ON EARTH AS IT IS ON HEAVEN
What is it about The Bible that lets us know it’s more than just a nice story with a happy ending? Isn’t it supposed to demonstrate that God is in control, and that because He’s in control, He can be trusted to keep His promises to humanity?
But what if there really is tangible evidence of God’s control over history? And what if that evidence shows that God never ceased controlling human history, just because we’re told the curtain dropped after those final acts in the days of The New Testament?
And if there really is evidence like that, then what would we call the book that told the story of that evidence? No doubt, it would be called On Earth as It is On Heaven: The Promise of America, Technology, and the New Earth.
This is that book, and this is that story.
The story contained in this book, On Earth as It is On Heaven, begins by our asking: What connects America, technology, and the New Earth, en route to explaining how all three fall under the heading of things said to be “on” Heaven rather than “in” Heaven?
It is a story that involves a God Who is more concerned with those who cooperate with His still, small voice than those who expect Him to split the sea at every turn with a blast of His nostrils. So, while the Israelites of old saw the parting of the Red Sea yet failed to trust God ever after, in the case of America, the New World would be established by a people who were content with God’s word leading them, with neither fanfare nor notoriety, by way of a hidden path in the sea.
For Christopher Columbus that leading came to him in 1492 when, on his first voyage of discovery, his crew warned him that if they continued one more day on their present course, he’d have a mutiny on his hands. But nothing could change Columbus’ sense of destiny, nothing could erase the knowledge of God’s inspired words that kept him on course. As he recorded in his journal on more than one occasion, the words of Scripture beckoned him onward:
Listen to me, oh coastlands, and pay attention, you distant peoples. The Lord called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me…
He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will display My glory. I will also make you a light for the nations, to bring My salvation to the ends of the Earth.”
Isaiah 49:1, 3, 6
And for the Puritans, who were being increasingly targeted by the Anglican Church in England, which relentlessly sought to destroy their growing movement, God’s word shined a light of hope on their predicament that they couldn’t help but apply to themselves.
“Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; I’ll bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west. I’ll say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Don’t hold them back! Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the Earth…
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may consider and believe Me and understand that I am He…
“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, and your King.” So says the Lord Who makes a way in the sea and a path through the surging waters…
“Forget the former things; pay no attention to the things of old. Watch as I do something new; even now it’s coming. Don’t you see it? Indeed, I’ll make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:5-6, 15-16, 18-19
What’s more, the technological advances that occurred in Europe leading up to the discovery of America—particularly with Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440—were such that all the forces occurring at the time would set the stage for all that followed.
With the Reformation and Renaissance came a greater sense of individualism just as a number of other societal forces came on line to empower those individuals who previously could never hope to break free from centuries of collectivist, institutional control. At the same time, nation-states like England, France, Spain, P
It also meant that at just the right moment in history, this newfound sense of individuality, which had been percolating for many centuries, would intersect with that other personality trait so germane to biblical history, that of the outsider, as it pertains to the life of every chosen one of God. And that meant, the world no longer consisted of a scattered, disarrayed band of outsiders but, rather, consisted of a whole generation of outsiders who were, all at once, ready to make their mark in the world—a world that was never the same again in the wake of their response to the call of God.