Reflections on Heaven

Have you read the obituaries today? I have found as I get older I find myself from time to time scanning the obituaries to make sure that my name was not on the list! With age comes an increasing awareness of the slender thread that holds my life. Death crouches at the door waiting of us all, but don’t forget Jesus has once and for all time robbed death of its sting.

Recently I had a conversation about death and eternity with someone traveling the dark valley of the “shadow of death.” In the midst of the discussion I encountered a common, yet misleading idea about eternity. Many hold to the view that heaven will boil down to nothing more than a huge elaborate eternal worship service complete with choirs and harps! In addition many believe that our relationship with God will be the “only” relationship of our eternal existence. In other words, we will be so in awe of being in the presence of the Lord that we will be oblivious to anyone and everyone around us. We will live in a state of “stunned worship.”

Granted “I can only imagine”, as the song goes, what it will be like to bow in the presence of our Lord, but I believe He gave us hints that eternal life will be much more like life on earth but this time on steroids! If eternity revolves around nothing but worship “why a new heaven and new earth”? Why not just a huge sanctuary or temple? A new earth indicates to me, that God has a plan and purpose for my eternity just as He did for my present life. Jesus spoke of us “ruling and reigning” with Him. This idea stirs my imagination into believing that I will have a job to do in eternity…better yet a “calling”.

In addition, Jesus gave us a glimpse of the family atmosphere of heaven in John 14 when He spoke of His Father’s house with many “mansions” or “rooms.”

A big, big house with many rooms sends the strong message of a large dynamic family all living together under the small roof.

In a large family, a father has a vital relationship with all the children, but the children also have relationships with each other. My love for my father and his love for me does not diminish my love for my brothers or their love for me. In other words, in heaven we will have a wonderful growing relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we will also be part of one big happy family made us of His sons and daughters, who may just happen to be our own sons and daughters, wives or husbands, and our parents. You see it appears heaven will be a huge healthy family system that spins out unconditional love, joy, and acceptance day in and day out. Talk about heaven.

I have found through the years many strange ideas about eternity. Many of them rooted in sad superstitions, bad theology, wives’ tales, or silly ideas. We would be wise to remember that the same One who created the wonder and mystery of life on planet earth will be in charge of eternity.

I think your eternal life rests in good hands—nail scarred hands to boot.

For me eternal life looks like an incredible life just over the horizon. Besides heaven gets sweeter and sweeter each year as dear friends and family members of mine go on ahead of me into glory. I guess you could say that lately “I got heaven on my mind” and it feels good.

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