CAN HEAVEN WAIT?
Years ago a minister I knew aptly said, "We ought to be living our lives in light of our eternal destiny." Those are words of wisdom every one of us should heed, daily! When life becomes too busy and chaotic I'm often reminded of this simple truth which has helped comfort and steady my course and path through this life.
While we're so busy on this earth going to and fro, there's another world just beyond the limits of this one (no, not the Twilight Zone) in full swing, waiting for our arrival - a place called, "Heaven."
I don't know about you but I don't want to go to some peoples version of heaven. On the other hand I have to believe that heaven is far beyond anything we could think or imagine. That's where my hope is.
For me it's never been hard to believe in the existence of heaven. Growing up as a young Catholic boy with my family in California I learned at an early age about Jesus and the existence of Heaven.
There is a place outside of this world; a place of warmth and beauty; a place with bright, not glaring light. I see an open field full of warmth and love, with sunflowers towering to the sky, the biggest sunflowers I've ever seen.
Don't try to grasp this with human means. It really is incomprehensible and beyond our human senses - a place called Heaven.
Heaven is a real place. I know there are many interpretations of what Heaven is today in society, but we must always go back to the Bible and see what God says about Heaven. I am a bit surprised at how little there is about Heaven in the Bible. However, there is enough evidence to substantiate its existence.
The Bible speaks of three heavens:
1. The atmospheric heaven above where the clouds reside.
2. The heavens above where the stars and galaxies are.
3. The Kingdom of Heaven where God resides.
Perhaps the older one gets the more our thoughts turn towards the afterlife as it were, leaving this earth, and living somewhere else forever. The concept of living forever blows my mind. I'm fascinated with time and the thought of the existence of a eternity is mind-boggling.
Over the years I've heard stories of those who died and went to Heaven and came back to earth to tell their story. Although interesting, I'm not 100% sure I believe every story of someone going to Heaven. I think in the end Heaven will be much different than any of us can ever think or imagine. Perhaps this is one reason why there isn't more information in the Bible about Heaven.
The apostle Paul refers to seeing through a glass darkly in reference to this life. The day will come though when we will see things clearly, face-to-face.
In this life we make references to Heaven as a "blissful state."
"Heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak..."
A very familiar song lyric from the 1935 American Film Classic, Top Hat, as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance, "Cheek to Cheek." When I think of Heaven I'm often reminded of this Irving Berlin song.
One of my favorite movies is Warren Beatty's 1978 film release, "Heaven Can Wait." This is a cute story about a football player who dies and goes to Heaven, but upon his arrival it's discovered that he was taken out of his body too soon and needed to be returned to earth in another body.
The Bible says it's appointed unto man "once to die, and after that the judgment." To be honest I don't know if there's a specific moment in time where it's been predestined that we are to leave this earth. The Apostle Paul says after we've run our course and have finished the faith then it's time to depart and to be with the Lord "which is far better" than this earth.
Honestly, after hearing some peoples versions of Heaven I wouldn't want to go there. I don't know where people get these notions and preconceived ideas, but the Bible doesn't substantiate their versions or visions of Heaven.
Some people say Heaven is in your mind or you create your own Heaven, or that Heaven is within.
When I look up at the stars at night I'm overwhelmed at the vastness of God and the Heavens above.
The older I get the more I pray that God would reveal Himself His word and Heaven to me and bring me to a greater knowledge, awareness and appreciation of all.
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