Monday, February 29, 2016

Heaven 2Have you ever heard someone say, “If my mother didn’t make it to heaven, I don’t want to go?”  In those cases, that person’s mother was a very dear woman, living the kind of life that the individual thought, “If anyone deserved heaven, my mother did.”  I think just about everyone wants their loved ones to be in heaven.  You can’t fault that desire.

Actually, our desires are not the standard for being saved.  A person may be “as good as gold,” but although one needs to be “good,” our goodness isn’t our savior.  The “lifting ourselves up” ability isn’t God’s standard for salvation!  Jesus is our Savior.  He is our standard.  His word is our guide.  He sent his Spirit to guide the apostles and prophets into all truth (John 16:13).  That truth is contained in your Bible.  Compliance is expected.  It’s called faith (Hebrews 11:6).

Some ask, “Will I recognize my mother, wife, children, or relatives in heaven?”  The usual answer is, “Yes,” mainly because all will recognize Jesus when he returns (Philippians 2:10-11).  If we recognize him, surely we will recognize our loved ones?  Will my wife or my mother still be related to me?  Again, most believe the relationship will be recognized.  However, will that relationship still exist in heaven?  Some believe it will.  For example, in Luke 16:19-21, the rich man recognized he had brothers who were still living.  He did not want them coming where he was!  A lesson too late learned!  If those in torment still recognize earthly relationships, why not those in heaven?

Jesus said marrying would not follow death, but our relationship would be like the angels (Matthew 22:30).  Procreation will not be a future need.  If my wife no longer sustained that kinship with me, what kind of relationship will we have?  Good question, but will my answer be correct?  Regardless of which reply is given, it may not be true!  Some may feel that if their view is not real, they don’t want to go!  That would be sad indeed.  Eternal fellowship with God will exceed all our expectations!

A dear relative of mine once told me that I would make it to heaven because I was a believer.  However, since I was not in his church, I would be on the outside of the banquet hall, while his church would be inside at the table feasting with Jesus.  I don’t see that kind of division in heaven, but even if he is correct, I will still enjoy the blessings available outside that hall.  Besides, will we need to eat perishable food?  If the tree of life is restored, will we not all partake of its blessings?

John states that we will see Jesus as he is (1 John 3:2).  What will our glorified bodies look like?  Will a teenager still have his achene?  Will an aborted fetus still be that age throughout eternity?  Will a 94 year old person still have that body?  What about someone who has been disfigured?  Some believe if you are 75, the following year you will be 74 until you finally reach the magic age of 21.  Do you want your 21 year old body?  Again, if we are in eternity and time is no more, how will you determine what a “year” is?

I guess all of us have questions, as well as visions of what heaven will be like and what our relationship will be with one another?  One relationship which few will disagree on is that we will continue to be brothers and sisters in Christ.  Thinking about that, are you mad at a brother or sister?  Have you fallen out with a fellow believer?  Are you not speaking?  Do you ignore one another?  Do you talk behind one another’s back?  Do you gossip or lie about each other?  Do you condemn one another?  Is there a divisive spirit between you, like there was between those saints in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)?

Perhaps, rather than spending time wondering what we will look like in heaven and what our relationship will be with each other, don’t we need to focus on those things while we are here (2 Peter 1:2-11)?