Heaven & Rewards

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Heaven is God's dimension of the created order (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 115:16; Matt 6:9), whereas 'earth' is the world of space, time and matter that we know. 'Heaven' thus sometimes stands, reverentially, for 'God' (as in Matthew's regular 'kingdom of heaven'). Normally hidden from human sight, heaven is occasionally revealed or unveiled so that people can see God's dimension of ordinary life (e.g. 2 Kings 6:17; Rev 1:4-5). Heaven in the New Testament is thus not usually seen as the place where God's people go after death; at the end, the New Jerusalem descends from heaven to earth, joining the two dimensions for ever. 'Entering the kingdom of heaven' does not mean 'going to heaven after death', but belonging in the present to the people who steer their earthly course by the standards and purposes of heaven (cf. the Lord's Prayer: 'on earth as in heaven", Matt 6:10), and who are assured of membership in the age to come.

N.T. Wright from Matthew for Everyone Part Two pg. 216-217

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