Doctrine and Dogma Question

Where is Heaven?

In the Bible, we find that there are three Heavens, as well as the Heaven of Heavens where Jesus is. The first heaven is the heaven of the birds, or the sky; the second is the galaxy of the stars and planets, or outer space; the third Heaven is Paradise where all the Saints are in waiting for the Day of Resurrection, or the Second Coming. It was Paradise that Paul the Apostle saw, and then proclaimed that he saw things, which cannot be described in words. The Fourth Heaven is the Heaven of Heavens, and it is to this place that the righteous souls will go to on the day of Resurrection.

 

Why we don't believe in Reincarnation?

Reincarnation is the belief that when a person dies, his soul reappears in another body, and when that body dies, his soul reappears in another body, and so on. The question becomes therefore, is this person a complete human being, who will give an account of their deeds? It is impossible, for their soul and body keep changing. We do not believe in this, for we believe that every human being has one soul and one body, and this soul after death proceeds to paradise, and not another body.

What is the difference between Heaven and Paradise?

While the earth is still in existence, the souls of the righteous believers will go to Paradise, and the souls of the wicked will go to Hades, awaiting the day of Judgement and Resurrection. On that day, which will be the end of the world, the resurrection of bodies and souls will occur, and those in Paradise will proceed to the kingdom of Heaven, and those in Hades will go to hell and there have their eternal destiny

 

If someone is baptised, does that mean they'll go to Heaven even if they are bad?

Baptism does not mean you become a slave of God - God also needs your consent, and so when you get older and commit sin, it is your decision to repent and walk with God, or to be unrepentant and walk without God. When you are baptized as a child, that was according to your mother’s faith, but now that you are older, you can make your own decision - baptism will put you on the way to the Kingdom, but you have the free will to continue and be saved, or to go astray.

Is all the turmoil and violence and sin in the world today a sign of the Second Coming?

You may consider it a sign, for there are many signs; but the coming of the Lord will be a total surprise. We do not have the capacity to determine an exact date. There is one sign that has not occurred yet, and this is the conversion of the Jews to Christianity (Romans11). We are not sure how this will happen. Another sign is the coming of the Antichrist; whether this be a religion, a person, or otherwise is not clear. What is required of me is that I be ready and alert and repentant.

 

What becomes of the world after the revelation of Jesus Christ?

This world will end, and we will live with the Lord in the Kingdom of Heaven forever after.

 

What is Purgatory?

The word “purgatory” is derived from the word “purge” which means to cleanse, purify. The Catholics believe that after death we shall go to a place called “Purgatory” where we shall suffer the pains of purifying fire to purify us from all our sins so that on the Last day we shall be cleansed in order to proceed to the kingdom of Heaven. However, we definitely reject this belief because if the purifying fire will cleanse us from sin, then Christ’s death was in vain. The only way we are saved and purified is by the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Another proof against the concept of Purgatory is that on the Cross, the Lord said to the thief, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43) not Purgatory.

 

Will we know and recognise each other in Heaven?

From the Bible we understand that in Heaven, they do know each other, and this is evident in the parable of Jesus about the rich man and Lazarus; they knew each other, and they knew Abraham, and they were speaking together, and they knew what was happening on earth. So according to this Biblical reference, yes we will recognise and know each other.

 

Will all Christian go to heaven, or only some denominations?

There are two levels: firstly, the Christians - those who believe in the divinity and incarnation and redemption of Christ - basically, those who believe in the Christian creed. Secondly, there are Christians who are Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. Each differ in details concerning doctrines, the sacraments and priesthood and fellowship with the saints, but we agree on the major concept of Christianity which is the Creed, and so therefore we are ALL Christians. Therefore we must never condemn other Christian denominations that believe in the Lord, saying that they are not going to heaven. This is not our business and is completely illogical, because they believe in the creed which is the essence of Christianity.