A few weeks ago, I had a question about interpreting and applying 2 Corinthians 10:4,5. Several readers left comments that helped to drive my thinking in a certain direction or to offer their insight or just to encourage me: “That’s a good question.” (I’m easily pleased.) Some readers even thanked me for finally getting around to answering my question.
That’s when I realized I’m not the only one with a ton of questions that lack solid answers.
Well, I have another question.
As usual, this question is the result of what I’m reading. First, though I didn’t pursue an answer at the time, this question originally lodged itself in my mind several years ago when I participated in Beth Moore’s online study, Believing God. Second, I’m still pressing on with my Bible reading plan this year (Praise God!). I recently finished Joshua and started Judges. Third, I’m trying to read a book by Anne Graham Lotz. In it, she encourages the reader to go “deeper” and “take hold” of _______ (fill in your dream). Fourth, Priscilla Shirer has a new book out called, One in a Million, in which she teaches women how to live like Caleb and Joshua (the only 2 out of 2 million who entered the promised land). I’m not reading it, but I’ve watched the promo video. All of these things have forced me to ponder Israel’s possession of (or failure to possess) the promised land and what I, as one grafted in by the new covenant, am to learn from them and apply.
Paul is clear on this point: the history of Israel didn’t happen, nor was it recorded, for nothing.
Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
1 Corinthians 9:10 “Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake…”
1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 “Now these things took place as examples for us…Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”
There’s instruction for me and I want to know what it is.
Last Friday when I met Lisa I asked: “What’s your response to this question: The Promised Land: here or Heaven?” We had a good discussion and we agreed that the “right” answer is Heaven. I, however, based my reasoning on observation and experience. I probably couldn’t articulate an answer based on Scripture alone. I want to be able to do that.
Well, that initial question has budded since Friday; I now have a hydra of questions creating more questions. I’ve learned that there is controversy surrounding this issue, so it’s possible that I won’t reach a definitive answer. But I hope that I can, at the very least, determine why I believe Heaven is the best answer.
The promised land: here or Heaven? What’s your initial response? If you know why you think so, please share. What books are out there that discuss this? Websites? Sermons? Podcasts? Leave a comment!