We finish with one more kingdom of heaven verse, “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven [Jesus] has come near.’” Matthew 10:7.
Abba, I know these are difficult concepts, but it’s time for us to put away childish things and become spiritual adults–or, at least, leave the nursery. We want spiritual meat so we can share weighty stuff with those in need of real answers to life–not to impress them, but to offer them something other than “junk food and pat answers.” You live in our hearts. You reign in our lives. You give real peace and real joy and real purpose, and You love with an everlasting love. These are the truths we need to be sharing as well as experiencing them in our own lives. We can’t share what we do not have. So, move in us, O Lord. Shake us until there is nothing left but that which is eternal. If we’re not ready, then get us ready. Move across our land with renewal for Your people and then revival for our potential brothers and sisters in Christ. May it be time, Abba. Amen. So be it.