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Heavenly Reality-Check: 

Are You Ready for Eternal Life in Heaven?

Dear Friends,

It is always interesting to get people's impressions and ideas of what eternity will be like. Some people have the mistaken notion that we will  be floating around on clouds while playing a 6 stringed harp, with nothing much to (as depicted in food commercials, and countless Renaissance artworks). For them, this mistaken picture of Heaven leads to the conclusion that Heaven will be a boring place to be, and who wants to be bored forever???

Which therefore (in their way of thinking) means that Hell would be a more desireable place to spend eternity. Since they feel that rock musicians and other "cool" people will definitely be in hell,  they have an equally mistaken idea that hell will be some kind of eternal rock concert, D.J'd by Satan and his demons, in which the sign over the door reads "PAR-TAY for all eternity".  Now this is more like it....Really??

Well, I'm sorry, my friends. Both extremes are wrong, but for different reasons. Although there's lots of heat in hell with eternal flames of burning sulfur, there is no mention of usable electricity in Hell, therefore no amplifiers strobe-lights or c-d players . And it's impossible to party in an atmosphere of high temperature burning sulfur and no air, especially when you don't have a body... Oh, and by the way, "in Heaven there is no beer; that's why we drink it here", as the old German drinking song has it. There is none in hell either, since there can be no liquid water at the high temperatures of hell. Just ask the Rich Man of Luke 16:19, who begged for a few drops of water to be put on his parched tongue, because he was being "tormented in these flames". But no water was given, because there is nothing in Hell but burning sulfur, eternal worms, and unrepentant sinners who rejected Christ. Forever. 

So, what is Heaven going to be like? What is it like now?...the Third Heaven, that is, as Paul puts it (2 Cor 12:2), where God the Father sits on His Throne, with "the Lamb" (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit, surrounded by Eternal Elders, adoring angels and countless redeemed souls. In an atmosphere of Holiness, Worship, Reverence for God, Joy unspeakable and full of Glory, beautiful colors, powerful lightning discharges and thunder. We will be in the presence of heavenly creatures of great authority and holiness with outward appearances which stretch the imagination to the breaking point. Everyone there will be enthralled with the Person of Jesus Christ in an attitude of eternal worship and gratitude. Are you ready for this?

I have heard one deriding comment about certain Christians from time to time, which I always found missed the is that they are "so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good"...Well, I say, if you know someone like that, Amen. May we all be that Heavenly minded that we are not good for anything on this sin-cursed temporary dwelling but to stand in awe of God and point the way to the Savior. As Paul put it, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. "1 Cor 2:2 (KJV).

As for the boring part of being in Heaven, forget that. Although as yet no specifics have been revealed to us, it is enough to know that.... 
1 Cor 2:9b (TLB) no mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord.

And as for living on clouds, Jesus has this to say...

John 14:1-4 (TLB) "Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. {2} There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. {3} When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren't so, I would tell you plainly. {4} And you know where I am going and how to get there."

Then there is the "Paradise of God", the new Garden of Eden, as it were, since the greek word "paradise" means literally "park, garden, or orchard". This is what Jesus says about it....

Rev 2:7 (TLB) "Let this message sink into the ears of anyone who listens to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: To everyone who is victorious, I will give fruit from the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God.

Whether the Paradise of God is in the New Heavens or on the New Earth is a matter for another study, and maybe we have to get there to find out, but the point is that it will be somewhere, and born-again Christians who are believing in Christ for the remission of their sins will be able to go there. 

All this study of future things is very controversial among some Christians. But it need not be so. No one of us has ever been to or seen these things except through the eyes of faith, which at one and the same time limits and energizes our understanding of future events. These things will come when and where God intends them to be, and our understanding or misunderstanding of them will not change that....but is not worth dividing ourselves from our Christian brethren just to prove we are "right".  As someone has wisely said, "We are not supposed to know exactly when Christ is coming back, but we do know this...He is coming back, and He is coming soon."

And now for the Throne-Room of God, where God lives and rules: there are things going on there that no one could never imagine. God in His sovereign wisdom has chosen to reveal these scenes to us, scattered throughout the scriptures in places like Isaiah and Revelation. So let us take a little spiritual vacation, courtesy of the Apostle John and the gracious Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, all the way from our work-a-day treadmill to the Throne Room of God, and see what is going on there. 

Rev 4:1 to 5:14 (TLB) 
Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, 
and the same voice I had heard before, which sounded like a mighty trumpet blast, spoke to me and said, "Come up here and I will show you what must happen in the future!" 

{2} And instantly I was in spirit there in heaven and saw--
oh, the glory of it!--a throne and someone sitting on it! 

{3} Great bursts of light flashed forth from Him as from a glittering diamond or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne. 
{4} Twenty-four smaller thrones surrounded his, with twenty-four Elders sitting on them; all were clothed in white, with golden crowns upon their heads. 
{5} Lightning and thunder issued from the throne, and there were voices in the thunder. 

Directly in front of his throne were seven lighted lamps representing the seven-fold Spirit of God. {6} Spread out before it was a shiny crystal sea. Four Living Beings, dotted front and back with eyes, stood at the throne's four sides. 

{7} The first of these Living Beings was in the form of a lion; the second looked like an ox; the third had the face of a man; and the fourth, the form of an eagle, with wings spread out as though in flight. {8} Each of these Living Beings had six wings, and the central sections of their wings were covered with eyes. 
Day after day and night after night they kept on saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty--the one who was, and is, and is to come."

{9} And when the Living Beings gave glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, {10} the twenty-four Elders fell down before him and worshiped him, the Eternal Living One, and cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 
{11} "O Lord, you are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, 
for you have created all things. 
They were created and called into being by your act of will."

Rev 5 (TLB) And I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne, a scroll with writing on the inside and on the back, and sealed with seven seals. {2} A mighty angel with a loud voice was shouting out this question: "Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and to unroll it?" 

{3} But no one in all heaven or earth or from among the dead was permitted to open and read it. {4} Then I wept with disappointment because no one anywhere was worthy; no one could tell us what it said. {5} But one of the twenty-four Elders said to me, "Stop crying, for look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, and proved himself worthy to open the scroll and to break its seven seals."

 {6} I looked and saw a Lamb standing there before the twenty-four Elders, in front of the throne and the Living Beings, and on the Lamb were wounds that once had caused his death. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the seven-fold Spirit of God, sent out into every part of the world.

 {7} He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting upon the throne. {8} And as he took the scroll, the twenty-four Elders fell down before the Lamb, each with a harp and golden vials filled with incense--the prayers of God's people! {9} They were singing him a new song with these words:

 "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it; for you were slain, and your blood has bought people from every nation as gifts for God. {10} And you have gathered them into a kingdom and made them priests of our God; they shall reign upon the earth." 

{11} Then in my vision I heard the singing of millions of angels surrounding the throne and the Living Beings and the Elders: {12} "The Lamb is worthy" (loudly they sang it!) "--the Lamb who was slain. He is worthy to receive the power, and the riches, and the wisdom, and the strength, and the honor, and the glory, and the blessing." 

{13} And then I heard everyone in heaven and earth, and from the dead beneath the earth and in the sea, exclaiming, 
"The blessing and the honor and the glory and the power belong to the one sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever." 

{14} And the four Living Beings kept saying, "Amen!" 
And the twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped him.

May the message of God's Word and the Love of Christ the Savior
bless your heart and make you whole.
In bob.........<><


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