Sunday, January 6, 2013

Heaven - The place of our wildest dreams!

Recently I have been pondering heaven, and as I read scripture pertaining to it today it gave me hope.  Without scripture, it's easy to almost dread heaven out of fear of loosing what we have here on earth. Perhaps, dear reader, you have had similar fears as I have had.

Before I share what I've found about heaven, I feel it's more important to discuss our Creator and how we actually get to heaven. Though I could spend an entire blog discussing God's nature, the most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about heaven is His love. It was by love that God sent his son, and it was love that brought Christ to the cross. And in that was our salvation. The moment he died, he overcame sin, and the moment he rose from the grave - that was when all those who believe on his name were given victory over death.

Romans 10:9 states - If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

It does not take a perfect life to receive and keep salvation, it takes only believing on Christ. Out of your belief on him will flow the works that scripture speaks of, and the fruit of the spirit at work within you. Those are the products of Christ at work in you, not of you at work.

It's amazing and wonderful to me to know that even as messed up as I am, and as often as I fail, I will still be with my God in eternity. I am the first to say that I am totally a mess without Christ, but he is faithful and just to forgive me, just as scripture says. I rest in that, and allow God to wrestle with and deal with the fear, guilt, and hopelessness that tries to overwhelm me.

The descriptions of Heaven are numerous and glorious. They speak of a new earth in which there is no sin, no death, no pain, and certainly no guilt. Can you imagine such a life? A life where you are truly and completely free? I can not wait until we are completely without restraint as we love God and follow him.

Scriptures say that we will rule with him. (Revelation 5:9-13). If we are to rule, will there not be a tangible place? And, if there is a real place, will we not have real bodies?
                    Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Scriptures also say we will see his face and be filled with joy instead of fear. If we can see his face, then his "glorious body" is something we can see.  I do not believe we will be bodiless spirits floating in the clouds. Scripture certainly does not encourage this view!

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

If God will wipe away my tears, I must have tears in the first place - and if I have them, does that not mean I will remember what life was like and the things I went through? Though I can not say for sure from scripture, I do think we will remember, but God is much bigger than any sorrows we could experience here, and he will heal these sorrows. Once they are healed, there will be no reason to dwell on them and thus be sad. I can not imagine that he would just wipe away all of our memories. That only happens in the movies! If he were to wipe them all away, much of our relationship with him would also be wiped away, because it was during those times that He carried me that I grew close to him.

I've also thought about our knowing others in heaven. All I can say is, it will not be the same. As fearful as we often are of the unknown, it's easy to feel let down about this. It's easy to bemoan the fact that our relationships will change. We do so even now here on earth when things change. But let me suggest this to you - God is love, perfect love. If love abounds in heaven, which how could it not when we are constantly with the author of love, will we not love even more than we do here on earth? We will be able to love just like he does because He will make us perfect. He loves unconditionally; He loves everyone; He loves with great passion. We will not miss out on our earthly friendships because we will love all those around us with even greater love than we can now understand. 

In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were created there was no sin. God was with them, he walked in the garden with them! But still, God said that it was not good for man to be alone. Though scripture does say that there will be no marriage in heaven. Matthew 22:30 - "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." But that does not mean we will not love those around us. We will still know other people when we live on the new earth together. Whether Christ was referring to heaven only, and not the new earth I do not know. But one thing I do know - no matter what, we will not be disappointed.

Everything will be perfect in heaven, not because God cast the spell of contentment upon us, but because we will be fulfilled in Christ. A place where sin is dead and God abides could not be any more perfect.

And all you have to do to get there is


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