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The third Heaven and our reward

Author:  Sakkie Parsons
Translated from Afrikaans
Translator:  Robin Barker

Someone wrote the following to me:

“I had always believed that there is one Heaven, but now I hear from more and more people that there is more than one Heaven.  They talk of a first Heaven, a second and then the las
t Heaven.  Since I am a ‘baby’ Christian, I cannot discuss (talk to) this with them, because I am not sure about this”

In my answer I firstly want to mention, (in my opinion) the most popular view, namely the section from the Word which is used to show that there is more than one Heaven, or at least more than one dimension to Heaven is the following:

2COR 12:2  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows. 
2COR 12:3  And I know that this man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows -
2COR 12:4  was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.

This section is explained by some people as follows:

In previous times, many people believed that there were three Heavens above our heads -

  • The Heaven on the other side of the clouds, somewhere in the blue sky
  • The Heaven in the outer realms
  • And the spiritual Heaven.

There are even some people who claimed that there are more than three Heavens, or as you wish, dimensions of Heaven.

You have certainly heard someone who is very happy, for example call out:
“Oh! I am in seventh Heaven!”

Personally I do not really think about this matter.  For me it is overwhelmingly wonderful, just to know that I will be with our Lord and will see Him face to face, how wonderful, - I, myself would be able to see!

Someone asked me about this matter and I prayed about it and I share with you to the best of my understanding how I see it:

According to my great hero Paul, who knows about a third Heaven.  It is written in the Word and if it is written in the Word, then it is good enough for me:

2COR 12:2   “… was caught up to the third heaven.

Now, as there is a third Heaven, it is therefore logical that there must be a second and first Heaven.

There will certainly be a few people who will raise their eyebrows at this -
I do not believe that we are all going to be equal in Heaven, Or to put it another way, I do not believe that we all will have the same to spend eternity with. In other words, if you cut it to the bone – We are not all going to go through eternity in Heaven in exactly the same way.

Let me explain.

Jesus says:

REV 22:11  Let those who do wrong continue to do wrong; let those who are vile continue to be vile; let those who do right continue to do right; and let those who are holy continue to be holy."  
REV 22:12  "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what they have done. 
REV 22:13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

So, Jesus comes with his reward, for the people, those who have been saved and those who have not been saved, to be rewarded.

Then my great hero Paul explains the reward from Jesus to His children as follows, when he writes:

1COR 3:11  “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1COR 3:12  If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
1COR 3:13  their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. 
1COR 3:14  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.
1COR 3:15  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved--even though only as one escaping through the flames. 

Some of the saved peoples lives will, to say it this way, our Lord says after careful consideration, which will be like a all-encompassing fire, like gold, silver and precious jewels will survive, and according to that we will receive our reward and to share eternal life in Heaven for eternity.

Some of the saved peoples lives will, to say it this way, our Lord says after careful consideration, which will be like a all-encompassing fire, like wood, hay and straw will not survive, and according to that we will receive our reward and to share eternal life in Heaven for eternity.

So, let us not take what Jesus did for us on Golgotha lightly.

I want to remind you again of what you have just read, in 1COR 3:11-15.

let us remember:

HEB 12:28  “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 
HEB 12:29  for our "God is a consuming fire."

At an occasion Jesus explained through a parable about the distribution of His rewards to His children and His punishment towards  His enemies how it will work and based on my understanding we see also n example of Jesus’s righteous action one day against His enemies, in other words, the unsaved, as well as an example of Jesus’s righteous actions one day towards His followers.

I am going to write my commentary, in green and with “( )”, between what Jesus tells us.

LUK 19:12  " He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 
LUK 19:13  So he called (everyone who has heard the gospel of Jesus) ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'
LUK 19:14  "But his subjects (the unsaved people) hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'
LUK 19:15  "He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
LUK 19:16  "The first one (a saved person) came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' 
LUK 19:17  'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'
LUK 19:18  The second (a saved person) came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more. 
LUK 19:19  "His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'
LUK 19:20  "Then another servant (a saved person) came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
LUK 19:21  E I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.' 
LUK 19:22  "His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 
LUK 19:23   Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'
LUK 19:24  "Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.' 
LUK 19:25  " 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!' 
LUK 19:26  "He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. (the wood, hay and straw) 
LUK 19:27  But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them (the unsaved people who turned their back on Jesus) --bring them here and kill them in front of me." (Let them die a terrible death in hell for eternity).

Now – to come back to the different Heavens, or if you like, dimensions of Heaven.

I do not know how it works and also do not meditate on it.  For me it is enough to read what our Lord permissioned the man who He trusted the most to write the largest section of the New Testament, to write:

2COR 12:2  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows. 
2COR 12:3  And I know that this man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows -
2COR 12:4  was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.

If there is a third Heaven, then there must be at least a  second and first Heaven.

I also know, as I understand the Word, that I might not receive the same reward as you, but whatever happens - you and I are going to be with JESUS.

So my friends.

If things do not always go the same way for you as it does for those people around you, or you suffer because of our Lord – remember this:

MAT 5:11  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  
MAT 5:12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Come, before we depart from this life, let you and me live this life so that we can say:

2TIM 4:7  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2TIM 4:8  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Listen saved child of God -

Let us not rest on our laurels and appear before Jesus with nothing, or with wood, hay or straw, which is also really nothing.  In closing I want to share with you these words from Jesus:

REV 3:11  “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Other daily thoughts which I have written through the grace of our Lord about Heaven, which you maybe interested in and what I with great love can send to you are:

  • Die sigbare dinge is tydelik, maar die onsigbare ewig - What is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
  • Het diere siele en kan hulle Hemel toe gaan?
  • Maak vir julle skatte bymekaar in die hemel - But store up for yourself treasures in Heaven.
  • Sal ons in die Hemel mekaar herken?
  • Want aan sulkes behoort die koninkryk van die Hemele.

Some of the above daily thoughts have been translated into English at this time, Should you wish to read of the others, please let me know so that I can prioritise the translation thereof.  Please send me an email requesting the required daily thought.

Greetings,
Sakkie

Email: bediening@sakkieparsons.co.za
Website: www.sakkieparsons.co.za
Cell:  083 457 6669    

Jude 1:24-25 „To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy, to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (TNIV)”

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“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:24-25