Tag Archives: Heaven

The Next Adventure

Caution: Tears may fall as you read this, but they should give way to excitement.

An elderly man was in a hospital room and he was fading quickly. The nurses and doctors decided it was time to call the gentleman’s family, and they gathered around his bed. As he was lying there, holding his wife of 50 years hand, looking at his son and grandchildren, he whispered, “Don’t cry. I’ll see all of you again. This was not my permanent home; I’m only passing through.”

A moment later, the man looked up and said, “I can see the Lord’s face.” Peacefully, the man fell asleep and went to be with the Lord.

Death is a sad time for those of us left behind. The person for whom we love and care deeply has gone home to be with the Lord, so we have to say “see you later,” and live in their absence. But, for the Christian who passes away in death, a whole new adventure begins.

Heaven awaits. “For this is not our permanent home,” the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “we are looking forward to a world yet to come.” While we don’t fully know what Heaven will be like, the Bible does tell us it will be a glorious place. There will be no pain, sorrow, or difficulty. Today’s struggles will be gone. There will be no pandemics or tensions caused by skin color. There will be no hurt or heartache. Rather, Scripture says there will be peace. The lame will walk, the deaf will hear, the blind will see. Heaven will be glorious.

And, the adventure of experiencing Heaven will be ours. If you, or someone you love, is struggling today, remember, it is only temporary. Something much better is coming.

Hope on the Horizon

The day seemed ordinary. Vickie dropped Leo off at daycare and went to work. Later that evening, they returned home and spent family time with John. Everyone retired to bed with thoughts of the next day, but they had no idea what awaited. Vickie passed away from a heart attack in the middle of the night. It was a peaceful passing in her sleep.

This left John and 6-month-old Leo devastated. It was only a few short months ago they welcomed 2021 as a family. John and Vickie had several goals for the future, and now, all of that had changed. The man and his son are left to navigate through the world without Vickie. But, there’s hope!

A lot of folks read John and Leo’s story and relate. Change the names and a few minor details, and it becomes their story. 2021 has been a devastating year. Life was abruptly interrupted by death, divorce, or illness. The year is not wrapping up with the same joyous celebration in which it began. But, there’s hope!

Hope comes in knowing we don’t have to walk into 2022 alone. We may still be recovering from the devastation of this year, but the Lord says he is walking with us. In Hebrews 13:5, the Lord promises, “I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.” He didn’t leave when the bad news hit. The Lord is beside each of us, and he wants to grab our hand to help us walk into the new year and through this rough season.

Hope comes in knowing Heaven awaits. Revelation 21 promises a day where there will be no more struggle, and all of those in Christ will be reunited. For John and Leo, this means they will be back with Vickie someday. For you and me, this means death is not good-bye to our loved ones, but only see you later. The future is hopeful.

Offer this post as a source of encouragement to a friend today.

Hope in a Promise

“So, prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world” (1 Peter 1:13). The past twelve to eighteen months have magnified the need for hope. COVID19 has caused much pain, and current events have people starving and searching for hope. Hope for a change in pace; hope for a better tomorrow. Perhaps as you are reading this, you are wondering about hope. Allow me to remind you of the hope we have in Christ’s Second Coming and what it means for us.

We have a great promise for which we can be hopeful. Revelation 1:7-8 says, “Look, he comes with the clouds of Heaven, and everyone will see him. Even those who pierced him and all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes, amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God, ‘I am the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One.” Think about the hope we find in those words of Scripture.

The Lord is Coming

The Lord’s coming is the first point of this great promise. We do not have to doubt or wonder if he will return. We know he is coming. “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you so that you will always be with me where I am,” promises Jesus in John 14.

In a world where it seems heartache and pain are around every corner; this prophetic declaration of the Lord is a grand promise to you and me. “In spite of the threatening circumstances, Jesus spoke with calm assurance of the divine provision for them, and took for granted that they would have a place in the eternal world. Jesus never speculated about a future life. He spoke as one who was as familiar with eternity as one is with his hometown. The imagery of a dwelling place, rooms, is taken from the oriental house in which the sons and daughters had apartments under the same roof as their parents. The purpose of his departure was to make ready the place where he welcomes them permanently. Certainly, he would not go to prepare a room for his friends unless he expected that they would also eventually arrive,” according to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Jesus promises he will come back and take us to his Father’s house, so his return is as certain as his departure. The agony of this life is only temporary. The struggles we encounter are only a stop on eternity’s timeline, because “look, he comes with the clouds of Heaven,” and everyone will see him.

Everyone Will See Him

This is an exciting point in the Lord’s promise. We can only imagine and hope for that day. We are not sure what it will be like or how we will respond. I’m sure there will be joy, thanksgiving, and awe, but I am not certain those emotions justly describe the feelings of that day. I am not sure there are words to express the emotions we will feel. I am sure, though, Christ will come. He guarantees it.

Guarantees It Himself

This is an awesome promise which God himself guarantees. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary remarks, “Such a stupendous promise requires more than the prophet’s own signature or even Christ’s amen. God himself speaks, and with his own signature vouches for the truthfulness of the coming of Christ. Of the many names of God that reveal his character and memorialize his deeds, there are four strong ones in this verse. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Their mention here is similar to the first and last in verse 17, and is further heightened by the beginning and the end in 21:6 and 22:13. Only this book refers to God as the Alpha and Omega. He is the absolute source of all creation and history, and nothing lies outside him. Thus, he is the Lord God of all. He is the One who is and One who was and who is to come. He is continually present to his people as the Almighty (lit. “the one who has his hand on everything.””

To erase doubt concerning Christ’s Second Coming, God himself speaks to its truthfulness. God says without a doubt, we should know Jesus is returning and we will see his face. We can find blessed hope in this promise.

Right Timing

John is the one who received the vision of Revelation. It came to him as he was advanced in years and isolated on an island. This vision may have served as a boost to John’s hope, and like all things with God, came at the perfect time. The historic time in which we are living is the perfect time for hope, and as Christians, we have hope. We have hope in Christ’s return, in the fact we will explicitly see him, and the guarantee of his truth. Everything else may give way, but our hope will remain. Hebrews 12:28 encourages, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe.” Hang on because Christ’s Second Coming will be at the right time.

Please share this post, and a big thanks to Light magazine for including it as part of a recent article.

not yet home

Quick word of caution. This story may cause a tear to fall.

An elderly man was in a hospital room and he was fading quickly. The nurses and doctors decided it was time to call the gentleman’s family, and they gathered around his bed. As he was lying there, holding his wife of 50 years hand, looking at his son and grandchildren, he whispered, “Don’t cry. I’ll see all of you again. This was not my permanent home; I’m only passing through.”

A moment later, the man looked up and said, “I can see the Lord’s face.” Peacefully, the man fell asleep and went to be with the Lord.

“For this world is not our permanent home. We are looking forward to a world yet to come.”

Hebrews 13:14 reminds us this is only a temporary stop in eternity. The original recipients of Hebrews were undergoing severe persecution, and the writer wanted to offer some much-needed encouragement to them. The Lord was with them, and he was not going anywhere (Hebrews 13:6). This persecution was only going to last a little while, and a better day would be coming.

This verse serves as encouragement for us as well. No matter our current situation, we can truly say it is only temporary as this is not our permanent home. The struggles and difficulties this life brings do not last forever. They give way to something much better. They give way to Heaven.

While we don’t fully know what Heaven will be like, the Bible does tell us it will be a glorious place. There will be no pain, sorrow, or difficulty. Today’s struggles will be gone. There will be no pandemics or tensions caused by skin color. There will be no hurt or heartache. Rather, Scripture says there will be peace. The lame will walk, the deaf will hear, the blind will see. Heaven will be glorious.

Struggling today? Remember, this is not our permanent home. We are awaiting one that will be far better.

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A Deliverer Has Come

A deliverer has come.

Isaiah had many bad things to say, but he had many hopeful points as well. He speaks of a coming deliverer.

Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For to us a child is born. To us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it, with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The seal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

In Isaiah’s day, they had to wait for this deliverer to come; however, you and I do not have to wait. He came on Christmas Day. This deliverer is Jesus.

We need only to accept his offer of grace and mercy to enjoy the benefits of his kingdom. Christ offers hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. Amid the darkness of Isaiah’s prophecies, the light of a coming deliverer – the hope of Christ coming – shined brightly. For those searching for hope, the light is still shining brightly, and Christ is still offering hope.

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Looking to the Future

The future is coming.

Well, the future is coming. It may be unsettling, but we can not stop it from coming. The good news for Christians, the future will be glorious. At the end, the Lord will be victorious.

Isaiah had many unsettling things to say, but the Lord promised through Isaiah, a future of peace and rest.

Isaiah 4:5-6 says, “Then the Lord will create, over all of Mount Zion, and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night. Over everything, the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”

Israel did not fully experience this when they returned out of exile, nor have we fully experienced it today. But the Lord promises he will create for us an eternal dwelling of peace and rest. The toil of this life, for Christ’s followers, will give way to peace and rest in the future.

The future is coming. We can’t stop it, but we can rest assured it will be a time of peace and rest.

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Pressing On

Looking and moving ahead.

We all have goals and dreams, and we work hard to achieve and fulfill them.

As Christians, our main goal should be imitating Christ. Paul provides some advice to help us.

In Philippians 3, Paul writes, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing – forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the Heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us.”

We are encouraged to narrow our focus in two ways.

Forgetting what is behind.

This may be hard for us to do. We cannot allow the past to absorb and control our present and future.

  • We cannot get hung up on what we have already achieved. There’s still more work for us to do.
  • We cannot allow mistakes we have made to beat us down. In his grace, the Lord will help us move beyond mistakes.

Looking ahead.

We should look ahead to what is coming; our concentration should be on the Heavenly prize awaiting us.

Keeping our focus on the future rather than the past will give us the motivation to press on. Our Heavenly prize awaits us at the finish line.

 

Not Home

“This is my temporary home. It’s not where I belong.”

Music is a messenger for the Lord’s message, and the message is often absorbed by the listener without realizing it. The message is interwoven in lyrics which capture our attention and grab our hearts. Temporary Home, by Carrie Underwood, is a powerful deliverer of the Lord’s message.

The song reminds us where we are now is only a temporary home. It is not a permanent stop; we’re passing through on the way to our permanent home.

2 Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in Heaven not built by human hands.”

This verse helps you and I realize we are not home. Notice we are living in the temporary, a tent, now, and it will be replaced with the permanent, a building, in the future. What we experience now is only temporary.

2 Corinthians 5 continues, “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened because we do not wish to be unclothed but clothed instead with our Heavenly dwelling. So that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”

This is our temporary home. It’s not where we belong. Our permanent home, the one where we belong, will be in the future. We can look forward to it.

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Check out 4 Exciting Facts about Heaven.

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A Hopeful Promise

Feeling trapped in a hopeless situation? Please know there is always hope in this promise the Lord makes us.

The Promise

John 14:2-3 says, “My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you. And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

“I’m coming back for you,” Jesus promises. In a world filled with broken hearts and unkept promises, these words of Jesus give us a promise in which we can fully trust. The promise is coming from a trustworthy source.

Jesus and his disciples are having an intense conversation. Jesus is preparing the disciples for events which will soon take place. The news is unsettling. It is perplexing and frightening to the disciples, so Jesus requests their trust and assures them of his return. Jesus’ words were a familiar comfort to the disciples.

A Familiar Promise

Jesus made his promise of returning in an everyday way to his disciples. An engagement would have immediately come to mind.

Weddings were done differently in the first century as the marriage was arranged. When it was decided a bride and groom would be married, the groom would make a promise to his bride.

He would say something like, “In my father’s house are many rooms, and I’m going to prepare a place for you. When I have finished preparing the place, I will come back to get you. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Newly married couples would live in the groom’s father’s house. If there were several generations living there, it could be a large structure. Upon their engagement, the groom would return to his father’s house to prepare the necessary addition to the home. The only hitch was he did not know when the addition would be completed. His promise did not include date and time. He just promised he would return to get the bride.

While she was anticipating her groom’s return, the bride learned how to have a successful household from her mother, and at night, she would place a lamp in her window so the groom could find her if he returned. The couple would have a beautiful wedding ceremony when the groom returned.

A Hopeful Promise

Think again of Jesus’ words. “My Father’s house has many rooms….” Jesus is giving us the promise of a groom. He has gone to prepare a place for us.

Like a first century bride, our job is to prepare for his return, and just like the bride, we don’t know a date or time.

Jesus is off preparing a place for us, and he has promised us he will return. He has promised you and I he will return, and if we trust him, we can find much hope in this promise.

If you are feeling hopeless, cling to this promise. For there is always hope in Christ.

Acting

How do you find hope in this promise? Share in the comments below.

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