Much has been written about our future eternal home. But what if Jesus is more interested in bringing heaven to earth rather than the other way around? Offering a corrective to the church's emphasis on the afterlife, Ross and Storment call us to work for God's kingdom by overcoming injustice, poverty, lack of opportunity, and more. 224 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.
You Can Help Bring Heaven to Earth
God so loved the world, and he still does. He values his creation too much to destroy it. If you know where to look, you can see that the coming of a new heaven and a new earth already has begun.
Life on earth is renewed every time you live out Jesuss prayer that Gods ways will be followed on earth. The work of Gods Kingdom involves restoring what has been broken. This includes people, unjust systems, relationships, anything that has been separated from God and needs to be healed, reconciled, and set right.
This is how heaven collides with earthnot following fiery destruction but in the power of restoring to life everything that God created. What you believe about Gods plan for humanity and for his creation determines how you will invest your life. God calls all of us to this renewing work. You can help bring heaven to earth, starting today.
JOSH ROSS is lead minister of Sycamore View Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and the author of Scarred Faith. His church works to restore justice, opportunity, and dignity in Memphis. Josh is married to Kayci, and they are the parents of two boys.
JONATHAN STORMENT is pastor of Highland Church in Abilene, Texas. His church supports the local community through investments of time and finances. Jonathan is married to Leslie, and they have three children. He is the author of How to Start a Riot.
"Oh, the difficulty of balance in this walk of faith. We tend to lose it. At least I do. I find myself on the side of the path, entangled in small issues and controversies. This book calls us to keep our eyes up. To keep the big things the big things. The authors offer a much needed and much welcomed reminder."
Max Lucado, pastor and author
"For many Christians, heaven is just some place we fly away to. But Ross and Storment clear the clouds to reveal the ways in which heaven matters in the here and now. Earth is full of heaven, they say, but you have to know where to look and how to participate in it. Finally, a concept of heaven worth believing in!"
Jonathan Merritt, author of Jesus Is Better than You Imagined and senior columnist for Religion News Service
"Christians need to get past all views of the future that do not impact the present. That is how Jonathan and Josh help us; they call us to a view of then that matters now. Bringing Heaven to Earth is a timely challenge to a church in need of a new way of telling time."
Rick Atchley, senior minister at The Hills Church of Christ, Fort Worth, Texas
"Its about time someone dismantled the view that Christianity and the church exist to be Gods waiting room until we make it to heaven. Jonathan and Josh dismantle the fairy tale of heaven being a place of naked, winged babies playing harps on clouds. They replace that with the vision that Jesus and the New Testament both expect heaven to burst forth out of the church."
Tim Harlow, senior pastor of Parkview Christian Church, Chicago
"In Bringing Heaven to Earth, Storment and Ross show us that how we think of heaven truly matters only when we are able to see how it impacts the way we live, day in and day out. This book doesnt disappoint."
Colt McCoy, NFL quarterback and coauthor of The Real Win and Growing Up Colt
"For believers and nonbelievers alike, the idea of heaven often seems sentimental, escapist, and irrelevant. But in this powerful and inspiring book, Jonathan Storment and Josh Ross make heaven and earth collide. The good news is that heaven is a party already in full swing. So pull up a chair to the banquet table and be sure to bring a friend."
Richard Beck, blogger, author, and professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University
"There is good news for those who feel they are done with church: God is not done with us! Josh Ross and Jonathan Storment marvelously describe a world to end all worldsthe world that is on its way. And they show how we are to live in the meantime. This book will revive your hope and electrify your imagination."
Ian Morgan Cron, best-selling author of Chasing Francis: A Pilgrims Tale
"Bringing Heaven to Earth is proof that the Bible is extremely relevant in the past and present, and especially in our future. Reading this book will challenge you to look for opportunities to show Gods love to everyone you encounter."
Bob Smiley, Christian comedian
"This cultural crash between heaven and earth is so needed in a world that has been stuck between two extremes of trying to explain heaven away or making an escape to heaven through hopes of an early rapture. This life we live is just a rehearsal for the consummation of heaven uniting with earth one day. When we put works with our faith, we are giving our neighbors a taste of glory divine."
Stacy Spencer, senior pastor at New Direction Christian Church, Memphis, Tennessee
"We live in a world that faces innumerable challenges, and the authors remind us that faith in Jesus gives us the power to be his holistic witnesses to the restoration and reconciliation work found only in Christ. You will be inspired and equipped by reading this book."
Daniel Hill, author of 10:10: Life to the Fullest and senior pastor of River City Community Church, Chicago
"Jonathan and Josh will widen your view of heaven and the scope of Gods mission on earth. This book will make your heart beat faster and your soul grow bigger for the things God cares about most."
Gene Appel, coauthor of How to Change Your Church (without Killing It)
"The exciting truth is we do not have to wait on heaven to see the splendor of Jesus. He is seen when we love each other with kindness. He is felt when we wipe the tears of the brokenhearted or boldly choose to live in hope. Bringing Heaven to Earth reveals the power of the words, "on earth as it is in heaven". This book will open your eyes to a new way of understanding how we can give and receive bits of heaven each day here on earth."
-Bethany Haley Williams, Ph.D., Founder & Executive Director of Exile International. Author of The Color of Grace.