One of the most arresting items in Mitchell's Lewis talk was this:
He spoke to a dying friend and asked him to write a name on paper. Friend asked why. Mitchell replied that it was the name of one of his friends who had died 20 years previously. He wanted to send a message to him.
Now, nice integration of the real hope and today's life, nice sentiment about his friend. But let's think about it.
The scriptural data first. A few passages spring to mind:
> The thief on the cross: Luke 23:424. Today you will be in paradise with me (and so much for Yeshua's going to hell)
> The Thessalonians: 1 Thess 4:17. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
> After death: Phillipians 1:3. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.
> Revelation 21: all things new, the old is passed away, in our Father's presence forever.
We seem to think of heaven (I use this not as the neoplatonic fictional world of spirits, but the domain of God's will being done) as some sort of in between place like a waiting room, perhaps while we await the return of Yeshua (1 Thess 4:17). In this place the saints gradually accumulate over earth-time. So my parents will have been waiting 20 or so years for me to join them.
If this would be the case, Mitchell's note might be in order.
But it's still not. We will be renewed. We will have no concerns, we won't forget things; certainly not important things, things about people and relationships. No need for a note. He'll remember!
Mitchell seems to think it will be the same time in heaven as here. His friend will have 'waited' 20 years for news of his family.
I don't think this is on either.
Firstly, I don't think heaven time is coordinated with creation (earth) time.
If anything, the 'scale' of time might be different. So 20 years earth time might be a blink of the eye in heaven time (if there even is heaven time).
Secondly, I don't think heaven has been designed by bureaucrats with waiting rooms, real books of deed, etc. I think these are part of the great and very serious operatic images of Revelation.
Thus, and thirdly, I think 'paradise' may be the only paradise discussed. The new creation.
So perhaps we all 'arrive' in the new creation (heaven) at the same time. Time sort of warps between here and there/then, heralded by the return of Yeshua.
Here is subordinate to there. Not the reverse.
And there we are, pre-millenial dispensationalism in the bin at last.
After I'd written this, but before it posted, I discussed my speculation with my brother, who is smarter than me. He proposed that the new creation will be always 'now'. It will be 'un-tensed'.
Now, that's interesting.