Exactly how far is heaven?


“How Far is Heaven? Rediscovering the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now” can be purchased online at www.wipfandstock.com, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Copies are also available Sunday mornings at A Simple Faith church, 1477 S. County Hwy. 393 in Santa Rosa Beach.

Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 10:00 AM.

Is heaven God's home in the sky, or His presence in our lives?

Ronnie McBrayer’s new book, “How Far is Heaven?” answers that heaven is right here — right now, God’s presence in our lives and the world.

“Look no further than where we are,” McBrayer, pastor of A Simple Faith, told The Sun. “Wherever men and women submit their hearts, intentions, ideals, ambitions, desires, plans and relationships to the lordship of Jesus, there the kingdom of God flourishes. There, God’s will is done ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ Father Leo Mahon always described it this way: ‘The kingdom of God is the way God would have things in the world.’ Wherever that occurs, heaven is right there.”

In his latest book, McBrayer explores the “kingdom parables of Jesus” and finds in them an urgent challenge for Christians to reassess the gospel they believe and the role their professed faith plays in the world today.

According to McBrayer, the gospel cannot be reduced to apocalyptical escapism, the religious study of the end of ages.

“Apocalyptic escapists put more emphasis on the imminent return of Jesus, the book of Revelation, and the ready-to-fall judgment of God than anywhere else,” he said. “This can, though not always, lead to a very cavalier attitude about this present world. Why be concerned with the future of planet Earth if it’s all going to burn up anyway, and if the fuse is already lit?

“Personally, I believe in the return of Christ, but rather than thinking he is looming on the edge of the atmosphere, the truth is, I will likely never see that return.”

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