A buddy and I were discussing Heaven and Hell earlier this week when he asked “You think people go straight to Heaven or to Hell or is it possible some people get to check out Heaven for a little while then they get sent to Hell for the rest of their eternal life?”
I promptly answered “Anything is possible!” and shared how deep down inside I was convinced God’s children go directly to Heaven while unworthy souls get as close as the pearly gates only to be turned away by God.
Can you imagine how devastating it is for the lost as they find themselves standing outside God’s holy place looking-in? Then falling from the gates of Heaven in horrifying darkness until they reach the burning caves of Hell where they get to suffer for all eternity.
Questions about heaven started pouring out of him: “Are the streets really paved with gold? Will my dad be there? What if he isn’t? Will I wear clothes, will I sleep on a cloud? What will I eat?”
I assured him that heaven would be a perfect home, and that he would be with Jesus, who would give him everything he needed. He replied with excitement, “Well, then let’s go right now!”
The apostle Paul had a heavenly perspective too (Philippians 1:23). His testimony was, “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain“. He knew that this life was about knowing, trusting, and serving God. He also knew that life in heaven would be “far better” because he would “be with Christ”. He wanted to stay here so that he could minister to the Philippians and others, but he was ready to go to heaven at any time to see Jesus.
After our conversation, my friend is ready to go right now. Are we as eager for heaven as he is? The bible describes heaven as a place more beautiful than anyone can imagine:
“Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”
“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:9-27)
No matter what we learn of God and of the fullness of His grace, the picture will not be complete until we meet Him face-to-face. Those who have their hearts fixed on Heaven will hold loosely the things of earth.
We thank you for all the rewards that await us
In Heaven where we will rejoice with you
And harvest the fruit of our labor
In this life, in this body.
Lord we pray you will continue to look after us
And our families, our friends and those in need,
We pray your light will guide us
In times when we are lost.
May there be a Heaven and a Hell
And a promise from above fulfilled,
A second coming of Christ Jesus
Returning to lead His children home.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre