Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Is Heaven Like?

Some people believe that Heaven is our reward for our good behaviour on Earth. Anyone who knows anything about Christianity wants to 'go to Heaven' when their lives on Earth are complete. There have been many accounts of what Heaven is like, and let's face it; wouldn't we all love to know?

A select few have had what is known as "Near Death Experiences' and have given very detailed descriptions of what or whom they have encountered on the 'other side'. There are many stories of people who have been on the brink of death so to speak, and have come back telling their fascinating stories. Most of us however, will not have that kind of opportunity; we will have to wait until it is 'our time' when we come to the end of our life here.

The Bible tells us that in order to 'get into Heaven', we must receive our Salvation - we need to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Romans 10:9 says "If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved." What are we being saved from? We are being saved from spending an eternity in Hell. Praise God!

A lot of people, some of them Christians, believe that because they are nice people and because they do good things like donating money to charities, helping the needy and are kind to their families and neighbours, that this is their 'ticket' to Heaven. Whilst it is very admirable to do good deeds for our fellow humans, this alone is not enough to guarantee our salvation. Ephesians 2:8 states "For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it."

It is true that as Christians, we have a certain moral code of conduct to live by, and certainly God loves it when we do kind and noble deeds, however, it is by our faith and our acceptance and love of our Lord Jesus Christ as our saviour that we shall be given eternal life.

Salvation is available for all. It is written in Romans 10:13 TNIV "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." That includes you and me! What a wondrous opportunity we are being given!

So what is Heaven like? As mentioned earlier, there have been many descriptions from people whom have crossed over and been shown glimpses. At the moment of death, there seems to be a common experience, that of either seeing a brilliant light, of course beyond any earthly comprehension, and then of loved ones coming to greet the person into Heaven. Some have even experienced waiting outside the pearly gates.

It is written in Genesis 28:17 NKJV 'And he was afraid and said, "this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" This was after a dream Jacob had in which the Lord was telling him all about the very many descendants he will be given. Genesis 28:12 NKJV says "then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it."

People have also been documented to have experienced seeing the most vividly beautiful and dazzling colours; colours that we don't even experience here on Earth!

Some have experienced a complete and utter joy unparalleled to anything they have experienced on Earth even in their happiest moments. People recount having seen their loved ones, who were very sick, renewed with healthy and youthful bodies. It is written in Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV "for our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."

Some people have experienced hearing glorious heavenly music and sounds of continual joyous praise and worship for God the Father! Revelations 5:11-12 NLT says 'then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered - to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing.' Sounds like one great big celebration doesn't it?

Jesus, when he was dying on the Cross, described Heaven as 'Paradise' to one on the criminals who was also dying alongside of Him. Luke 23:43 says 'And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

Some very fortunate people have even been allowed to experience Heaven inside the pearly gates and have described beautiful scenery, cities and riches beyond belief, and even of meeting Jesus Himself, however, it is not for the scope of this text to go into it here.

Whilst we don't know what it is to be given the opportunity to see Heaven, these claims are all about seeing for yourself the beauty and the joy of living on Earth with the promise of a future place in Eternity. God's love will see to it. All you need do is to commit now to a life with Jesus and you will find all the treasures you need for this life and into the next. This is my promise to you. Amen.

PS  One final thing, if the truth be told about how it is to be for you when you go to Heaven, you would want it now! There is much to be enjoyed in this place called Heaven - unending peace, freedom from all pain, suffering and sorrow, an absolute understanding of what it is to be loved in totality, and an experience of complete and utter bliss and joy that is unfathomable. This is what Heaven is like! Amen.

Glory be to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, whom I believe have gifted me with these words for you today. Amen and Amen!

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