God Has Prepared
1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV
Luke 23:39-43 ESV
We cannot begin to imagine what unspeakably wonderful things God has prepared for us.
According to 1 Corinthians 2:9 we are told:
“But, as it is written,“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him”
When the Apostle Paul wrote that NO person has seen and NO person has heard we realize that includes:
The Apostle Paul (who wrote those words)
The original disciples
The early church fathers
And pretty much every one else who turns to God.
The words in I Corinthians appear to be a quote, so what was Paul quoting?
Some believe Paul was quoting Isaiah 64-65 but it wasn’t word for word as we read it.
Others suggest it’s possible that Paul was quoting the Greek translation or that he is quoting from other works (https://www.godtube.com/bible/1-corinthians/2-9) namely the apocryphal books of Elijah; and Origen and Jerome.
Since the Apostle Paul was a Pharisee who had studied under the famous scholar Gamaliel, I tend to think he had studied other works that were available at the time. I also think his words could have been compiled from Isaiah’s writings and the other scholars.
Another question we have refers to the time period. Was he referring to our time on earth or in heaven?
Or is it both?
Since God’s view is not limited to time and space and Paul would have known that, the reference could have been to both.
No eye has seen and no ear has heard or imagined what God has for them on earth and in heaven.
From God’s perspective the transition would include one continuous flow.
God does not see the death of a human form as a final end to those who turn to God. Theologians do not all agree on the scope of the turning, but I believe one turning, one instantaneous turning can connect us to God’s love and heaven.
The thief on the cross is a great example of an instant turning toward God.
When Jesus was on the cross in Luke 23:39-43 we learn, “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The thief who turned to God was immediately given grace and he was promised a place in paradise.
He believed and he turned toward Jesus.
What Jesus promised the thief is that when his physical body stopped breathing, his spiritual body became eternal when he saw God.
When we desire God, death is not an ending but is a new beginning.
That’s what the Apostle Paul was referring to…for the believer while God is with us in Spirit on earth when we have a physical body, God in us will receive us immediately when our physical body ceases to breathe.
The transition will be instantaneous and seamless.
We cannot begin to imagine how wonderful it will be to instantly receive our heavenly body.
That’s what I think Paul was talking about when he said we can’t begin to imagine what it will be like.
It will be glorious.
And it will be filled with so much love we will know we really ARE home for good.
And, yes it will be unlike anything we have seen or have heard about. That’s because God really is indescribable!
One thought, one turn toward God, one smile to receive God is all it takes. The rest will be eternal.
Spiritual Practice: Turn to God
Receive God’s love. Smile.
In God, Deborah