I know that each of us has a soul and that there is the spiritual world, but I can in no way imagine what it will be like. Is there any way I can imagine even a little bit of the spiritual world?
A human consists of the dust of the ground, which is the flesh, and the breath of life, which is the soul. When a man dies, his flesh returns to the ground and the spirit, to God. In other words, in our afterlife, there surely exists the Kingdom of Heaven, the spiritual world, where we live together with God. It is just that it is invisible and that it is hard to explain about the world.
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”1 Co 2:9
The highest dimensional space discovered by modern science to this day is the universe. With human wisdom and knowledge, we can never fully understand everything about the Kingdom of Heaven, but let us take time to imagine what kind of place the Kingdom of Heaven will be like, through the universe that we can see with our eyes.
Earth is like a speck of dust in the vast universe
Currently, 7.9 billion people live on Earth, which is home to all kinds of trees and living things. From the perspective of the universe, Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and it is 12,760 ㎞ [7,929 miles] in diameter. In our eyes, Earth may look large, however, compared with the Sun which is 1,392,000 ㎞ [864,950 miles] in diameter, it is nothing but a mere dot. And in the universe, there are countless stars that are tens of millions of times larger than Earth.
Sirius of the constellation Canis Major, which is the brightest star in the night sky, is 2.335,000 ㎞ [1,450,900 miles] in diameter; and Arcturus of the constellation Boötes, which is the second brightest star in the night sky, is 22,101,000 ㎞ [13,733,000 miles] in diameter, which is 1,727 times longer than that of Earth. Betelgeuse, which is the brightest star in the constellation of Orionis, is 903,500,000 ㎞ [561,409,000 miles] in diameter, which is 70,000 times longer than that of Earth; and VV Cephei is a supergiant star of 2,644,800,000 ㎞ [1,643,400,000 miles] in diameter, which is about 200,000 times longer than that of Earth.
If we were to convert the size of each star into the volume, the difference of size would be massive, compared with that of Earth. The Sun is 1.3 million times larger than Earth, and VV Cephei is 8,900 trillion times larger than Earth, which means we can create about 8,900 trillion Earths with one VV Cephei. How large it is! However, those supergiant stars are only a few of the infinite number of stars brightly shining in the universe. There are a lot more stars in the universe, which we haven’t yet discovered, and the universe is infinitely vast.
Our solar system, where eight planets, including Earth, revolve around the Sun, is 40 trillion ㎞ [25 trillion miles] in diameter. Our galaxy contains about 200 billion of solar systems. And galaxies gather and form the great universe. In our eyes, one galaxy alone may seem to be of an infinite size, however, from the perspective of the great universe, it is a hardly visible speck of dust. Then, what about Earth where we live? How insignificant it may look from the point of view of the entire universe?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust … Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.Isa 40:15–17
The infinite universe that even time cannot prevail
Let us suppose that we could count one star in a second Then, it would take one hour to count 3,600 stars; one whole day to count 86,400 stars; 1,157 days (three years and one month) to count 100 million stars.
To count the stars in our galaxy that consists of 200 billion solar systems, it would take 6,000 years. However, we have more than 200 billion galaxies, each containing 200 billion solar systems, we can never count all the stars with our human time.
VV Cephei alone helps us realize that the time in human world is truly insignificant. VV Cephei is 2.6448 billion ㎞ [1.6434 billion miles] in diameter. A man walking at the speed of 4 ㎞ [2.5 miles] per hour still won’t make it to the end of the diameter in 755,480 years, and it will take about 3,019 years for a car traveling at the speed of 100 ㎞ [62 miles] per hour to get to the end of the diameter.
To the present day, it is known that the speed of light [the speed at which light travels through space where no particle exists] is the fastest. The light travels at the speed of about 300,000 ㎞ per second, at which we can travel around Earth seven times and a half in one second.
At the speed of light, it takes 1.26 seconds to get to the Moon from Earth, and it takes 8 minutes and 11 seconds to get to the Sun.
Although the speed of light is unimaginably fast, it takes four years and a half to get to Alpha Centauri in the constellation Centaurus, which is the nearest star from the Sun. It takes about 200,000 years for a rocket travelling at the speed of 300,000 ㎞ per hour to get to the nearest star.
If we were to travel across the great universe, how much time would we need? Even if we traveled at the speed of light, it would take about 15 billion years just to travel the radius of the great universe. It is such a long period of time that an 80 year-old man can fully live his life 187.5 million times over.
The space of the universe is infinite so we can never fully fathom it with human wisdom.
The spiritual world which we can imagine through the world of particles
Now, let us reduce the universe to the size of Earth in our imagination. Then, Earth becomes a tiny particle which cannot be seen even with a microscope. A particle is the smallest component that makes up a matter.
A molecule is the smallest particle of a substance that can split without losing chemical properties of the substance. Usually, a molecule consists of two and more atoms; and atoms consist of electrons, protons, and neutrons. And protons or neutrons consist of minute particles.
Some particles survive for only about 10 to 23 seconds. Simply speaking, a number of particles are born and die in 0.00000000000000000000001 second. The time is so short that a man can never fathom what it feels like to live in the time.
On the other hand, one second in human world is equivalent to 300 trillion years in the world of particles. 300 trillion years is such a long time that during the time period, 4.5 billion year-old Earth can form and die 600,000 times, and 15 billion year-old universe can form and die 200,000 times. From the perspective of particles, the human world will look like the world of gods who live infinitely for 300 trillion years.
The world of particles and our human world are in totally different dimensions. In the same way, the Kingdom of Heaven is beyond our imagination.
while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice … Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell youDa 9:21–23
As soon as Daniel began to pray, God ordered an angel to deliver a command of God to him.
In the center of the great universe which contains 200 billion galaxies, there is Heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God; and in the city of Jerusalem, there is the central palace where the throne of God is located (Heb 12:22–23).
When the angel Gabriel came to Daniel on Earth from the throne of God, which is the central palace of the great universe, billions of light years away from Earth, Daniel did not even finish his praying. Through this, we can understand that in the spiritual world, the angels travel across time and space faster than the speed of light.
We may think that seventy to eighty years of our human life, which is a series of joy and sorrow, is a long time. However, from the perspective of the spiritual world that transcends time and space, our life on Earth is an extremely short period of time that passes away instantly.
The kind of life we need to pursue
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.2 Co 12:2–4
Having seen the spiritual world, Apostle Paul realized that the time and space of human life have no meaning. He placed value on the spiritual world, and walked the life of an evangelist without getting exhausted despite endless hardship and persecution.
Originally, our souls were noble angels—the sons of God. However, because of our sin, we have come to this world, putting on the flesh; and as a result, we are unable to see the things of the heavenly country, being confined by time and space, and are living as if the world we see is everything.
Just because something is invisible, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Surely, there exists the greater spiritual world although we cannot see it with our own eyes. To help us realize this, our God, who rules over the great universe, came to the planet Earth which is less than a speck of dust, leaving behind the power and glory of the Creator (Php 2:5–8). It is because the Kingdom of Heaven is our eternal home to which we should return.
… If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.Heb 11:13–16
Two thousand years ago, Christ came to Earth, let mankind know the Kingdom of Heaven, and preached the gospel so that people might return to Heaven. In this age, He appeared a second time, told us about the Kingdom of Heaven, and help us regain hope for Heaven as we all lost the memories of Heaven due to our sins.
The Kingdom of Heaven will surely come before us. Obviously, we must do our best and faithfully work hard for our present life, but also need wisdom to prepare for the spiritual world that will unfold in the near future. God allowed us to feel the Kingdom of Heaven through the Bible. We must always stay close to God’s word to realize the Kingdom of Heaven and try hard to see it with our minds. Our hope for the greater world will become a source of joy and strength which can help with overcoming difficulties of our present life.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”2 Co 4:18