By Gloria Wessner
Recently I was thinking about heaven. Two extended family members have just passed away within a week of one another. I guess I was kind of doing what this passage from God’s word says:
‘Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.’ (Colossians 3:1-3 NLT)
This passage doesn’t mean that we don’t think about everyday life and how we’re going to live it – but when one belongs to the family of God (‘since you have been raised to new life with Christ’) we are to ‘set our sights on the realities of heaven.’ In other words, I think we see our life here on this planet from a different perspective – eternally – if you will; realizing that we are only temporary residents of earth. (‘But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.’ Philippians 3:20 NLT) When we belong to the family of God and have made that choice to have that personal relationship with him; we keep in mind heaven’s values, ideas and principles as we make our choices and decisions as we go about our daily living.
One of the aspects about heaven I was thinking about is how opposite things will be there than they are here:
On earth there is pain – in heaven, NO pain
On earth there is sorrow – in heaven, NO sorrow
On earth there is crying – in heaven, NO crying
On earth there is death – in heaven, NO death
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’ (Revelation 21:4 NLT)
This is only a small window in seeing a glimpse of what heaven is like. This part is of course not the physical features of heaven but a partial taste of what the emotional environment will be like. The absence of pain, sorrow, crying and death are hard to imagine because we live with these things constantly; but how I look forward to an environment like that for eternity! I can only imagine the joy of these two family members who are now in heaven – free of pain, sorrow, and crying, never more to die – celebrating eternal life with Jesus; walking hand in hand with him. Just before one of these family members passed away, he expressed his joy anticipating a reunion with some family and friends there in heaven as they, too, had made that choice to have Jesus in their life, wiping away their wrongdoings and so are in heaven, too.
How about you? Do you know where you will be when your time comes? You can know, and without a doubt, that you will be in heaven. God’s word is very clear that you can know. He promises to rescue all who call upon him and bring them with him into heaven when their time comes. It says:
‘The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation”. Psalm 91:14-16 NLT)
‘Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.’ (Galatians 1:4 NLT)
You can see we are promised eternal life when we believe; we are also promised his presence, strength and help for everyday living here until we meet him physically in heaven:
‘God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!’ (Psalm 68:35 NLT)
‘That’s why I (the apostle Paul) work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.’ (Colossians 1:29 NLT, parenthesis mine)
‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you’. (Romans 12:1,2 The Message)
‘Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.’ (Colossians 3:10 NLT)
I would encourage you to write me and discuss your questions and comments; or find out more how you can know for sure where you will be when your time comes to leave this world. You can also find out how you can live life to its fullest until that moment comes to be with him forever. You can feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.