In heaven, will the church become a part of God?

(Aracelis Diaz) #1

I’m reading John 14:20-21, 23 and the thought came to my mind what if when we get to heaven we will literally be a part of God, one with Him like the Trinity but it won’t be just the Trinity but a new being of God that includes the church, so that it is no longer us and God but the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and the Church? Just wondering…since in heaven there will be no more sin, we will be righteous and holy like He is. I would like to know your thoughts on this.

(Nick Simons ) #2

I would be careful with such an idea, particularly because it is somewhat pantheistic in its presentation. I understand the parallel if one understands our union with Christ as a marriage (becoming one flesh in terms of human marriage) but analogies are always incomplete descriptions. The nature of God being unchanging would preclude addition to His person by the church. There is certainly a special place for Gods people but I do not think we would be considered part of God.

(Melvin Greene) #3

Hi @adiaz.
That’s an interesting question. I read the passage of scripture that you referenced. To get a better understanding, I also read the verses that lead up to John 14:20-21, 23. Starting with verse 15 Jesus talks with his disciples about the promise of the Holy Spirit, which happened at Pentecost, (Acts 2). Then Jesus tells his disciples, 19 “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” Here, Jesus is referencing his crucifixion and then his resurrection. We know that shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit came. Verse 20 starts out with Jesus saying, “In that day…” I believe that Jesus was referencing the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came. Jesus continues, “…you will know that I am in my Father and you in me, and I in you.” Here I think Jesus is saying that when the disciples receive the Holy Spirit, they will know that Jesus is with the Father and that they are in Jesus and Jesus is in them. I believe that to be in Jesus means to have a daily, personal relationship with him that is characterized with prayer, faith and obedience. Jesus in his disciples, and us, is through the Holy Spirit. Jesus references us being in him again in chapter 15 when he uses the parable of the true vine and the branches.

When we get to heaven, we will live with God in perfect love and harmony the way He intended it to be with Adam and Eve before the fall. We will not be part of the “God-head”. We will live separately, but in His presence. That’s the way I understand it. Does that make sense?

(Aracelis Diaz) #4

Yes, thats what i believe as well. My mind was wondering off too deep I guess because i was reading to much into the text and i was also thinking that we don’t really know everything there is to know about God so perhaps our relationship would be a deeper one than the one with Adam and Eve since in the Garden was the serpent but heaven being a more perfect place would also possibly create a more perfect union with God. Thanks for your thoughts!

(Aracelis Diaz) #5

That’s true, i forgot the detail about God’s unchanging nature! Went off too deep into my interpretation. Thanks for your response Nick.

(Melvin Greene) #6

I like your thinking, @adiaz. We might have a deeper relationship in Heaven. We will have perfect bodies and sinless. It stirs the imagination! I’m reminded of the song, “I Can Only Imagine”.

(Aracelis Diaz) #7

Yes it does!! It will definitely be an awesome, jaw dropping existence for sure. Looking forward to it.

(Nick Simons ) #8

Keep asking those kind of questions. I truly believe that the majority of Christians, at least in the US, don’t think enough about faith. God desires us to know Him and promised a blessing when we do so. Even if our ideas are wrong, if we fall back on the Bible and the input of godly people we will be set right in our understanding. This has happened to me several times, but I have learned so much more about God asking questions rather than waiting on someone to tell me.

(Carson Weitnauer) #9

2 posts were split to a new topic: Is there a trinitarian component to human nature?

(Stewart Andres) #11

This is a amazing group of people to have at one’s fingertips to answer questions or give thought and own ideas to anyone who asked!
My own thought about the relationship with God will be what Adam and Eve did not experience. Adam and Eve were children they did not have opportunity to see the love of a father that would die for them they did not grow a relationship with a parent. They simply were told not to touch the stove and to top it off the adversary sweetened the deal With chocolate :chocolate_bar:. Judgement day is not going to be like a courtroom, it’s going to be are father welcoming us who choose him back and turning away from those who didn’t. Can’t wait :blush:

(Aracelis Diaz) #12

@Duke Amen…i agree with your thoughts. It will definitely be better than what Adam and Eve ever had. Like you said, the fact that God almighty gave of Himself as a show of love allows us mankind to understand Him more and to know the real meaning of love, which is His essence. Adam and Eve had no clue what that true love is but we have Christ in us, love in us and that will emanate from us towards God in a genuine way. Cannot wait!

(Carson Weitnauer) #13

Hi @adiaz,

This is such an interesting question!

Let me gather some resources for your consideration first.

In the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on these verses in John 14, written by Robert Mounce, we read:

The reality of God’s presence in the daily experience of those who truly believe cannot be emphasized too strongly. While eternal life is life without end, it is (perhaps even more important) a quality of life that stems from the presence of the Eternal One. The Pauline mystery, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27), is firmly based in Jesus’ teaching of the indwelling of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In the notes for the Reformation Study Bible, commenting on John 14:10:

Three great unities are proclaimed in Scripture: the unity of the three persons of the Trinity; the unity of the divine and human natures of Christ; and the unity of Christ and His people in redemption.

In the ESV Study Bible (note on 14:23):

Just as the Father and the Son now make their home with Christians in this age, Jesus is preparing for them a place in heaven where they will one day live with God (vv. 2–3).

The ESV Study Bible’s note on John 1:14:

In the past, God had manifested his presence to his people in the tabernacle and the temple. Now God takes up residence among his people in the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ (cf. John 1:17). Thus, the coming of Christ fulfills the OT symbolism for God’s dwelling with man in the tabernacle and the temple. Later, through the Holy Spirit, Christ will make into a temple both the church (1 Cor. 3:16) and a Christian’s body (1 Cor. 6:19).

To summarize, I think what we are seeing in these verses is a promise, not of merging into the Godhead, but of a completion of relationship with God. Just as the Temple did not merge with YHWH, but YHWH inhabited the Temple, so we do not merge with God, but God dwells within us.

The idea of merging with God is actually - not that you were intending to say this! - a Buddhist idea. For instance, John Moss explains mainstream Buddhist thought as follows:

there is no sovereign Person in the heavens holding all together in unity, there is only the ultimate impersonal unity of being itself, whose peace enfolds the individual self when it ceases to call itself ‘I’ and dissolves in the featureless purity of Nirvana, as a drop of spray is merged in its mother sea.

By contrast, Christianity teaches that each individual is an eternal being. Our final destiny is to either enjoy a completely fulfilling, unified, and loving relationship with God - or to be forever separated from him.