“Now I know in part”, “now we know in part” (1 Cor.13). For now let’s leave aside the interpretation that some claim- “but when that which is perfect is come…” they understand to mean the Bible. I do believe it’s the Word of God but cannot sanely argue anyone perfectly understands or interprets it!
In light of this, let’s discuss… wait for it… the concept of HEAVEN!
Yes, heaven, not HELL!
See, we know there’s a lot of discussion about hell or such a concept, whether soundly or wishfully interpreting the Book on the subject, whether it’s real or not. Most people I know don’t like to discuss hell… or hope it’s not real. Imagine. But… “imagine there’s no heaven” ‘eh?
What I want to consider is something other than separation from God, namely:
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING “to a Better Place”?
I don’t know any sane person who genuinely wishes for eternal damnation, but it always amazes me that so many people talk of everyone ending up in some sort of heaven after we die.
So, no hell, but there IS a heaven? You’re fairly sure the one is non-existent, but have a sort of “wishdream” (to quote a cool Bonhoeffer term) for some sort of peaceful, eternal bliss somewhere? Hmmm…
So there is no “apartness” from Him (but do you believe in some sort of heaven-place yet no God? Hmmm…) even though most of your life on earth was generally spent as though you were the center of your life?
I know, I know, modernist, Greek-based logic from an old guy. Sorry. Makes sense to me. But hey, anything goes and I could truly be wrong, correct?
Certainly, our bodies decay (if not cremated) and that’s that. Worm-food. THE EEEEENNNNDDDDD. Um, did you say “better place”?
Apostle Paul said, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15.19)
It would take me many, many blogs, a very large book to explain the many personal convictions I have, the near-countless “proofs” that convinced me beyond any rational sense of “coincidence” that Jesus is risen, that what He says about the kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven and hell are true. Some would love to imagine His words on these matters are mere mythology.
A.W. Tozer said something like “If a person believes in an imaginary Savior they will have to be satisfied with an imaginary salvation”.
Funny how people will quote Jesus’ words as an amazing, positive teacher and cool dude but when He used “hard words” and what we conclude is the “negative” stuff we (including plenty of Christians) run for the exit. So be it. The sun and rain both hit the saved and the lost- and yes, I know that’s not the exact quote from the Gospel.
The good news is bad news to a lot of peeps. It’s “an offense” says Paul, who should know seeing he was beaten close to death on several occasions and, if tradition is more than mere tradition, he may have been martyred for his “mythological faith”.
The fact is, I only have assurance of eternal LIFE as opposed to something other because of what Jesus said and did for me (I’m convinced) on the cross and via an empty tomb.
For me, it all began hearing His Word, personal conviction He was speaking to me directly in my mind over and over during several months, and a looooooooooooooooooong list of events that all brought me literally to my knees. At present, I’ve experienced another 43 years of the same. No exaggeration!
No big bang (if there was one, I’m convinced HE made it go “boom”) assures anybody of anything but worm and plant food after our bodies drop from zero air, heart failure or whatever.
If you hear me saying “I’m personally convinced to the max”, you’re hearing me right.
Now- I don’t expect everyone to have had the same, rocking and stacked-deck experiences I’ve had. I don’t think everyone even WANTS to think all that deeply about personal relationship to Jesus Christ, the Risen King… Who brings people into the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, HIS kingdom through faith and surrender. But I trust Him more than I trust myself.
One King… neither you nor I. See, that’s the pinch and it’s in my view, one of the absolute key reasons plenty want nothing to do with Jesus.
So what’s heaven? From what I read and understand, it’s where God literally is. Yes, I know He’s everywhere all at once by His Spirit, but heaven is His primary abode where those who followed Him on earth will eventually be gathered. It’s where Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, and it’s “the place” He has prepared for those who love and serve Him.
Do you think you’re going there? Why do you think that?
You don’t have to answer me, I’m of little consequence in this world.
I am convinced (said that a lot in this blog, ‘eh?) that He loves you more than anyone and knows how to write on your wall as He did mine.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, and “Neither is there any other name given under heaven (hmmm…) among people by whom we must be saved”. That name, is Jesus.
DO you follow Him?
How on earth do you have any assurance of “a better place” if you don’t?
If you didn’t have your gps app going, had no map and nobody around to ask and were trying to drive somewhere in particular, would you be so vague about how to get there? You think facing eternity isn’t exactly like that for a lot of people? Whew!
Things to consider. As always, thanks for stopping by!