Devotional for Friday, June 16, 2017 with Pastor Jim Lucas (Grace Point Church of the Nazarene – Lebanon, PA)
What will heaven be like? I think my initial response to hearing this question would be like many, many people! The quick answer. NOT LIKE EARTH as it is now!! [said with emphasis & spirit!] Wow, it seems to be on an increasingly downward spiral. Some might quickly say, “heaven’s got to be better than this?” It truly is. But why?
The Bible contains 66 books. Do you know how many of them talk about heaven? 54! That’s right. Heaven certainly has to be a very special place to get that much exposure and attention in the Word of God. Jesus mentions heaven about 70 times in the book of Matthew alone. And if you forgot how Genesis starts, it says “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And when you flip over to the very last book of the Bible – Revelation 21:10 we find this statement: “He showed me the great city..descending out of heaven from God.”
We’ve entertained the visions of the little boy in “90 Minutes in Heaven,” to friends, loved ones, or of those we’ve read in books, who have ‘gone to heaven’ for a short period of time, but ‘returned’ to earth. These folks give us insight. It fascinates us. Could it be real,” we ask. Could it really be that extravagant, ‘expensive’ sounding (gold, jasper, onyx, a massive size – this new Jerusalem!!). I remember my dad, and then my mom, when they passed on from this life to eternity with Jesus, just how peaceful they were. There as a sacred peace that was over them as well as the room itself. When my dad passed on, my mom speaks of feeling his spirit brush past her face as he was escorted in royal fashion to heaven. So beautiful a gift for her.
The fact that I know the truth about both heaven and hell, and the purpose for each place, there is no desire in my heart at all to reside in hell. Jesus spoke very clearly about both places reminding us that if you want to go to heaven, you must ask him into your heart. You must be born again. Those who choose not to, and die, will spend eternity in hell. Heaven is a place of fellowship, relationship, love, multitudes of people, seeing and experiencing forever the glory of God (There won’t be any night there because He IS the light – Revelation 22:5). The greatest thing will be seeing Jesus face to face, for we’ll have our new bodies, and will see Him as He is. Folks, I’m just saying…that will be beyond glorious!!! When you consider that hell is a place of torment, being alone, no friends, no anything, why would anyone want to choose that? Seriously, it was only designed for satan and his followers. Period. No one else. But God in His great love, plan, mercy, and grace, has given us the choice. He first loved us. My response. God, here’s my love. As small as it is, as meager an offering as I have, I give it ALL to you. Lead me. Guide me. Teach me. Lead me home to heaven. What will heaven be like? Like a place where I’ve always belonged; where I’m meant to live, be, do, play, rejoice, laugh…in the presence of my Savior and Lord: even Jesus. I close with this fantastic verse from 2 Corinthians 5:1 – “We know that if the earthly tent (body) we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” Walk with me. Let’s walk together to OUR heavenly home!! Hallelujah!!