How can we be with Jesus in an “intermediate” Heaven when He is with God in Heaven at His right hand?
Question from a reader:
I am confused over this “intermediate Heaven” proposition. If when we die we are absent from the body and present with the Lord, is not the Lord in Heaven seated at the right hand of God (Heb. 10:12, Matt. 22:44, Matt. 26:64, Luke 22:69, Eph. 1:20, Col. 3:1, Heb. 3:1, 8:1, 10:11-12.? How can we be with Jesus in an “intermediate” place when He is with God in Heaven at His right hand?
Answer from Randy Alcorn:
When we die we go to be with Christ (II Cor. 5:8) which is wonderful. But we are still incomplete, in a pre-resurrected state, anticipating Christ’s return to earth, and our resurrections. The place we’ll live forever will be where God comes down to dwell with us, on the New Earth (Revelation 21:1-3).
You asked, “How can we be with Jesus in an ‘intermediate’ place when He is with God in Heaven at His right hand?”
That’s exactly where we will be at death—with Jesus and the Father in Heaven. All I am saying is what Rev. 21:3 says, which is that Heaven itself, where God is, will be relocated to the New Earth, where God himself will come down to dwell with his people. As wonderful as the present Heaven is, Scripture emphasizes the centrality of the resurrection and the establishing of the New Earth. Whether it’s the present Heaven or the future Heaven, we’ll be with Jesus, but in the future Heaven we’ll be in a resurrected state on the New Earth, which will be the culmination of God’s eternal plan.
For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.