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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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How many people can heaven hold?

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How many people can heaven hold?


Steve Answers:

Lots of people!When I was a small child, our family of five lived in a three-bedroom house. My parents shared one room. My oldest sister had a room toherself (she was the oldest, you see!). And my other sister, who was the second born but still older than I, shared a room with me. I think I could have used more space, but that was all I knew. As I got older and much more mature-aboutthe age of 5-my parents decided that maybe the girls should be in one room, and the boy should be in a separate room. So my sisters shared a room, and I got a room all to myself. It was amazing how quickly I filled up the new space, since I didn’t have to share a room. That was probably when I realized that I "needed" the extra space. But that all came to an end when my younger sister was born, and my parents moved her crib into my room! I thought the garagewould’ve been a better place for her. Anyway, I got to learn how to share all over again! My sisters and I played kickball in our front yard. As I got older and much more mature-as an adult-I’ve had the opportunity to visit thatchildhood house and its yard. It doesn’t seem possible that we played games inthe postage-stamp-sized yard. It was so small. Yet I don’t remember us ever kicking the ball into the busy street.You asked about heaven. How large is it? Who will be there? Who won’t? What will we do? What won’t we do? What will Sabbath be like? What will the food taste like? Will we play basketball? One of the most common verses people turn to when considering heaven is a misreading of 1 Corinthians 2:9: "As it is written: ’Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’" (NKJV).* This gets explained or paraphrasedas, "We have absolutely no idea of what God has in store for us in heaven!" What gets implied is that itŐs sooo good, that it’s beyond our limited, human conception, which may be true! But the very next verse reads, "But God hasrevealed them to us through His Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:10, NKJV). That makes me think that if you have God’s Spirit-the Holy Spirit-you will have an idea of what heaven is like! That’s just the opposite of having absolutely no idea. So what’s heaven like? How much space is there? How many people can heaven hold? A few years ago a Christian band called Audio Adrenaline came up with a song about what heaven will be like. Maybe GodŐs Spirit revealed it to them. Thelyrics go like this:"Come, and go with meto my FatherŐs house.It’s a big, big house,with lots and lots of room,A big, big table,with lots and lots of food,A big, big yard,where we can play footballA big, big house,it’s my FatherŐs house."I like the lyrics to the song, and I like the music, too. I have many fond memories of singing this song at youth retreats and feeling theanticipation of being in heaven with tons of teens, lots of room, food, football, and more. It sounds like heaven to me! But where did Audio Adrenaline come up with this idea? Are they prophets passing on a message from God’sSpirit to us? Actually, I think they’re simply paraphrasing Scripture. Here are two passages that I think they may be paraphrasing: "There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so,I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am" (John 14:2, 3, NLT).  This is what Jesus said! "I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation andtribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, ’Salvation comes from our God on thethrone and from the Lamb!’" (Revelation 7:9, 10, NLT). In the beginning of Revelation 7 is the listing of the "144,000 who were sealed from all the tribes of Israel." Some people think that heaven holds only 144,000 people. I thinkthe number is symbolic, not literal. Even if it were literal, Revelation 7:9 says "a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation . . ." go into heaven. So how big is heaven? How many people can it hold? Since God created the universe, the issues of size and space arenŐt even issues for Him. Since He is the "Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13, NLT), time isn’t an issue for Him, either. During my early childhood years, time and space were issues for me. They still are. But those boundaries are nonexistent for God. There is plenty of room for all who want to be in heaven. According to Revelation 22:17, "The Spirit and thebride say, ’Come.’ Let each one who hears them say, ’Come.’ Let the thirsty ones come-anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge" (NLT). For God, space isn’t a problem. The issue for God is whether or not we will choose to be with Him. God’s desire all along has been to hang with us; some say "to fellowship together." When you say yes to God, He’s got all the time in the world and all the room in the universe for you! *Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1996. Used by permission of TyndaleHouse Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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