And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven (the sky, the earth's atmosphere) was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens (the universe) and the earth. 2 Chronicles 30:27
Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, to heaven (God's dwelling place).
Most Christians do not understand that when a believer dies, he or she does not go to heaven to the dwelling place where God resides, which is at present located somewhere in the universe. The Bible plainly says that no man has ascended to heaven except Jesus Christ. (John 3:13, Acts 2:29, 34)
The truth of the Bible is that there is no heaven or hell as understood or misunderstood by traditional Christianity. When a believer dies, he remains in a state of 'sleep' until his resurrection in the First Resurrection when he enters God's Millennial Kingdom on this earth, in his immortal saved body. When an unbeliever dies, he also remains in a state of 'sleep' until his resurrection in the Second Resurrection when he is judged in the Lake of Fire, in his immortal yet unsaved body. Ultimately, all resurrected unbelievers will be saved and they will enter God's Eternal Kingdom on this earth, but only after God's refining yet merciful Lake of Fire judgement.
The Earth is the focus of God's creation. Planet Earth is destined to become God's headquarters where God the Father Himself will come down from his current dwelling place in heaven to dwell with men on earth as we read in Revelation 21:1-6. Many verses in the Bible show that God has put a special emphasis on this planet earth. In the very first verse of the Bible, God singles out the creation of the earth from the rest of the universe by saying, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth". (Genesis 1:1)
God will first establish His Millennial Kingdom and then His Eternal Kingdom on this earth. The Kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 11:15) Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5, Psalm 37:11, 22) The Bride of Christ shall reign on this earth with Jesus Christ. (Revelation 5:10)
Jesus Christ has gone to heaven to prepare a future place, which will be on this earth for all true believers, His Bride, who will be resurrected in the First Resurrection to join Him at His Second Coming.
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