Was God's Original Plan For Humans To Go To Heaven?


#1

Adam was meant to live forever. If he had not sinned, then he would have. So, does that mean that he would not have ever gone to heaven? Did God’s plan change because of sin?


#2

Hello! It is my understanding that he lived in paradise…Heaven on Earth so to speak

:slight_smile:


#3

I think it was Scott Hahn (and probably some others) who said that it is entirely possible that Christ would have become incarnate even if man had not sinned, and would have opened the gates of Heaven to us.


#4

Hi Mysty:

If Adam had not sinned, then yes, “heaven” would have been his ultimate destination. Of course, “time” as we know it probably would not have existed, or at least not as we know it. Adam and Eve were not on “earth” in the beginning but in the Garden of Eden, and the earth was “perfect”, not corrupt.

No, God’s plan did not change, does not change, will not change. God is perfect and unchangeable. When we think that “God changed His mind” because, say, He had decided to punish Ninevah, sent Jonah to them, Jonah told them to repent, they did, and God did NOT punish them because they repented, it was NOT because “God changed His mind” but because the PEOPLE changed their will and action from disobedience of God to compliance with and obedience to God. It is our human limitation that we can only perceive God in limited, finite, fallible “human” ways, but we know from the Scripture that “His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts”, and that “as far as the heaven is above the earth, so are His thoughts above ours”.

When God created Adam and Eve, and gave them the gift of free will (which is a good), the possibility of that good being corrupted (bad is really only a “spoiled” good, per my fave author C.S. Lewis) came about. While God Himself did not “create” evil, and never could have, the creation of good implies that, if good is not chosen, or is wrongly or corruptly chosen, evil will arise. God can MAKE that evil into good, and He does so, though we do not always see how He does so.

Look at the evil which happened to Jesus–wrongly accused, beaten, hung on a cross to die!!! but look at the GOOD that God made FROM that evil, which arose from the wrong choices of fallible people. . .these fallible people, and all those, from all time to the end of time, now have the chance, through Jesus’s taking on the punishment for our sins, to repent, to live for God, and ultimately to attain (God willing) heaven.


#5

[quote=Dr. Colossus]I think it was Scott Hahn (and probably some others) who said that it is entirely possible that Christ would have become incarnate even if man had not sinned, and would have opened the gates of Heaven to us.
[/quote]

Christ became human in order to be able to sacrifice Himself for our sins, allowing us to receive forgiveness and therefore go to heaven, right? So, if we hadn’t sinned, we wouldn’t need that. How would Him becoming human have opened heaven?


#6

[quote=MistyF]Christ became human in order to be able to sacrifice Himself for our sins, allowing us to receive forgiveness and therefore go to heaven, right? So, if we hadn’t sinned, we wouldn’t need that. How would Him becoming human have opened heaven?
[/quote]

I have heard people lamenting the fact that Adam and Eve sinned and lost Grace, and being answered that we should rejoice the fact that it happened, because we got to know God personally through Jesus Christ, which would not have occured otherwise…

It’s all so hypothetical…isn’t it…but interesting to ponder nontheless


#7

[quote=Lillith]I have heard people lamenting the fact that Adam and Eve sinned and lost Grace, and being answered that we should rejoice the fact that it happened, because we got to know God personally through Jesus Christ, which would not have occured otherwise…

It’s all so hypothetical…isn’t it…but interesting to ponder nontheless
[/quote]

Adam and Eve knew God personally, so is there reason to think that their children wouldn’t have?


#8

It seems to me that there are differences between the state of man in Eden and his state in Heaven. For example, in Eden, God told man to “be fruitful and multiply” but in Heaven we “will neither marry nor be given in marriage.” Also, Heaven is eternal, and the earth is in time. I don’t know what would have happened had man not fallen, but my personal view is that this world was always intended to end or to be changed.


#9

According to Thomas Aquinas, man’s destiny has always been heaven. His life on earth was meant to be a preparation, through his obedience and love of God, to go there when his life here was through. In view of this, God gave him and Eve supernatural gifts to keep them from harm and to extend their age. As long as they lived they would be happy and protected, and then taken to heaven. The same would have applied to their offspring and descendants. The Fall changed the means, but not the goal.

Here are two excellent articles that may help you sort this out:

The Christian Understanding of Death
rosary-center.org/ll57n1.htm

The Redemption of Mankind
rosary-center.org/ll47n5.htm


#10

Hi Misty:

One thing I want to point out to you is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that humans will live forever in paradise on earth but not in the literal physical presence of God.

The Christian understanding is that at the end of time we will live in our glorified human bodies in the literal physical presence of God. We all will see Jesus face to face unlike the JWs who teach that only 144,000 will see Jesus face to face.

Another thing is that in the JW paradise, humans can still sin. In the new heavens and the new earth, we will not be able to sin. We will truly have eternal life. Unlike the JWs who have everlasting life provided they do not sin.

Do you see the difference?

Jeff Schwehm
www.catholicxjw.com


#11

Substitute “go to heaven” with the more precise “enter into the Beatific Vision”.

Yes, man was destined for the Beatific Vision from the beginning. Remember, that at the Second Coming, we will all receive our glorified bodies. Man is a union of body and soul.


#12

Getting into some fun Thomistic theology on doctrine here :wink:

  1. Man, in the state he was created, was bound to an earthly paradise, and as such, could not enter heaven.

  2. Therefore, sin was necessary to pose the question of the fall, which implied the answer of the sacrifice of Christ. That is, original sin was necessary for man to enter into heaven from his original state.

  3. God’s original intent for man, in creation, was to enter into heaven with him. (God is eternal. He can’t change his eternal plans for mankind just because man sinned. God is not “reactionary” in His will. He is eternal in His will.)

  4. This does not imply God intended for man to sin! Rather, knowing that man WOULD sin, he USED it in his act of creation to be the event which lead to man’s entrance into heaven. God, in his all-goodness, brings goodness out of sin. (As we know even in our day to day lives.) In this manner, Christ’s all-redeeming sacrafice truly became all-redeeming, as it even made original sin a redemptive act which obtained for us heaven. “He who was without sin became sin for us.” (Hebrews, I think?)

This is not the only instance we see this method used in salvation history:

God did not will for the jews to sin by murdering Jesus. But knowing that they would, used it to bring about the saving sacrafice.

Furthermore, God willed that ALL people be saved, not just the Jews. However, he had taken the Israelites as his chosen people, the flock that he shephards. Salvation could only belong to them so long as they maintained their covenant with him. Therefor it was necessary for the Jews to reject Christ, and even the mission of the apostles, to break that covenant. In doing so, salvation was able to extend to the gentiles, and indeed, all humanity. Once more, God did not will for the Jews to break away from him, but knowing they would, used it for his glory. “For salvation comes from the Jews.” John:8. (Samaritan women at the well. This stuff is all really thick in their conversation.)

God bless!

Josh


#13

[quote=jschwehm]Another thing is that in the JW paradise, humans can still sin. In the new heavens and the new earth, we will not be able to sin. We will truly have eternal life. Unlike the JWs who have everlasting life provided they do not sin.
[/quote]

Jeff,
If we are not **able **to sin, doesn’t that mean free will is gone? I thought it was just that we wouldn’t have sin in us anymore, and would have come past the point where we’ve chosen God and would not sin, rather than it being something we are incapable of?


#14

Jeff,
If we are not **able **to sin, doesn’t that mean free will is gone? I thought it was just that we wouldn’t have sin in us anymore, and would have come past the point where we’ve chosen God and would not sin, rather than it being something we are incapable of?

Misty,

In the beginning, Adam and Eve didn’t have the beatific vision of God. That’s why even though they enjoyed the friendship with God, they still was capable of sinning. Have they not sinned, heaven would be their ultimate destination and will enjoy the beatific vision.

This time, we will see God face to face. We will enjoy the beatific vision, just as the angels who didn’t sin are enjoying now. But our free will will still be with us, and this time will be brought to perfect unity with God’s will. We will no longer be capable of sinning because in Him we are truly and perfectly free. Who will sin in the presence of Almighty God enjoying the beatific vision? It will be the greatest indescribable moment that no words can say–no eye has ever seen.

Pio


#15

there is no indication in the bible to support that theory…there is no scripture that states what the purpose and plan for us if we had not sinned…the most i could get out of it was that we were intended for gods pleasure to have a relationship with him…

Ceasar


#16

[quote=hlgomez]But our free will will still be with us, and this time will be brought to perfect unity with God’s will. We will no longer be capable of sinning because in Him we are truly and perfectly free. Who will sin in the presence of Almighty God enjoying the beatific vision?
[/quote]

I can understand that we wouldn’t sin, but it doesn’t make sense to me that the ability would be taken away. I guess I’m just having a hard time grasping the idea…


#17

I can understand that we wouldn’t sin, but it doesn’t make sense to me that the ability would be taken away. I guess I’m just having a hard time grasping the idea…

Yes. :slight_smile: You don’t yet grasp the truth. Pray more for understanding.

Just remember one thing, if you “sin” because you have freewill, then you are not really free. You are a slave of sin, and sin causes death.

God will end the slavery to sin once and for all for the elect. Our freewill will be ultimately be in accord with the Divine will. Death will no longer have power over us. That’s why we will all live for all eternity. If you are still thinking that we will sin over and over again after we go to heaven, then it doesn’t make any sense of Christ coming into the world to save us. God will once and for all, for all eternity, will separate the righteous from the unrighteous.

I pray that your “hangover” caused by the doctrines of the JW’s will soon cease. I entrust you to the Most Holy Mother Mary and ask for Her prayers.

Pio


#18

[quote=hlgomez]Just remember one thing, if you “sin” because you have freewill, then you are not really free. You are a slave of sin, and sin causes death.

God will end the slavery to sin once and for all for the elect. Our freewill will be ultimately be in accord with the Divine will. Death will no longer have power over us. That’s why we will all live for all eternity. If you are still thinking that we will sin over and over again after we go to heaven, then it doesn’t make any sense of Christ coming into the world to save us. God will once and for all, for all eternity, will separate the righteous from the unrighteous.

I pray that your “hangover” caused by the doctrines of the JW’s will soon cease. I entrust you to the Most Holy Mother Mary and ask for Her prayers.

Pio
[/quote]

I don’t think my meaning came through. Adam was free, and he sinned. He was not a slave to sin prior to that. I don’t think that we will sin, it just seems that the idea that we will choose not to sin makes more sense than the idea that we will have that choice taken away from us.

And Christ’s sacrifice was so that we could have the ability not to sin…not so that our ability to sin would be removed…right?

As far as my JW hangover…I like that term, btw …I am doing my best to rid myself of it. I think it will be a good, long while before that truly goes away, unfortunately.

On a side note, I talked to my boyfriend about this (he’s Catholic) and he explained it in a way that made sense to me. He said that heaven will mean being in God’s physical presense, right? Well, in Eden, Adam and Eve were in God’s presense (obviously, since they hid from him after realizing their nakedness). So, it could be that God’s plan wasn’t necessarily to lift them up beyond the clouds to a place separate from earth. It could be that, just as they brought sin into themselves and were no longer perfect…they brought sin into Eden and it was no longer perfect…no longer part of heaven. Of course, he didn’t claim to be giving the official doctrine on this, but as far as I can tell there really isn’t one. And this makes sense to me. Any thoughts?


#19

Hi Misty:

When the new heavens and new earth are here there will no longer be this line of demarcation between heaven and earth. (Although even now particularly through the Mass the line of demarcation between heaven and earth is extremely thin for Catholics) We will all be one family in the literal physical presence of God. In the new heavens and the new earth we will not sin because we will be like the angels. We will have chosen God’s way for good for all eternity. We will have exercised our free will and chosen God forever.

Another thing is that since the incarnation, human nature has now been incorporated into the life of the Trinity. The Divine has taken on human nature and participated in the life of humanity so that we who have human nature can participate in the life of God.

This is vastly different than what we were taught as JWs where even after the second test a person in the paradise could sin and then God will destroy that individual. So, in the JW paradise sin death would still be a possibility.

Jeff S.
www.catholicxjw.com


closed #20

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