|Why do you want to go to Heaven? Have you given it much thought? When I was younger, before I became a Christian, I can recall hearing several sermons about how terrible it was going to be in hell. I can still recall some twenty years later one particular sermon in which the preacher gave a very detailed picture of hell and the torment of those who will be there. I can still recall the way I felt as I heard that sermon - the fear that it brought to my mind. Another sermon that I can still recall was preached on the text that today is the day of salvation, that we should make a decision to follow Christ today - for some day it will be too late and we will be doomed to hell.|
I am sure that these sermons, as well as others, had a lot to do with me wanting to become a Christian twenty some years ago. Part of my motivation was definitely to avoid that awful place called hell.
But now, as a more mature Christian, having spent many hours studying God's Word, having attended many wonderful worship services, and being able to dwell on the beauty of my future home rather than thinking about how awful hell would be, I see things more clearly now. I no longer see Heaven as an alternative to hell, and I no longer see being a Christian as the means of avoiding hell. I want to go to Heaven, and in this article I will share with you why.
One cannot study the Bible without coming to realize that God loves His creation, man, very very much. It is because of this love that He sent His son to die on the cross and suffer for our sins. It is because of this love that He has preserved His word for us throughout the ages. And it is because of this love that He has prepared a place for us called Heaven.
The Bible is replete with accounts of God's love for us. One of the most beautiful is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
However, being a Christian is not just about us being loved, but also about us loving others. One of the many joys of being a part of a local congregation is the love we can share with our fellow Christians. It is really refreshing to visit a congregation for the first time and witness the love that people have for each other. You see warm handshakes, beautiful smiles, hugs, words of kindness and encouragement, and many other expressions of Christian love.
As I visit the sick, shut-ins, and those in nursing homes again I see love all around. These fine people are so grateful for the visit and knowing that you care. Have you ever noticed how someone's face lights up when you have sent them a flower when they are sick or even for a special occasion? This too is evidence of Christian love.
Even though the love that I have spoken of here warms our hearts and provides us with many blessings, it is pale compared to the love that we will experience when we get to Heaven. I'm sure that I cannot even begin to imagine the love that will be there. I know that I do not have the words to describe how wonderful it will be to experience that great and magnificent love of God, His Son, the Holy Spirit, the saints of old, the loved ones from our families, and the brothers and sisters in Christ we have known here on earth. It will truly be a wonderful experience.
There is a song that I dearly love, "What A Day That Will Be." It says, "What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see. When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace. He will take me by the hand, and lead me through the promised land. What a day, glorious day that will be." It is hard to describe how I feel about that day. Unless you are a Christian and have the same longing to see our Lord and Savior, be able to feel His loving arms around you, and see His smiling face and know that you have pleased Him with your life, then any attempts to describe this would be in vain. But nonetheless, of the things I hope for in relation to Heaven and what it will be like, this is the one thing I hope for most. When I enter those gates of Heaven, that Jesus will be there waiting for me and He will throw His arms around me and say "Welcome home, My good and faithful servant."
What will it be like to be in the presence of the Almighty God? To see Him and to bask in His glory will, for sure, be joy unspeakable. I long to be able to bow before my Heavenly Father and worship Him with the angels and saints of old. I will be able to sing praises to Him with a perfect voice. I so much look forward to being able to say to Him, "I love you Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you." I know that the glory of God will permeate all of Heaven. No matter where we will be in that Heavenly City, the glory of God will be shinning all around. I want to be there and bask in that glory.
I have several loved ones who have gone on to be with God. My grandmother and grandfather were both true saints here on earth. It gives me joy to know that they are with God today, for the Scriptures say, "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8) I look forward to being able to be with them once again. I also have aunts and uncles who have gone on, as well as friends and loved ones in the church. It will be a great reunion day indeed when we all get to Heaven.
Have you ever thought about how wonderful it would be to be able to set down and talk with the saints of old? To be able to talk with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Timothy, Stephen, Silas, and all the others will truly be a great and marvelous experience. I sometimes wonder if, when we get to Heaven, we will suddenly have complete knowledge of all the history of God's people. I really don't know if we will. But I like to contemplate what it would be like to meet the saints of old and ask them questions about their lives. I can just imagine sitting at the feet of the saints listening for days on end of the stories they have to tell.
The Bible does not tell us a great deal about Heaven and what it will be like. It just gives us a glimpse of Heaven. Many of the things we must contend with in this life, will be absent in Heaven. The Bible tells us, "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:16,17) We know that there will be no sorrow there, no pain, no bad memories, no evil, no emotional problems, no financial problems, no ill feelings between us, no strife, no jealously, no hurt feelings, and the list could go on for ever. All the things that trouble us here and sometimes make life difficult will be absent in Heaven.
There are those who dwell on the reward we will have in Heaven. They like to talk about all the magnificent "things" we will have in Heaven. What will the reward or treasures be like? Will they be material (houses, gold, silver, etc.), or will they spiritual (love, joy, peace, etc.)? The Bible does speak of us having a reward or treasure in Heaven. Jesus said, "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. . ." (Matthew 5:12); and also "but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20) To me, the reward and the treasures I am looking forward to are not material. They are those things we have talked about in this article. I look forward to seeing Jesus and our Heavenly Father. I want to see the loved ones who have gone on before. I want to visit the saints of old and share with them the victories of their lives here on earth. I want to experience the love, peace, and joy that Heaven will offer by removing all the bad things we have to contend with in this life. And I want to bask in the glory of God forever!
What will Heaven be like? We can't say for sure with great detail. But we can say for sure that it will be wonderful because our Heavenly Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit will be there.
All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
About the Author
Stephen Kingery is an author, preacher, teacher and founder of The Home Bible Study Institute.
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