“Heaven Came Down”

No, we are not talking about meteors or comets. To understand the title of this article we must make a distinction between heaven and the heavens. It appears that each time the Bible uses heavens it refers to the planets, stars or other parts of the universe except the earth (Gen 1:1) (Jer 32:17). Both the dictionary and the Bible speak of heaven as the abode of the Godhead, the angels and the souls of the righteous after death (1Ki 19:15) (Dt 26:15) (Ex 20:22). Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven (Mt 6:9). Jesus was taken up into heaven (Mk 16:19). Heaven was opened so the Holy Spirit could descend on Christ (Lk 3:21). We are waiting for God the Father’s Son to appear on earth again (1 Th 1:10). The Father will send the Holy Spirit to dwell within Christians (Jo 14:26) forever (v6).

Christians are told that their citizenship is in heaven (Php 3:20). Paul says we have an eternal house in heaven (2 Cor 5:1). Jesus tells us that he will take us to be with him after death (Jo 14:3).

From the beginning God came down from heaven to his creation on earth and walked with mankind (Gen 2:16) (Gen 3:8). He also talked to Cain (Gen 4:9-15), Noah (Gen 6:13), Abraham (Gen 12:1-3) (Gen 22:1-3), the patriarchs (Gen 28:12-17), Moses (Ex 3:4-8), and several Judges, Prophets and Kings.

God sent his angels from heaven to announce the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus (Lk 1:11-13) (Lk 1:31) (Lk 2:13-15), urge (Jdg 6:22), warn (Mt 2:13), inform (Gen 16:7), rescue (Acts 12:6-10), and even destroy (2 Ki 19:35).

Jesus told his apostles and us that he came down from heaven (Mk 16:19). He promised the apostles and us that he would send the Holy Spirit (Counselor) to live in Christians to encourage, remind and strengthen us (Jo 13:3) (Jo 14:16-18, 26, 28) (Eph 3:16) (Jo 16:7-13).

Unfortunately, there is also another being who came down from heaven to “bedevil” humans. Satan and his angels made war against God and his angels but was defeated and hurled down to earth (Rev 12:7-9). Jesus said he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Lk 10:18). Although he is now “prince of this world” he will be driven out (Jo 12:31) and will one day be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur and tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev 20:10).

Heaven will not always come down to earth because both will be destroyed by fire (2 Pe 3:10) (Mt 24:35). God will prepare a new heaven and a new earth for those whose names are written in the book of life (Rev 20:15). God will be with them and wipe every tear from their eyes. No more death, crying or pain (Rev 21:3-4). Heaven will have come down to them for all time (Rev 21:2).

—Jim Bailey