Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Heaven Itself

Just exactly what is it that awaits us after our final hours here? Where will be go? Will we go alone? These are all questions to which many of us long to have the answers. While we can't know everything, there are many things we can know. Some of them may be in a generalized form of answer; others quite specific. One thing for certain, though ... if we spend time thinking about such as this we will become accustomed to thinking "heavenish" and when we get there we just may not feel so out of place. In the minutes immediately following our deaths, we'll obviously know we are still the very same person we were a minute before we died. We'll be aware that we have died but rather than feel grief we will feel blessedly free. We will no longer be captive to these "temporary tents" of human flesh. Any handicaps we may have had while we were on earth will be gone. We will be free to move and to think without so much as a hint of interruption. And while we're being escorted by angels to the "Promised Land" of heaven, our friends and families will be preparing for our funeral.

Steve Saint, in "Did They Have to Die" (Christianity Today, 16 September 1996, 26) tells the story of five young missionaires who were killed in the dark jungles of Ecuador. (The men who did the killings are now Christians.) One of the offenders told Steve (who was a son of one of the martyred men) that he had seen and heard what he now is convinced were angles in the sky. And a woman who was hiding in the brush also saw these beings and heard them singing in the skies over the tree tops. Although sightings of these angelic beings are rare they are nonetheless there, watching us on earth and awaiting the time they will welcome us into heaven. Ken Satterberg, of the Mosiac Project relates that people the world over, but especially in the Muslim countries are now seeing dreams and visions of heavenly beings. Some even have claimed they've see Jesus himself.

When Jesus finished His work on earth, He sat down at the right hand of God. But he obviously stood to welcome Steven into heaven (Acts 7:55). Since we are Christ's sheep, he calls us by name and we will hear Him regardless of what kind of death we have encountered. Perhaps he will stand for us too. Not matter what the circumstances we will all have a wonderful welcoming to heaven.

We will look into Christ's eyes and see compassion, love, and acceptance. Although we are unworthy to be where we now find ourselves, we will know His welcome is genine. We will see the nail prints in the hands He extends and we will show us the hole in His side, if we ask. At the sight of the risen Lord, we will fall on our faces and worship Him. We are indeed in heaven. We will be so overcome with emotions that we'll shed tears of joy!

So much will be different, yet strangely the same. We have entered heaven without so much as a blip on our rador screens. Absolutely no interruptions in our consciousnesses. Back on earth our friends and family will bury our body, but they can't bury us! Personhood survives the passing of the body. When Stephen was killed he looked up and told the Lord to receive his spirit. He didn't say anything about his body.


I'm going to let this run a little short today because I need to get busy and get my house cleaned up a little. It has gotten completely out of control. I stopped off at the church yesterday and checked out several of the books in the "Left Behind" series. Came home and almost read the entire first book which is almost 500 pages long. Obviously I didn't get anything else done on my house. So I really need to get busy.

I'm not going to be really good about writing my blog everyday. Some days I just need to devote myself to other things. Like housework. So I ask for your patience as I work this all out. I still have my doubts that this format will even work in a daily blog. Doing my old blogs, I was able to write everything and sum it all up in a daily installment. This isn't written that way so I have my doubts. I'll keep pushing myself and see how it works out. But I have the feeling that I just need to set my blog aside for awhile. It takes so much time to blog and I've let other things slide for so long now that it's gotten ridiculous. Maybe I need to quite dilly dallying around and just make a decision. I just don't know. Until next time ...

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