Thursday, January 24, 2013

Things that Won't be in Heaven - Confusion - Peer Pressure - Popularity Contests - Tears

Considering Heaven
Barbara Henderson

My mother in law died a few weeks ago.  She was a professing Christian, a member of the same church for most of her adult life, and she worked in the nursery for at least fifty years.  She joined her husband in heaven and many other relatives and friends including my dad.  So, my mind has been on heaven.  I think about heaven often anyway.  I wonder about how things will work there.  The Bible is clear that it is more wonderful than we can grasp, but I still try to get a mental picture of how it will be.  I discount the stories of heaven given by those who claim to have died, gone to heaven, and come back.  There is no way to put their personal experiences within the boundaries of exactly what the Bible teaches.  It is just an unexplainable experience.  I think we have all had experiences we can’t explain but these experiences are NOT new revelation from God.  However, there are still some things we can figure out about heaven.

God is not a god of confusion, so there isn’t going to be any confusion in heaven!

No more confusion:
Earthly illness, especially in the elderly, can lead to confusion.  It is very hard to watch someone you care for become disoriented, forgetful, and sometimes totally lose all concepts of the current situation and reality.  It is heartbreaking.  But in heaven those who left this life in a confused state will never be confused again.  We often think how wonderful that they aren’t sick or in pain anymore, and this is wonderful truth.  But, if you could ask them about their new reality, they would probably tell you they are more thankful that they aren’t confused any more than for their new and eternal health.  They are aware of what is going on all the time, and they are able to enjoy everything.  Confusion will never be their portion again. 

While the confusion that the sick and elderly face is obvious, there is a less obvious confusion that we all face daily.  We just don’t know what to do part of the time!  We may be doing everything we know to do, but we don’t know what to do to improve a situation.  We don’t know what to do concerning some investments, moves, family situations, or a host of other things.  We are confused!  There simply isn’t a clear path.  Fortunately, we are not confused regarding the boundaries set by our Christian faith.  We know to continue doing what is right according to the Bible and wait on the Lord to make help us make wise choices.  While we wait on the Lord we do face some confusion.  Abraham and Sarah faced confusion regarding the timing of the birth of their promised son.  They tried to work it out themselves instead of waiting on the Lord.  You know the end result of that!  It is almost 100% certain that when we don’t know what to do in a situation, it is best to do nothing until the Lord makes it clear what we are to do.   In the midst of confusion we are to wait patiently and look to God in faith continually to show us what to do. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 says,
12. ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13.  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.’
Sometimes it is like we are trying to see and drive through a thick fog when it comes to making a choice.  We can become confused as to exactly where the white line on the road is located!  But in heaven there won’t be any more fog to cause confusion.  No more confusion – what a blessing.  In the meantime remember what verse thirteen says – faith, hope, and charity abide.  Focus on these things and especially on charity. (Love)

No more peer pressure:
If we are being honest with ourselves, we would all have to admit that we are sometimes influenced by peer pressure to do something we really aren’t that keen on doing.  Let’s say it isn’t even something sinful.  It is just something that a lot of people we know are doing, and we feel sort of pressured into doing the same thing.  Since it wasn’t something we wanted to do, it turns out to be a boring, a waste of time, and an experience we would rather have skipped altogether. 

Peer pressure is something that is hardest on children.
One of the reasons for choosing homeschool for children is the avoidance of peer pressure.  In a home school situation our kids have the chance to just be themselves.  They aren’t worried about what the other kids are wearing or doing.  They aren’t trying to keep up with the popular kids in recreational activities.  They aren’t trying to make sure they have all the newest gadgets that the popular kids are carrying around.  They figure out what they actually want to do and work with their parents to be able to do that.  They figure out what they personally like to wear and that is what they wear.  They figure out what they love without being unduly influenced to love the things everyone else loves.  It is a win win situation. 

In heaven we will have the perfect example of God Himself without anything in between us. 

No more popularity contests:
It starts in day care for most people.  Some of the occupants of the day care center are just ‘more popular’ than others.  They are the ones who dress the best, bring the best toys, and have all the other kids following their leads.  It is very possible that they are total brats.  And, they may be mean brats!  You see, in order for them to be part of an elite group there must be some toddlers who are shut out of the group. Those in the in-crowd are very adamant that don’t want to play or share with some of the children. This behavior continues all the way through school and into the adult world.  These people have identified themselves as ‘the elite’. The ‘in crowd’ must have an audience; that means some people must always be shut out of the group.  Those outside the group are those who are allowed to observe the group and wish they could be in the group. If you think is a little on the nutty side to say small children have the capacity for such behavior I challenge you to spend a few hours just observing little ones at play.  If you have three kids two will band together and shut the other one out.  Adults can work at teaching them better behavior, but that is not how they naturally behave.  Unfortunately this often carries over into adulthood!

 You probably know or even work with people like who never got over their childhood need to be popular.  They are dividers.  I don’t know how they do it, but they manage to divide a group of people into at least two groups within a week of joining a work force.  There is a third group who flatly don’t care who is in what group. They just do their own thing.  That is my favorite group.  But you can’t discount the fact that so much of what happens around us is based on who is popular and who isn’t.  In heaven the role model will be God, and He won’t shut anyone out.  And there won’t be any of the garbage that goes along with trying to be Mr. or Miss Popular. 

No more tears in heaven:
‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’
Revelation 21:4

Tears come for a variety of reasons.  I know there are people who say they cry when they are happy, but that person is not me!  Tears come from sorrow.  There won’t be any of that in heaven for any reason!  No one will face the sorrow of a death of or separation from a loved one or friend.  No one will cry because of fear.  Tears will not come because of physical pain or emotional pain.  Misunderstanding and hurt feelings will not happen so they won’t bring tears.

Heaven is a wonderful place, so you may be wondering exactly…..
How do you get into heaven?

In John 14:6 Jesus said, ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’

John 11:25 says, ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:’.

It is entirely true that God Almighty has made only one way into heaven.  Jesus Christ is the way.
There is no need of a second way into heaven because:
The way provided is adequate for all who want to go to heaven! (Luke 14:22 promises ‘And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.’)
The way is clear – it is through Jesus alone. (John 14:6)
The invitation is extended to everyone. (2 Peter 3:9 tells us, ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’)
It is not complicated!
(Ephesians 2:8 tells us, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’.)
Everyone who accepts the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ is adopted into the family of God and has full rights as privileges of children of God. (Romans 8:17 says, ‘And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.’)

All this considered it is clear that if God made a second way into heaven it would be an inferior way because the ONE WAY is PERFECT. 

Don’t miss heaven because of misconceptions regarding the ‘unfairness’ of one way or the ‘strictness’ of one way.  The absolute truth is that God is utterly and continually perfect, and you are not.  There is no way to get into heaven except through the one way which is through Jesus Christ. 

The first song for this article is ‘At Calvary’, and my favorite line is ‘Oh the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary’.  Jesus made a bridge across that mighty gulf between perfection and sin.  Don’t miss heaven. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’  (Acts 16:31) 

The second song is ‘Come Unto Me’.  I love the line that says ‘Come no longer tarry.  I your load will bear.  Bring Me every burden.  Bring me every care’.  Well, I also love the part that says, ‘Come, my yoke is easy, and my burden light.’

At Calvary

Come Unto Me (I will give you rest)

Barbara Henderson
I still need some kind reviews of my book ‘Everyday Prepping for Beginners’.  I currently have three VERY negative reviews by people who object to the Christian content of the book.  Thank you.