Heaven or Hell, by Choice

This tract was written by my grandfather, Laurance W. Long.

Laurance W. LongDear You:

Yes, dear you. You are dear to God. God loves man despite the fact that he is sinful and deserves to be punished. This can be understood as we realize that parents love their children even though they often do things that are wrong.

And God wants the best for errant man, even as parents want the best for their errant children.

When God created man, He gave him not only a body but an eternal soul and spirit, in His own image and likeness. With his body, man could easily relate to the earth. And by his spirit, he could have fellowship with God. He could have fellowship with God only by his spirit because God is a spirit and “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto Him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:14). So man is both physical and spiritual, material and immaterial.

When God created man, He made him perfect. The Bible says, “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).

In making man like unto Himself, God gave him a will, with the ability to think and reason and make choices. And with the ability to make choices, man could choose either right or wrong. God wanted man to live Him, but He wanted such love to come from a willing heart as a matter of choice, not because he had been programmed to do so like a robot. Thus, man was given a will. God an man then enjoyed fellowship together from willing hearts. They were like-minded and shared common interests: true fellowship and communion, for without like-mindedness there can be no fellowship: friendship, yes, but no fellowship.

Then Came a Problem: Sin and Death

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What will heaven be like? Will we “start over” with new bodies, new interests, new personalities, etc.?

Orginally posted 8/13/04 at bibleforums.org:

I’m fairly certain that life in heaven is not a “new existence.” We get new bodies, and our imperfections are eliminated, but we’re still the same people with the same spirits. It’s a continuation of our life, so I think to a large extent, our memories, personalities, etc., will survive.

There will be some differences; there is no marriage in heaven, so does that mean your relationship with your (former) wife will be the same as your relationship with your sister or any other woman, or is there still a unique bond? There is no more pain, so does that mean painful memories are wiped out, or just that we may remember the event, but it is no longer painful?

Orginally posted 3/9/2005 on bibleforums.org:

Our “soul” is not “another person inside of us,” it’s simply who we are. Our body is just the package. Our mind is how we think. Our soul encompasses our thoughts and emotions; it’s the “real us.”

When we get to heaven, we will not begin a “second existence.” Heaven will be a continuation of our lives here, except with the imperfections removed. Some conventions from our life on earth will no longer exist, such as marriage and family, but we’ll still be the same people. I think we will retain our memories and our personalities. Bad memories will no longer haunt us, and personality flaws will be gone, but the things that make us “who we are” will remain. We won’t all be converted into clones.