The eight beatitudes are nearly the first thing Jesus says in the Gospels. They reveal His heart.
These are the types of people God has time for:
The poor in spirit. People with this attitude are the opposite to the pushy, showy type that is always in your face and who is full of self importance. We all know someone who is “poor in spirit” but filled with the Spirit. That’s because the Holy Spirit is, like Jesus, humble and gentle at heart. These are the type of people that get into heaven.
Those who mourn. In this life there will always be mourners. At some stage we all are likely to mourn the loss of someone we love. Jesus knows that and says He will comfort us.
Those who are humble. I’m not sure what the difference between these are and the poor in spirit. Nor do I know why they inherit the earth specifically. Perhaps there isn’t supposed to be a difference. The lowly in heart get both heaven and the earth.
Those who hunger and thirst for justice. Jesus knew these guys would be satisfied. He also knew at what cost that would be to Him. There will be justice also for those who refuse to receive the grace of God and create injustice.
The merciful. This is something we should all do. We will all need mercy.
The pure in heart. These will see God.
The peacemakers. Peacemakers are not looking out for their own wants, but are involved in reconciling opposing parties. Everyone can see that they are children of the God of peace.
Those who do what is right. You don’t have to explicitly do something in the name of Christ for this to apply to you. Anyone who stands up for the oppressed or does what Jesus would do might be persecuted for it. These also are the types of courageous people God wants with Him in heaven.
Jesus’ followers. Be prepared to be mocked, persecuted and lied about. But be very happy about it when you are!
As the KJV of the bible quaintly puts it (in 1 Corinthians 13), when it comes to heavenly things “we see as in a glass darkly”. Or as the NLT puts it more clearly (pun intended): “we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror”.
I wonder, though, which unseen world we see more clearly, this physical one or the heavenly spiritual one?
The reason I ask is because scientists tell us that the world is mainly empty space.
Even the most solid of things contain more emptiness than substance. The main guy to find this out was Ernest Rutherford. We can probably trust him and the others who have observed and proved this for many years now
The bible says that God fills all in all.
So what are you seeing? The world as it is, filled with God’s Spirit and not much else?
Or just the really, really insubstantial physical things around you?
And what are you trusting in? The evidence of your eyes or the Truth?
Jesus said: “I am the Truth…” (John 14:6)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The opening account of the creation in Genesis 1 is surprisingly non informative when it comes to the creation of the heavens. On the fourth day an aspect of the first heaven is mentioned – sun, moon and stars – but there is no mention at all of the second and third heavens (2 Cor. 12:2). The emphasis in Genesis 1 is almost entirely on the earth.
In v. 3 Light is spoken into being and that is that as far as the first day is concerned. The chaotic and dark substance that everything earthly will be created from is water. Water is not spoken into existence but just seems to be there when God created the heavens and the earth. Time starts with the first day.
Water is such an important substance that Day 2 is taken up with separating it into two and thereby creating the air and sky and nothing else.
On Day 3 the waters are gathered together into one place and by that action the dry land appears. It is as if the land was always there but just needed to have the waters moved out of the way for it to be seen. Another way of looking at is to see the original ball of water as having suspended in it all the dust needed to produce the earth (and perhaps also the other planets). Once a lot of the water is put into the pre-flood water canopy and the clouds on Day 2, the ball of water and soil is less diluted. When the waters are gathered into oceans and seas on Day 3 the muddy material is sufficiently coalesced to form dry ground and to bring forth the vegetation that appears to have been scattered through it in the form of seeds which now sprout. When it comes to understanding this in the light of our knowledge about the structure of the earth, I think it is helpful to think in very large terms. There is no sun at the centre of this ball of water vapour and the other planets are not mentioned so they could all have spun of this earthly creation process. In Second Peter chapter 3, he says: “God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water.”
On Day 4 God creates the sun, moon and stars which establish times and seasons and festivals. Light was there before the sun which seems strange but perhaps if the sun, moon and stars were extinguished we might be surprised at how much light was still present (cosmic background radiation perhaps?). Also the planets could have been formed on this day since they were always understood to be wandering stars.
On Day 5 God creates the sea creatures of all sorts and sizes and the birds. Amazing imagination.
On Day 6 God creates all the land animals and man. This seems to have been a busy day since, unless Eve was created after Day 7 which seems unlikely, Adam gave names to the animals that day also.
And on Day 7 God, satisfied with His work, rested.
Resting in light and water is nearly everyone’s idea of a holiday.