Subscribe now

Heaven on Earth: What the Bible Teaches about Life to Come

By Derek Thomas
April 2019 | Review by Matthew Cox
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-52710-145-6
  • Pages: 112
  • Price: £8.99
Buy this book »

Shouldn’t every Christian feel homesick for heaven? Derek Thomas’s inquiry into the Bible’s teaching on this subject stirs up in the believer a deep longing to be with the Lord.

The early chapters cover death and the intermediate state. They show that the soul will remain alive and conscious, and suggest that it will have some element of physicality even before the final resurrection.

But the book takes off and soars as it describes the final glorious state, when body and soul are reunited. It dispels misconceptions of heaven as an ethereal place of fluffy clouds. Thomas helps the reader visualise a real, physical new earth, ‘Like this! But renewed and more glorious’ (p.70). He expects to see cities, lakes, trees and animals in and around the beautiful New Jerusalem where God will dwell with his people. Life there will include food, art, science, exploration, discovery and dominion, but all free from sin and the effects of the curse.

A study of 1 Corinthians 15 finds that Christians’ resurrection bodies will have some correspondence to their current bodies. But they will be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit in a way which ‘will make our current bodies appear almost lifeless’ (p.107).

Will we recognise one another? What age will our bodies be? Will our current family relationships continue? There is healthy speculation alongside a humble recognition of the limits of what is revealed in Scripture. The Christian reader should catch some of the author’s sense of excitement: ‘I can hardly wait! It is going to be an adventure’ (p.108).

Matthew Cox

Bethersden, Kent

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Cornelius Van Til: Reformed apologist and churchman
John R. Muether

Cornelius Van Til was arguably the most significant and yet most under-appreciated Christian apologist of the 20th century. That is so in part because his writings are not always easy to understand and he has often been viewed as a…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
New Covenant Theology: Weighed and Found Wanting
Kevin McGrane

To read this book was like a breath of fresh air. I could not put it down. Despite the traction that has been gained in the UK among evangelicals by the so-called ‘new covenant theology’ (NCT), it is surprising that…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Can We Trust the Gospels?
Peter J. Williams

This is almost unique as an apologetic resource. Christians usually must choose between big books which are scholarly or popular books which are simplistic. This book presents robust arguments that ordinary people can follow. In eight digestible chapters Williams serves…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Strength for the Weary
Derek W H Thomas

Are you weary, fellow pilgrims? Then let the ordained writer, Isaiah, speak to you in graphic terms through Dr Thomas, especially from chapters 40-46. Upon receipt of this book, I soon became engrossed. In keeping with its title, my own…