Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

August 2020 Issue

A World in Tears

From the Current Issue

Discover Paradise: Finding Heaven in Eternity

Discover Paradise: Finding Heaven in Eternity

A couple of years ago, you and your family started planning a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation to a tropical paradise. As you sifted through travel brochures of exotic destinations, one in particular caught your eye: “Journey to the Least-Crowded Tropical Paradise on Earth: Antarctica!”

Antarctica? Well, the brochure would have been accurate many years ago, but not any longer. Scientific research has discovered that Antarctica was once a tropical paradise. But today the average annual temperature ranges from about −10°C on the Antarctic coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior. Near the coast the temperature can exceed +10°C at times in summer and fall to below −40°C in winter. Not exactly the idea we have of paradise!

The spirit of adventure, not to mention the need to enjoy a decompressing vacation in a paradisiacal (heavenly) location, is alive and well today.

It is safe to say that no current travel brochures will feature Antarctica as an idyllic summer destination. But that doesn’t keep us from looking for one. The spirit of adventure, not to mention the need to enjoy a decompressing vacation in a paradisiacal (heavenly) location, is alive and well today. As often as time, finances, and schedules will allow, we all look forward to the opportunity to “get away.”

Need proof? In 2018, 28.5 million people took a cruise vacation on the high seas, many to paradise destinations. Don’t have your sea legs? Are you a card-carrying “landlubber”? No problem! You may be a candidate for a safari adventure, or the newest take on bringing paradise with you to the great outdoors: glamping. Glamping is a mash-up of “glamorous” and “camping,” where people retreat to an exciting location and bring a little paradise with them: climate-controlled tents or huts, chef-prepared meals, white tablecloth dining, comfortable vehicles for sightseeing, and more—all surrounded by the sounds of nature. Hey—it’s your trip to paradise, so you get to choose the style!

Regardless of how you do it, retreats to paradise are a multimillion-dollar industry, with the most frequently visited destinations easy to guess: Maldives, Tahiti, Riviera Maya (Mexico), Aitutaki (Cook Islands), Kauai (Hawaii), Fiji, St. Barts (the Caribbean), the Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Bali (Indonesia), Port Douglas (Australia), the Andaman Coast (Thailand), the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), the Florida Keys, and others.

What do all these places have in common? Relaxation, a change of pace, rest, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, exposure to nature, new foods—the list goes on. Even if you can’t travel halfway around the world, another concept in the travel industry may fit the bill—the staycation—finding an exciting new diversion close to home. Most of us have never fully explored our own local communities and attractions to the depth possible. We might discover a little bit of paradise in our own backyard!

As fabulous as earthly paradise vacations can be, I need to remind us that they all build on a biblical idea. The word Paradise occurs three times in Scripture (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7). The idea of paradise is based on an ancient Persian word that meant “garden,” like the Garden of Eden—an undefiled, pristine, and beautiful place. And it was used by Jesus and Paul to describe a dimension of heaven, the ultimate destination for believers in Christ. The eternal presence of God is the ultimate Paradise!

Even though you may never get to experience one of earth’s tropical paradises, the greatest Paradise of all is awaiting your arrival.

This issue of Turning Points will explore the Paradise to which all believers will journey when life on earth is over—the Paradise we know as heaven, or the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1). Also this month, we will further explore this theme with messages based on my book Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven on radio and television.

One of the greatest motivations for living a life of purpose and significance for God on this earth is to be fully informed about the Paradise God has planned for us in eternity. Even though you may never get to experience one of earth’s tropical paradises, the greatest Paradise of all is awaiting your arrival.

This Month's Magazine Resource

The Jeremiah Bible Study Series

The Jeremiah Bible Study Series captures Dr. David Jeremiah’s 40-plus years of commitment to teaching the Word of God.

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