(cont.) Yes. Kind of flies in the face of myths about there being no tears in heaven, et cetera.
Oh, well, here’s something I find funny. A lot of Christians say, “Christians go to heaven for eternity and non-Christians go to hell for eternity.”
Neither is true.
No human (except Jesus, and Elijah and Moses, or Elijah and Enoch) is in heaven right now. The dead have not been raised. In Acts, Peter tells us that David is still buried and has not ascended into heaven (Acts 2:29, 34).
The resurrection happens at the end of the age. At that time the “sheep” spend eternity in the New Jerusalem (where there are no tears…Rev. 21:4) and the non-Christians (or, more precisely, those whose names are not in the book of life) are cast into the Lake of Fire.
The New Jerusalem is on the New Earth (or restored in the Greek—purged with fire and then restored to Eden perfection—Rev. 21:1) and God and the Lamb live with us there. So Christians don’t go to God’s domain, God comes to us. I am not really sure where people got the latter idea, as even the Greeks never thought they went to live in Olympus with the gods.
As for Hell and the Lake of Fire, we know they are separate because Hell (Hades/Sheol) is also thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 21).
In the book, you give a lot of evidence for a young-earth creation. How much have you researched theistic evolution [ biologos.org ], intelligent design, young earth creation, et cetera?
Well, first off, I am a historian, not a scientist. I study ancient cultures, their artifacts, histories, myths, and legends. Historians use the evidence left behind to learn about early civilizations.
So if the Bible is true in a literal context, and all people left Sumeria (tower of Babel) with the knowledge of a monotheistic Creator who had recently sent a Flood, and then confused the languages, what would their histories tell us? We’d find evidence that they believed in a monotheistic deity, who created the world, sent a Flood, and confused the languages. But what does history actually tell us? That early civilizations believed in a monotheistic deity, who created the world, sent a Flood, and confused the languages. (In China, they called him Shang Ti, in Africa, they called him Onyame Kwame, and in South America they called him Viracocha. That’s just to name a few. For more info on this, I recommend the highly researched book After the Flood by Bill Cooper, which can be read online at http://ldolphin.org/cooper/.) [ Answer continues on next page. ]