Imagine There’s No Heaven
Actually, according to Onesimus, there is no need to imagine that there is no heaven, because there is no such place anyway. Before you gasp and condemn him as a heretic, read a bit of what he has to say.
One would think that Bible-believing Protestants would know better. But for some reason, many of us insist on describing the end result of salvation as ‘going to heaven.’ Our evangelistic efforts are often couched in terms of choosing between heaven and hell. Our pastoral visits with the dying attempt to instill the hope of heaven. Our comfort to grieving families and friends reminds them that their loved one is ‘in a better place’, i.e. heaven. So effective have we been that most Christians, if asked where they are going when they die, would say without hesitation, ‘heaven.’..
..Heaven is not the destination of the saved. Rather, we will participate in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. We will become part of the new creation. Jesus’ salvation is not just about me and my sins, but will envelop the whole of the cosmos. A new heaven and earth will be created, and our call is to live as his people there in relationships of love with the Trinity and with one another forever. No clouds and harps and halos; instead, real life and love, with no more crying and no more dying. I don’t know how he’s going to do it. But if Easter is any indication of what’s in store, then he’s off to a very impressive start. (Read the whole blog post.)
Actually, I have to disagree slightly with Onesimus on this. The Bible does teach that there is a heaven (and this is implied in the second paragraph I quoted above). But heaven is the place where God lives, it is not depicted as a physical place. Certainly, there is no Scriptural warrant for the idea that Christians go to heaven when they die. If you are intrigued, or unconvinced, by this; try reading Surprised by Hope for a good basic introduction to the Biblical picture on life after death.