Monday, October 13, 2014

Which Heaven are You Talking About?

Identifying Heaven
Barbara Henderson

I’m not sure we could count all the  books out right now attempting to prove heaven is real through writing about personal experiences relating to seeing or visiting heaven through near death experiences.  There is something of a most disturbing nature that all these things have in common.  They just see a place they assume is ‘heaven’.  Maybe they see relatives.  Maybe they see something they call Jesus.  Maybe it’s seems like a wonderful place.  They just assume it is the heaven of God Almighty and Jesus Christ.  There is nothing on which to base their assumption except their own personal experience.  There is no way to prove anything.  There is nothing Biblical to make us think God allows some people to see heaven so they can come back and give some sort of garbled description that somehow ‘proves’ heaven is real.

However, in my opinion, the absolute best case to bring doubt into their ‘experience’ is that they do not come back shouting, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’  They are so busy proving heaven is real they don’t have time to tell others how to be sure they are going to heaven.  It is all feel good gobble-de-gook. It leads people with the impression that heaven is real and that is where people go when they die.  They never tell people how to be sure they are going to heaven.  It basically trivializes the reality of two eternal destinations. The message seems to be, ‘Yippee! Heaven is Real!  I went there, so you must get to go there too.’  And foolish people will accept this as ‘proof’ of heaven above the proof we have in the written word of God.  I think this is common because while people want to believe in heaven, they do not want to surrender to God’s written instructions on exactly how to get into heaven.  They do not want to admit there is a serious consequence in rejecting God’s plan to enter into heaven through Jesus Christ.

The definite truth is that the heaven of God Almighty spoken of in the Bible is for real.  It is real whether you have a near death experience and ‘see it’, or not.  I can promise you this entirely on the word of God.  God lives there.  He has a great throne.  It is a place beyond our comprehension regarding how wonderful it really is.  1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us, ‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’  Imagine the most wonderful things you can possibly think up and you still won’t have any idea of the wonders of heaven.  The best you can come up with is to consider what is in little children that is in heaven because Jesus said ‘such is the kingdom of heaven’.  That doesn’t tell us much about the material things of heaven, but it does tell us about the spiritual things.  In little children you have unconditional love, joy, forgiveness, an ability to enjoy the moment, curiosity, and many other things.  If you want to think on a verse think on that one.  (Matthew 19:14)
There are many false paths to heaven.  These paths all lead to a place that calls itself heaven, but is really the home of the Destroyer, that is to say Satan who is the chief liar of all creation. Just because someone saw a light at the end of a tunnel does not mean they saw anything to do with heaven.  Just because someone thinks they died and saw great grampaw and aunt Lucy does not mean they saw heaven.  No matter what actually happened to these people, it is all unnecessary to validate heaven.  It is totally irrelevant regarding the privilege of anyone actually going to heaven.  If these experiences what would they have to do with anyone actually going there?  Seeing a place does not mean anyone is actually going there.  I have seen pictures of Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Scotland.  That doesn’t mean I am going there does it?  To go to heaven requires an advanced reservation that is made through Jesus Christ alone.
Let us identify the real heaven which is the heaven spoken of in the Bible.  To get to this heaven, which is the real heaven, we go to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son.  You can have apocalyptic visions, angelic visitations, and books full of un-explainable experiences, and still be bound for hell.  A mental picture of a place someone calls ‘heaven’ is not going to get you through the pearly gates. 

We know that a mental picture of a place called heaven is not going to get you into heaven.  So, what does get you into heaven?

Jesus Christ is positively the only way you are going to get into the real heaven.  All these other destinations called ‘heaven’ are imposters.  They are really all the same place.  They present false information as reality, but the reality is they are dreadful places.  They are actually one dreadful place.  It is hell.

To get to heaven through Jesus Christ requires that you simply believe Him.  When Jesus says, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh unto the father but by me,’ that is exactly what He means.  If someone is promising heaven any other way, they are promising a different ‘heaven’ than the one in which Jesus Christ lives. 

Often, people are offended that Jesus claims to be the only way into heaven.  This is ridiculous considering what Jesus’ ‘one way’ includes.

First, the offer is made to everyone both great and small, rich or poor, skin color, family connections or lack of, and every other variation in the human race.  No one is left out.  You personally are invited into heaven through Jesus Christ.  

Second, there is room for everyone.  There is no over-crowding.  There is no waiting line. 

Third, it is a first class invitation.  Those who RSVP will enter heaven through the front gates where they will be welcomed by God the Father.  They are adopted by God Himself and made joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  So what is the problem?  Do people want an invitation to enter through the back gate and be kitchen help for eternity?  There isn’t a better invitation than God has already given to every single individual. 

What becomes of those who would rather ‘wing it on their own’ than obey God regarding their entrance into heaven?  To be brutally honest and truthful, they go to hell. Hell is the home of the destroyer, that old dragon, Satan himself.  The Bible tells us a great deal about hell. 

Hell is a place of no rest.  Never.  People in hell are always weary, but unable to rest.

Hell is a place of darkness and a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 22:13. 

Hell is a place of everlasting destruction.  11 Thessalonians 1:9 
Today if something is destroyed in a fire or natural disaster people set out to rebuild.  In hell there will be eternal destruction.  There will not be any rebuilding of anything.

In hell there is no satisfaction.  There is not even the satisfaction of a simple drink of water for the thirsty.  Luke 16:20  tells the story of the rich man who died unrepentant.  He went to hell. Yet he remembered his previous life.  He knew he used to be a rich man with servants and all his physical and material needs met lavishly.  He remembered, yet there wasn’t even water for him to drink in hell.

Hell is much worse than all this.  Just as we can’t comprehend the joy and wonder of heaven, we can’t comprehend the utter eternal devastation of hell.

Setting aside the differences in heaven and hell, the difference in the places the world calls heaven, the idea that everyone goes to heaven, the idea that idea that hell is temporary, let’s look at the reason people reject Jesus Christ.  The ultimate reason people reject the way of salvation outlined in the Bible is simply they do not want to change their way of living to suit God.  They would rather live with any delusion that tells them they will get into heaven anyway.  On the word of God they will not enter the heaven of Jesus Christ except through Jesus.  There is one mediator between God and man – and that is Jesus Christ alone.

The decision must be made once in this life.  There is no second chance.  It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.  Period. There are false ways that allow for second chances through reincarnation. There are false ways that allow for escape from hell eventually.  That little ‘loop hole’ that allows for escape from hell, no matter how bad the torment, does take away from the idea of eternal torment in a place separated from God and everything that is good and right. 

Read the Bible.  The truth has a power all its own.  If you want to learn about the real heaven and the real God go to the Bible.  Don’t be the person who thought he was going to Paris, France, and wound up in Paris, Texas.  Winding up in hell will be so far worse than that that there is no real comparison. 

Judgment day is coming.  Are you ready?  Are you ready for that day to come?

Are You Ready

1. There’s a great day coming, a great day coming;
There’s a great day coming by and by,
When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left,
Are you ready for that day to come?

Are you ready? Are you ready?
Are you ready for the judgment day?
Are you ready? Are you ready?
For the judgment day?

2. There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming;
There’s a bright day coming by and by.
But its brightness shall only come to them that love the Lord.
Are you ready for that day to come? [Refrain]

3. There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming;
There’s a sad day coming by and by,
When the sinner shall hear his doom: Depart, I know you not!
Are you ready for that day to come? [Refrain]

The Cyber Hymnal #6578