Promises of Heaven

On earth we tend to think of ourselves but in heaven things will be different. We will experience the truth: "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." In heaven God, not man, will be at the center of everything. And His glory will be dominant.

Have you ever watched young couples in love communicate without words? Have you ever been in love yourself? People deeply in love find absolute bliss in each other's presence and wish their moments together would go on forever. If those moments could be frozen, with no sense of passing time, would that be "heaven" for them? Have you ever said, "I wish this moment could last forever?"

Those feelings may be small indications of what it would be like, frozen in time and loving God, enjoying Him, forever. We will never come down from that "mountaintop" experience.

The Bible assures us that heaven is a definite place. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:2-3).

Today homeless people can be found just about everywhere throughout the world. During a recent cold spell many street people suffered, and some died. Those of us who have comfortable homes may want to help those who are less fortunate, but deep inside we may think, "I'm just glad I have a bed tonight, a warm house, and food to eat." If we have never been homeless, it's hard to understand what it would be like.

In some ways Christians are homeless. Our true home is waiting for us, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ. "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling" (II Corinthians 5:1-2). If we look at the beauty He has created on earth, can we comprehend what He has furnished for us in heaven?

When people gaze at the Grand Canyon, they are instantly captured by its blazing glory. The earth offers spectacular vistas on every continent, in every country. Many of us have a favorite place, which we would describe as "heaven on earth." All of the most beautiful places on earth will pale in comparison to what the Designer and Maker of these wonders of nature has prepared for us. Like Abraham, we can be "looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10).

Years ago, Andre Kole, the talented illusionist who traveled all over the world as a representative of a Christian youth organization wrote about the death of his wife, Aljeana. She had an incurable brain tumor, and for two years she endured incredible suffering. She gradually lost the use of her arms and legs and couldn't move her head or body. She became totally blind. Day after day she could do nothing but lie helplessly in bed. Kole wrote, "While Aljeana was still able to do some speaking, she always shared a poem that ended with these lines: `We should not long for heaven, if earth held only joy."'

Heaven is a place, designed by the greatest architect, and it is promised that there we will receive our glorious inheritance.

We don't exactly know what kind of an inheritance we will receive in heaven, but we know it will be magnificent. When we visit someone's home and admire beautiful silver, rugs, or paintings, we might ask, "Is that an heirloom?" The owner might say that it belonged to his mother, and was very valuable to him. One woman we know about has a beautiful chest inlaid with rare pieces of wood that her grandfather built years ago. People are always admiring it and asking where she got it. "I inherited it," she says.

The silver will tarnish, the rugs will be soiled or torn, the chest could burn in a few minutes. The Bible says we will receive "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you" (I Peter 1:4).

The things that we inherit on earth may be a great blessing or a terrible curse. Riches left to irresponsible heirs have ruined countless lives. However, as children of the King, our inheritance will not spoil, nor will it spoil us. What a wonderful promise!

Heaven is the city of our God. He created heaven and He possesses it: "Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other" (Deuteronomy 4:39).

When everything on earth seems to be going wrong, and when we ache to cry out, "God, where are You?" we have the promise that God is in heaven and is in command. It may seem that no one is in charge here, but if that were true, God Himself would be a liar. 

Our Patient Merciful God
The Bible and the Gospel speak of God's great mercy for us ...

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