A first at the Zone: I’ll be hosting an author for a “blog tour” of his new book! Here’s the skinny:

UPDATE: This is a much better book than I anticipated it being…that sounds bad…let me rephrase: this is a really, really good book. I’m better than halfway through it, and it has really been helpful in clarifying for me some things that, candidly, I’d not really thought through all that well. For me, for a long time, Heaven has been a wonderful place of mystery, a place that I trust God will be far better than I can imagine, but not something–perhaps oddly, given that I’m a pastor–I’d spent a whole lot of time reading up on/thinking through. Perhaps the sudden death, six months ago this week, of one of my closest friends has made this book incredibly timely, but I’ve found myself tearing up on more than one occasion as I think about what my friend Rusty has experienced for these months. This is a book well worth reading, and if you haven’t posted a question yet, by all means, take a good stab at it, because this book is worth the read!!!

Dan Schaeffer, author of A Better Country: Preparing for Heaven, will be visiting my blog on August 20, 2008. Please help me out by posting any questions or comments you may have on heaven. Let’s have an interesting blogosphere conversation—ask the questions about heaven that you’ve always wanted to ask! I have two free copies of this new release from Discovery House Publishers to give to you readers, and here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to (impartially, as best I can!) judge the two best questions on the subject of heaven. As long as you live in the continental U.S. (or if you live in England or somewhere–this means you, Graham–and can help me out with postage; yes, cheapskate me is springing for the postage on this book giveaway! Imagine that!), I’ll ship the book to the two best question-askers! So reply to this post with your questions about heaven. I’ve begun reading the book, and I’ll just say this: he’s asking/answering the right questions! Here’s fellow E Free pastor Dan Schaeffer on video:

And a bit more about the book itself:

What picture comes to mind when you think about heaven? Most of us have heard that heaven is a wonderful place and everyone wants to go there, but we don’t know much else about it. Maybe you’ve decided, like author Dan Schaeffer once did, that there is little that can be known about heaven in this life, so there really isn’t much point speculating. He observes:

“I think if the truth were known, many Christians are at best ambivalent, or at worst afraid, of heaven—or at least of the vision they have in their minds . . . We’re far more attached to earth than we think. This may partly explain why it can be so hard to get Christians to think beyond this earthly life to greater spiritual realities.”

And yet, Schaeffer reminds us, there is a restless yearning in our hearts that moments of pleasure cannot long quench and sorrow only intensifies. And that desire has been planted by God Himself—a universal “longing for a better country—a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16).

In these pages you will discover the thing you’ve always wanted; the world you’ve longed for; the life you were meant to live; the goal you were meant to pursue—in a word, heaven. Based on biblical evidence, Schaeffer’s insights about our heavenly desire, the heavenly location, the heavenly life, and heavenly preparation, show us that God wants that “better country” to be the passion and purpose of our present life. As we understand what heaven will truly be like, our priorities will shift and we will no longer live for this life alone.

THE AUTHOR
Dan Schaeffer pastors Shoreline Community Church in Santa Barbara, California. He is an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in Reader’s Digest and A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul. His books include In Search of the Real Spirit of Christmas, When Faith and Decisions Collide, and Defining Moments.

7 responses »

  1. Graham says:

    OK, my question(s) would be about what we remember of our lives, specifically in two areas- the lost, and our sins.

    Recently, when chatting with one of my friends, who- like me- has non-Christian relatives, we discussed whether, once in heaven, we would remember those we know here who won’t be there. While we will see how hell fits in with God being loving, and we will see hell as being just, would we actually know “A is in hell” or simply not remember them?

    And would we remember our sins from this life? While we would know what Christ has saved us to, would we remember the sin He saved us from?

  2. sherry says:

    Will we have purpose outside of 24/7 worship of God? Adam was given the garden to tend, and based upon other scriptures I believe we were created in such a way that we need to have purpose (work?). Would that continue in Heaven?

  3. Eddie says:

    Does 1 Cor. Verse 41 by referring to three glories refer to 3 different levels of heaven.

  4. Eddie says:

    Do we face some of the same challenges in heaven that we do on earth?

  5. Laurie says:

    The Bible tells us the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, the tongue is unruly evil and full of deadly poison; we battle with pride, self-centeredness, covetousness – how will God make us fit citizens for heaven?

  6. Chris says:

    Will God’s Plan be revealed to us? Will we know what the future will hold and why? Will the unexplained mysteries of this life make sense when we make it to heaven?

  7. Daron says:

    Hi Pastor Schaeffer,
    Your book sounds great and I’m excited to read it.

    For many years I had drifted away from the ‘childishness’ of imagining a physical Heaven. It became crass and immature to me to think in terms of rewards in the afterlife. I thought it was more important, and certainly more noble, to try to concentrate on being with God and doing His will here on Earth – while letting Him worry about what Heaven actually was like.

    Part of this, I’m ashamed to confess, came from accidentally allowing New Age concepts to seep into my thinking. I started to think in terms of dissolving back into the ‘energy’ of the universe and the ultimate consciousness. I started to feel that I would lose any sense of self as I entered the “Oneness”. This image is not at all enticing or uplifting – to say the least. I was also losing any concern of my loved ones going to Hell because I thought they, too, would only be atoms of consciousness. I decided I wouldn’t even know of their fate or recognize them if we were to meet again anyway. This was comforting, lazy, and a nice way to excuse my failure to fulfill the commission.

    In the last few years, however, I have become very excited and hopeful about hearing those words, “Well done , my good and faithful servant”.
    It started when I read C.S. Lewis and, especially, his expositions on Joy, nostalgia, love and longing. I started to realize that we really do belong to this other world of God, that there is a real existence for which we were created and in which we’ll be fully known and accepted. For the first time ever my emotions made sense to me.

    To attain wealth Anthony Robbins wrote something along the lines of “don’t waste your efforts imaging making fifty thousands dollars, imagine making millions – only this will excite you and motivate you to achieve any changes”.
    And that’s how I view true riches now. The kind of Heaven Jesus talks about and promises us, where we lay up our true treasures, really is motivating and worth changing our lives for.

    So what’s my question?

    We are made in God’s image and among His attributes that we share are intelligence and creativity. How will we be exercising these in Heaven? How will we be employed and what will it mean to be the kind of people who, as Dallas Willard said in The Divine Conspiracy, God can trust to set free in the universe to do our will?
    Having been found faithful in the small things, what are the great things we will be entrusted with?

    Sorry for blathering … especially if your time is limited here.

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