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May 8, 2007 / Daniel

Eschatological Hope in Hymns

Look at the words to these two hymns. 

 This Is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This World Is Not My Home

This world is not my home I’m just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore 

Notice any difference between the future hope that each song offers?  One anticipates new creation (the new heavens and earth), while the other looks forward to escape the world and heading off to heaven.  One views the earth as something good which needs to be liberated; the other views the earth as something bad that needs to be discarded.  

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5 Comments

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  1. Matthew C / May 8 2007 8:19 pm

    I sang ‘This is my Father’s world’ a lot in Japan.

    Theologically, I agree with ‘This world is not my home’. This Christian is identified with heaven, not with earth. Heaven is his sphere of privilege and blessing.

    I do not agree that earth and heaven will be ‘one’, as ‘This is my father’s world’ says, unless it means it in a moral or political sense. I believe that there is a distinction between earth and heaven that will continue in eternity.

    Every blessing in Christ

    Matthew

  2. Savedman / May 8 2007 10:28 pm

    I think there are truths to be taken from both songs. In one sense, this is the world God has given us for now, we should be good stewards of it in anticipation of His return. On the other hand, we shouldn’t bind ourselves to it as it is temporary and heaven does await us.

  3. fiester25 / May 9 2007 3:05 pm

    Matthew,

    I’m going to have to disagree with you. Our future, in the long run, is the new heavens and earth. Notice how Revelation ends. The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth (i.e. heaven and earth become one).

    Savedman,

    I think that you’re right about truths coming from both songs. However, I think that the Bible teaches that heaven is temporary as well. One day Jesus will renew this broken fallen world, and that will last forever. What do you think?

    Daniel

  4. Savedman / May 10 2007 1:06 am

    Well, I don’t know. So far what I can do is speculate. It will be one question to ask the Lord in heaven, be it eternal or temporary. I don’t believe that thinking one way or the other will affect my salvation, so it’s not an issue I would necessarily argue. The way I see it, what I guess I look forward to is more Christ’s return as opposed to any place.

  5. Matthew C / May 10 2007 8:49 am

    The New Jerusalem is distinct from the New Earth. There are nations who inhabit the New Earth, but the servants of the Lamb (resurrected saints) dwell in the heavenly city.

    Heaven is for those who have been brought into a new mode of spiritual existance, while earth is for earthly humanity.

    Earth is part of God’s original creation and so God will preserve it largely as it was meant to be, including human existence in non-glorified bodies. Those who have not been resurrected or raptured will continue to live ordinary lives, marrying and having children in eternity, though they will not die. On the other hand resurrected believers will be glorified and live out an altogether more spiritual existence, neither marrying nor given in marriage.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

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