Megachurch pastor Matt Chandler published a video last week, challenging the immature images of heaven often touted among Christians.
In the clip, Chandler, lead pastor at Village Church in Texas, explained heaven is not a place we will “go to.” The more he’s studied the Bible, the well-known pastor said, the more he’s abandoned the elementary understanding of the afterlife he was taught as a child.
“I grew up with an understanding that when I died, I would go to heaven and that was the end of the story, that I was in heaven, and I was gonna be in the presence of God and then we were gonna sing and they were gonna be streets of gold there’s gonna be a crystal sea,” Chandler said.
Now that he’s older, the preacher said he no longer believes heaven — at least, ultimately — will be an “ethereal and ghosty” place. Instead, after looking through Scripture, Chandler is confident believers, in their perfected bodies, will rule a remade earth alongside Jesus Christ.
Chandler pointed to 1 Corinthians 15: 53, where the apostle Paul explains that in death, our earthly bodies will “be transformed into immortal bodies.”
“As I look toward that, I find my heart really encouraged,” he said:
“I’m encouraged by the beauty I see today, knowing the beauty I see today is a shadow of what it will one day be. When I look at the strength of the human body, the weakness of the human body, and know that will be remade. Then when I think about reality and all of its heartbreak and all of its brokenness and know that will also be remade into this new heavens and new earth.”
Ultimately, Chandler proclaimed, Christians will have “unfettered access” to God and to freely pursue the unique and perfected vocations he has placed within each of us.
“I hope this encourages you today,” he concluded.