In this session we are going to think about the biblical view of reality and how the dimension of heaven interacts with the earth.
The writers of the Bible did not think that God lived somewhere above, in the clouds. Scripture tells us that God created the cosmos and was not himself contained within it. But if heaven is not ‘up there’ then where is it? Why can’t scientific instruments find it?
A more helpful way to think of heaven is perhaps a dimension rather than a location. Even though the word dimension might seem a bit ‘science fiction’ the Bible affirms there is more to reality than just the full visible dimension. There are other dimensions that are just as real. These dimensions are invisible to us here on Earth, except when God opens doorways into this deeper reality.
What is this dimension of heaven? Most frequently, in the Bible, heaven is described as the throne of God – A throne is where a King or Queen rules from, they speak their will and then their will is done. If we join the idea of a throne with the idea of heaven being a dimension, we could assume heaven is the dimension of reality where Gods will is done. Going deeper we could argue that the dimension of heaven is the most real dimension as God will and word is the most real in all creation.
How does the dimension of heaven relate to the dimension of earth?
Reality would become richer and deeper and more glorious when a dimension is added. This is what the addition of a heavenly dimension does to the earth. It makes it more rich, more full, more weighty, and more glorious.
Look at this poster of the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on his 1961 flight into space. (The Russian ‘бога нет!’ translates as, ‘There is no God!’)
Read Matthew’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-9.
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified, but Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, ‘Do not tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’”
Watch this video in which Dr. Quantum visits Flatland, a world of only two dimensions. (It was designed to teach children about quantum mechanics.)
In the Dr. Quantum video, he asks, “If we see only what we know, how does anyone ever see anything new? How do we ever get out of our box?”
Give thanks that God has not left us in the dark but has revealed the dimension of heaven to us in his word and in becoming human himself.
Pray that God would help us to ‘get out of our boxes’, wherever those boxes are not true to the fullness of his reality.