Why Should I Look Forward To Heaven?
Phew – we did it! This is the conclusion of a series that began back in May of 2022. This month, I wanted to tackle a question that many of us are afraid to ask: Why should we look forward to Heaven? In fact, many questions arise if we dig deep enough: What if things are going fairly decent here on planet earth – why leave a good thing? What if someone still has the desire to get married and have children? What if I’m just starting a career – or I finally have found a job that I really enjoy? What about finally being able to retire – is that going to be taken away from me? How can I put my faith in a place that I’ve never seen?
Those are all fair questions. Plus, most of us have had imagery implanted in our minds that make Heaven seem quite boring. Does any of this sound familiar? We will sit on clouds with the angels wearing white robes playing harps. We will float aimlessly from place to place as disembodied spirits resembling Halloween ghosts. We will worship before The Lord forever and ever – kind of like a never ending church service. It would be impossible to answer all the questions and provide explanations for all of the misconceptions we have about the afterlife. Instead, why don’t we take a look at some of the major benefits of being a citizen in Heaven?
- We get new, supernatural bodies that endure forever. Imagine not getting sick anymore. Dream about loved ones not dying unexpectedly or of old age. Allergies, the flu, and COVID being gone forever. We won’t need a cure for cancer – because cancer will be gone. We can finally say goodbye to heart disease, diabetes, paralysis, asthma, arthritis, dementia, mental illness, HIV, MS (yes – no more infusions!), or anything else that consumes the body and mind. The Apostle Paul gives us a preview: Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. What I’m saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15: 49 – 54). And how about this promise from Paul: Jesus Christ will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control (Philippians 3: 21). So . . . we will be like Jesus when he rose from the dead? Let your imagination run wild for a few seconds moments. Remember that God is light years beyond a creative genius. Will we be able to fly like a bird? Swim like the whales? Run like a cheetah? We won’t know until we get there. But I promise we won’t be playing harps and floating around like ghosts 🙂
- We get a new home, far beyond our wildest dreams. Think about your favorite place you have visited or lived. For me – it was vacationing to Italy. Fascinating historical monuments that seemed to be around every city corner, breathtaking views of rolling hills and vineyards resembling a movie set, and fresh, exquisite food served by families in quaint restaurants. What we need to do is take your place and my place and then multiply the excitement, pleasure, beauty, and joy found there by at least 1000X. That is a glimpse of Heaven. Here is the vision that the Apostle John saw: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared . . . And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband . . . It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone – like jasper as clear as crystal . . . its length AND width AND height were EACH 1,400 MILES (approximately the distance from Canada to Texas) . . . and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass (Revelation 21: 1 – 18). One last detail to ponder. God also says in Revelation 21:5 – “Look, I am making ALL things new!” The wording is crafted carefully. Notice he didn’t say, “Look, I am making all NEW things!” The destructive forces that have harmed our bodies and planet are gone. God will cleanse and restore this planet. In a way that is mind boggling to comprehend – we get it all back! We won’t have time to sit on the clouds strumming harps 🙂
- Evil will finally be defeated, and we will live in peace with God and each other for eternity. What would a world be like with no violence, wars, human trafficking, or crime? Imagine a place where political parties stop fighting with each other and are unified. No more unexpected and devastating natural disasters. No more poverty, drought, incurable diseases. No more dictators, murderers, or corruption. No more emotional pain of betrayal, heart break, stress, anxiety, addiction, jealousy, selfishness, and fear. That is Heaven! Jesus gave his disciples a sneak preview of our new home as recorded by his Apostle John. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14: 1-3). John was around 90 years old when he wrote this hopeful passage in the book of Revelation: I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people”. . . God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever . . . And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into The New Jerusalem. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty – but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s (Jesus’) Book of Life (Revelation 21: 3, 4 & Revelation 22: 26, 27). This sounds a lot better than a never ending church service 🙂
Conclusion: Besides The Bible – the greatest book I have read about our future home is called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Please get a copy if you want to further study this topic on your own. He takes on the tough questions and provides detailed insight into the afterlife that will be anything but boring.
Based on the scripture I quoted from Revelation 22, you might be wondering – how do I make sure my name is in The Lamb’s Book of Life? That is the most important question any of us will ask during this lifetime. This is what I shared back in May of 2022:
How do I know if I’m going to Heaven? The book of Revelation (and many other books of the Bible) talk about an eternal life and an eternal home called Heaven. Not to be blunt – but Revelation (and other books of the Bible) also talk about an eternity in a destination called Hell. To assure your citizenship in Heaven – here is what the Bible says we can do right now:
- Admit that we are sinners (that we have done wrong, evil, rejected God’s way for our lives). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
- Accept that Jesus died and rose from the dead for our sins. And yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9).
- Ask for Jesus to come into our lives by His Spirit. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes (trusts in, clings to, relies upon) in him will have eternal life (John 3:16). If we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead we will be saved (Romans 10:9).
- Allow Jesus through His Holy Spirit to lead you day by day. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Four steps: Admit – Accept – Ask – Allow. If you haven’t already taken care of this step in your life – say a basic prayer based on the 4 points above and get things right between you and God through his son Jesus Christ. That way, if we are in The End Times – you have absolutely nothing to be fearful of!
Please don’t delay this decision. To “not decide” is to decide. There is not neutral – we are either in or out. We all hope to live long, happy, productive, and healthy lives. Which may be the case for you. However, life is so uncertain and unpredictable – what if today is your final day on Earth? Before you end reading this and go on to something else – please take action now to finalize your eternal destination . . .