When We Get to Heaven

Paul said that human eyes, ears and minds had not laid hold on the wonders of heaven.  Not that they haven’t tried.  And the vagaries of eternal bliss are as individual as, well, each individual.  God could have revealed more to us about many things, but, perhaps, we would have been no better off than we are.  It is a futile exercise to reason with children about adult topics (regardless of what you read), and even the very righteous are but children of God.  As a matter of fact, the Great Apostle was caught up to heaven at one point but forbidden to speak to mortals of the things he had seen.  Much has been written and surmised regarding the elements of the everlasting, but only those know who have been there.

To some, heaven is a majestic city of gleaming, bejeweled skyscrapers along streets of gold.  There are some proof-texts for this view.  Indeed, a fair amount of verse in Scripture gives at least some credence to this idea.  Not that all that is heaven is described in this way, but, the main part, the heavenly city, conforms to this blueprint (for some).  Many have said we will have jobs in heaven.  Perhaps, our enterprises will be based in this reality although few specifics are offered and no applications or assignments found.  I have actually sung in church.  One of my staples is Mansion Over the Hilltop.  It’s not too high, and, if I can’t do anything else, I can sing a country song.  I enjoy it.

To others, heaven is a pastoral scene in which the saints of all the ages frolic with woodland creatures.  This concept may give at least some comfort to those whose fervent hope is that their pets make it to forever.  Perhaps, Heaven is like a great homecoming (as in many Gaither songs) with buckets and buckets of fried chicken (minus the fats and cholesterol).  I can certainly recall with joy many such church gatherings and people enthusiastically saying, “This must be a taste of what heaven is like.”  It is not my point to disagree with people on their concept of glory.  No one knows for sure.  One or another view may not conform to mine though I am usually right on most things.

Those who can get past the beauteous language of the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved will say that heaven is wherever Jesus is.  This idea avoids specifics, places the outcome in the hands of God and sounds more spiritual than the physical descriptions.  I don’t disagree with the idea.  In fact, I wouldn’t take issue with any reasonable understanding of the biblical heaven.  All the verses are not in one place, and we are given enough information to whet our appetites without sating our desires.  We are all free to imagine the glories of God which surpass in their feeblest measures the grandest ideals of man.  No.  God did not give us complete understanding.  He requires faith. 

Scripture is plain on the basics.  There is a heaven, and there is a hell.  Heaven is eternal bliss, and hell is an inescapable abyss.  Heaven is for the faithful, and hell is for the fearful.  There is only one way to heaven (though there are many to hell), and that is through faith in Jesus Christ.  This faith encompasses not only the gospel but, also, the teachings of Scripture apart from human reasoning to the contrary.  All passages do not teach essential truths, but the pillars upon which Christianity and salvation stand are unambiguous and clear.  In areas of misunderstanding, we use our faith which lays hold on the unseen God.  One day, all will be clear.  When we get to heaven, we will be with the Lord forever.

Sterl

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