Posts Tagged ‘The Search For Meaning’

A ‘Place’ To Retire

10 July 17

The Senior Pastor of my church and his wife ended their full-time ministry of 42 years a few weeks ago, and selected Minnesota as the ‘PLACE’ for their retirement.

They had many places to choose from, since they had ministered at churches in Ohio, Minnesota, Washington, New York, and finally here in Michigan—and they chose to return to Minnesota.

Many couples like them, in their mid-60s, are considering where they would like to live out the last days of their lives—and there are many resources to aid them in selecting the best place for them, based on their ASPIRATIONS and DESIRES.

For just over a quarter of a century, “International Living” has rated, ranked, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Their 2017 “The World’s Best Places to Retire” list provides detailed data and thoughtful insights under a total of 10 categories: Buying and renting; Benefits and discounts; Visas and residence; Cost of living; Fitting in; Entertainment and amenities; Healthcare; Healthy lifestyle; Infrastructure; and Climate. These tend to be the sort of data points that make sense for potential retirees to consider. At the core of the research is an ‘eye’ on good value, and on comfortable, safe, and healthy living.

Their top 10 places for 2017 are:

10. Malta
9. Portugal
8. Nicaragua
7. Spain
6. Malaysia
5. Colombia
4. Costa Rica
3. Ecuador
2. Panama (2016 best place)
1. Mexico

 

Well, if you want to stay in the U.S. and are a golf ‘fanatic’ (like my previous pastor), then THE PLACE to go is “The Villages” in Florida—the world’s largest golf community. It currently has 579 holes (over 10,000 tee times available each day), with plans to have a total of 621 holes dispersed over 44 courses!
[ FYI: Detailed golf facts: https://thevillagesflorida.com/?page_id=206 ].

BUT, there are also lots of other things to do, too—like pickle ball, tennis, basketball, softball, polo, water skiing, swimming, horseback riding, dancing, archery, bowling, shuffle board, drawing and painting, sculpture, music, pottery, Zumba, and “dragon boat racing”—over 2,000 ‘activities’ are available! Many residents call it a “summer camp for seniors.” [ FYI: It is the fastest growing retirement community in America ].


https://youtu.be/sIVAJUk73Io?t=37

 

Ah, this must be what retirement is all about…golfing (seven days a week, of course), a ‘restful’ activity, eating dinner out every night, kicking back with friends, maybe a little dancing or a movie, and getting up late every morning—the IDYLLIC LIFE! Is this as close to “UTOPIA” as we can get?

Well, even though Americans devote a fair amount of energy to planning ahead so they can enjoy all of the benefits of retirement, statistics show that 2/3 of Americans are UNPREPARED FOR RETIREMENT, and unable to retire to a place like “The Villages.” They are currently struggling financially, have a lot of debt, they are caring for their elderly parents, both spouses don’t agree on the details, and most importantly, they DON’T HAVE A ‘PLAN’.

 

The thing is, I have heard of a ‘plan’ that you can invest in that has never ‘failed’ their retiree—one in which the Originator guarantees exorbitant ‘returns’ on the most meager of investments. What plan is this, you might ask?

Well, I’m talking about the ‘retirement plan’ God is offering to you—by far the ‘top-of-the-list’ BEST ‘PLACE’ you could ever imagine—HEAVEN!

 

It so happens that the subject of Heaven is talked about by all people—religious and non-religious. Everyone wants to ‘go’ there, and all are curious to know where it is, how it looks, who’s there, what they will wear, and what they will do.

The thing is, ideas about Heaven are often no more than vague hopes, on par with “maybe I’ll win the lottery some day.” Most people think of Heaven as the “better place” where “the good people go” when they die—and, of course, everyone they know and love (including themselves) is included in the category of “good people.” However, most people don’t give Heaven much thought until they attend a funeral or a loved one dies.

There’s a 100-year-old tombstone, in an Indiana cemetery, with the following epitaph that suggests that there might be a bit of ‘PREPARATION’ to be done before we get to Heaven:

“Pause stranger when you pass me by
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you will be,
Prepare yourself to follow me.”

Well, a young man that happened to read the epitaph, added his ‘concern’ just beneath it:

“To follow you I’m not content,
Until I know which way you went.”

Funny, but insightful. There are so many ideas about what Heaven is all about. Well, one ‘source’ to consider is the Bible, and it has a lot to say about where we all go after death.

 

Simply put, Heaven is where God ‘is’. Now, of course, since God is a ‘spirit’, He is everywhere—but Heaven is His “Kingdom,” where He rules and reigns.

The Bible also says multiple times that it is a “REAL PLACE.” Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” In the original Greek, it refers to a ‘physical’ location. While Jesus was on the cross, the thief next to Jesus asked Him to remember him when Jesus entered His Kingdom. Jesus replied by saying, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” That should gives us a clue that Heaven is a real place where Christians go to.

In addition to that, when a “believer” dies, their spirit goes immediately to Heaven (“To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord” – 2 Corinthians 5:8). But, when a “non-believer” dies, their spirit immediately goes out of the presence of God into an area of eternal punishment. “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish and his hope will perish” [ Proverbs 11:7 ]. That’s it. For the person that goes to hell, there’s nothing to look forward to—NO HOPE—just perpetual agony without relief. Those who did not ‘trust’ in Christ in this life will be separated from God, and enter a reality completely devoid of His “common grace” and blessing.

Randy Alcorn, author of the book, “Heaven,” summarized this better than I can: “For Christians this present life is the closest they will come to hell. For unbelievers it is the closest they will come to Heaven.”

When a person dies, the body stays here and decays, since it is mortal. However, the soul ‘consciously’ goes directly into Heaven, and the soul of the believer will be made perfect and cleansed from all sin. Heaven is fully pure and free from any ‘tarnish’.

For a ‘time’, the soul exists without a body—in a ‘separated’ state—but this is not the end of our ‘personhood’. This ‘disembodied’ existence is not God’s ultimate and final purpose for us! (more about this later).

 

So, right now Heaven is filled with the spirits of those who have been previously justified by faith and are now in the presence of God. You might ask, “Do you think they’re kind of ‘hanging around’ saying, ‘I wonder when are we going to get our bodies?’” Well, you have to understand that in the ‘dimension’ of Heaven, there is no time. I don’t think anybody is ‘waiting’ for anything. I really don’t understand what it means to live in an environment where there is no time, but the Bible says they’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord”—though they are still not ‘complete’ because they don’t have their ‘glorified’ bodies yet. There will be a time when God reunites our soul and our body, but in the meantime, what will we be like?

Well, you will not be a nondescript ‘floating’ spirit. You will be a ‘person’, and will actually be given a new ‘name’. “To him who overcomes, I will give a new name written on stone which no one knows but he who receives it” [ Revelation 2:17 ]. So, you will have a new and wonderful personal identity! Even with our new ‘name’, we are also going to be able to recognize each other, and have wonderful reunions.

There is also a ‘continuity’ of personal existence. There is no interruption of life at the end of this life, and we will continue to be alive and conscious. As the story of the “rich man and Lazarus” states (Luke 16:22-26), both men were self-consciousness and aware.

Now, in the parable of the “rich man and Lazarus,” Jesus speaks of Lazarus as being taken to “Paradise” when he died, but the rich man, because he did not heed what was said in the Scriptures, immediately entered into great torment and was ‘excluded’ from the blessing of Heaven (though he requested that his brothers be told about this place—which was impossible to do, because of the great ‘chasm’ between Paradise and Hades, that cannot be crossed under any circumstances). The Bible speaks often of the painful reality that awaits those who do not place their faith in Christ to be rescued from their sin (Matthew 13:30; 25:41; Luke 12:5; John 3:36; Romans 2:8-9; Hebrews 10:29).

Also, the Bible is clear that there is no ‘intermediary place’ where you get another chance to ‘make up’ for your sins (like “Purgatory”), or a or ‘holding tank’ where people can ‘pray you out of’ to help you get into Heaven. There’s no state of unconsciousness or semi-consciousness, and there’s no “spiritual coma.” There’s no remediation—you have ONLY THIS LIFE to place your trust in Jesus to be able to go to Heaven!

So, when one dies, there then are a few other events that are going to happen before our souls are ‘joined’ with our glorified bodies, and we really ‘begin’ our eternity with God the way He originally intended it for humanity.

 

At an appointed time set by God, He will finally start His “end times” clock ‘ticking’ with what has been termed as the “Rapture”—or more accurately, the “carrying off.”

[ Note: This is imminent and could happen at any time. There are no prophetic ‘things’ that need to take place ].

This event “snatches away” all believers from the earth in order that they will not experience the next event called the “Great Tribulation”—a seven-year period of God’s righteous judgment that is poured out onto the earth. Horrendous worldwide hardships, disasters, calamities, famine, war, pain, and suffering will consume the final 3-1/2 years, since there is no ‘restrained force’ on the earth—the Holy Spirit and all the Christians are gone. This will wipe out a total of 50% of all life on the earth before Jesus comes back again (the “Second Coming”) to defeat God’s enemies at the “Battle of Armageddon” (sometimes referred to as the “Apocalypse”).

[ FYI: For more info about Jesus’ “Second Coming,” view a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/greatest-comeback-ever-v217/ ].

 

Then, after the “Tribulation” period, the Bible teaches that God’s ‘children’ will experience a period of perfect peace and prosperity for 1,000 years—referred to as the the “Millennium”—where Jesus will set up His Kingdom on this earth, and He will reign as our benevolent King (with David being His “Vice Regent”).

There are a few purposes for the Millennium:
– To reward the people of God (for faithful service on earth)
– To serve Jesus in a new and special way (see the “Parable of the Talents” – Matthew 25:23)
– To fulfill the predictions of the Old Testament prophets
– To receive the answer to the “Lord’s Prayer” (“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”)
– To re-emphasize man’s depravity, and the necessity of Christ’s death

 

So then, specifically what will it be like on this earth when sin is no more, and Jesus, our righteous King, is ruling with “truth and grace”?

Well, first of all, it will be a time of great peace:
– All man-made implements of mechanized warfare will be eliminated; Even the natural kingdom will be at peace (Psalm 72:7; Micah 4:2–3; Isaiah 11:6-9)
– War will be unknown; There will be no soldiers or armaments
– All nations will be at perfect peace with each other

It will be a time of ‘prosperity’ (Ezekiel 34:26-27; Amos 9:13; Zechariah 8:12; Isaiah 35)
– There will be no famine
– Trees will continually increase their harvest
– Grains will multiply
– There will be no more desolate lands; The desert will ‘blossom’

It will be a time of purity (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 66:23; Zechariah 13:2)
– Sin is no more
– We will have tremendous knowledge
– There will be no idols or unclean spirits
– We will continually worship God

It will be a time of prolonged life (Isaiah 65:20)
– Many will live for the entire Millennial period

It will be a time of personal joy (Isaiah 9:3; Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 14:7; Isaiah 30:29; Isaiah 42:10-12)
– An exhilarating era of contentment and happiness
– There will be much joyous singing
– There will be no more tears or sorrow

 

Even though these are only a few ‘highlights’, can you even imagine all this? Whoa! I can’t wait! BUT, the thing is, IT WILL GET EVEN BETTER…after one final ‘test’.

As wondrous as the millennial time will be—being in a perfect environment— some people will still become ‘rebels’ (just as Adam and Eve did). The Bible says that it’s not the environment, but our ‘hearts’ that is the problem.

So then, at the end of the millennial period, Satan will be “released for a time.” However, Jesus ‘squashes’ Satan’s rebellion, and the “Great White Throne” judgment takes place. This is where Satan, his angels, and all the wicked, from all of time, will be judged—and all are then cast into the “Lake of Fire”—where they will actually experience agony and torment day and night for ever and ever! (Revelation 20:7-15).

At this point, God ‘refashions’ the earth with fire, and it will consume the bad but refine the good—exposing things as they were intended to be. The Greek word used is “kainos,” which means “new” and “fresh,” in the sense that what was old has become obsolete, and it will be replaced by what is new in quality, superior in character, and have a renewed state of pristine purity—totally delivered from the previous bondage to entropy, never again to decay. Earth will now experience a glorious new beginning! “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared” [ Revelation 21:1 ]. Proving that the Bible is ‘supernatural’ and can be trusted, all of this was prophesied by Isaiah about 700 years before the Apostle John’s ‘revelation’ (Isaiah 65:17-25).

 

Just before Jesus left this earth, He gave His disciples (and us now) a GREAT HOPE to hold on to when He said that He was going to “go prepare a place for you.” In the original Greek, it refers to a ‘physical’ location, a REAL ‘PLACE’ we will go to. The “New Heaven and the New Earth” will be the final eternal dwelling place of our glorified ‘embodied’ spirits (when our souls are finally ‘combined’ with our perfected resurrected bodies). This place is going to be TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

First off, the “new heavens” is likely an indication that the entire universe will be recreated, and that we will probably be able to ‘access’ it with our glorified bodies—being able to be ‘transported’ to anywhere we want (just like Jesus did in His glorified body after His resurrection when He just ‘appeared’ to His disciples in a locked room).

Secondly, since the Apostle Paul noted that we will be “joint-heirs” with Jesus (Romans 8:17), this would indicate that we will be given an ‘inheritance’, which in turn would also indicate that we will need to ‘maintain’ it—therefore actually having to DO THINGS throughout Heaven. Whatever our work is going to be, it’s going to be a joyous work, an exhilarating kind of work, a level of joy the likes of which we have never known or could even imagine.

To reinforce this concept, Jesus told a parable that indicates we will be rewarded with more if we properly use the resources we are entrusted with here on earth: “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities” [ Luke 19:17 ]. These ‘cities’ may just be scattered across the universe!

 

Now, these things are conjecture on my part, since they are not definitively expressed in the Bible. But, there are LOTS OF THINGS THAT ARE MENTIONED—mostly about the “New Jerusalem.” The Apostle John wrote: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” [ Revelation 21:2 ]. Upon this newly refashioned earth will descend an enormous, dazzling ‘city’.

The Bible tells us that “the city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal” [ Revelation 21:16 ]. According to most theologians, the physical dimensions described here are astonishing—a cube that measures about 1,500 miles in each direction! (length, width and height).

To try to give you an idea of how large a city this is, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the continental United States, and is 875 square miles—pretty big, since Chicago is only 234 square miles, New York City is 305, Los Angeles is 503, and Houston is 627 square miles (my city, Detroit, is 143 square miles in size). The ‘first floor’ of the New Jerusalem is 2,250,000 square miles—2,571 times bigger than Jacksonville!

This city is 10 times bigger than Germany or France, 20 times bigger than all of New Zealand, and 40 times bigger than all of England. Again, this is ONLY THE FIRST ‘LEVEL’! It’s an enormous ‘continent’ all by itself! (For comparison, the United States is 1,582 miles north to south and 2,680 miles east to west). This is ONE BIG ‘CITY’!

Now, remember, it’s also 1,500 miles HIGH! For an idea of how high that is, the International Space Station orbits 250 miles up, and the Hubble Telescope is at 370 miles above the earth!

The tallest skyscraper in the world (2016) is the “Burj Khalifa” in Dubai, UAE. It is 2,722 feet high (to the tip of the communications antennae), and has 163 ‘usable’ floors. The “New Jerusalem” is almost 3,000 TIMES HIGHER, and if we use the same floor-to-floor height, it would have almost 500,000 ‘FLOORS’! So, all the cities of the world are mere ‘villages’ compared to the city God is preparing. (Might this be as big as all of the cities in the world combined? Hmmm.)

[ FYI: Many theologians believe that the New Jerusalem is modeled on the “Holy of Holies” (God’s ‘dwelling place’ in the sacred inner sanctuary in Solomon’s temple), since it also was a cube 20 cubits by 20 cubits by 20 cubits, or about 30’ x 30’ x 30’ ].

 

In addition to being a ‘structure’ that is impossible to understand based on our current construction methods, it is made of various ‘materials’ that are familiar to us, but at sizes we can only imagine—superseding the laws of physics as we know them now.

There are twelve gates, each made up of a single pearl. The Bible says they are “144 cubits” which would make them about 216 feet high! [ Now, that’s one big oyster! ;^D ]. Angels stand at these gates, each named after one of the 12 tribes of Israel. If evenly spaced in the wall, these ‘gateways’ would be some 375 miles apart from each other! (These gates may be there just to show a connection with the ‘old’ city of Jerusalem—a ‘continuation’ of the city of God).

 

Other amazing materials are also used for the construction. The foundation is made up of 12 ‘layers’—each being a different precious jewel—and they carry the names of the apostles (Revelation 21:14). The walls are made up of jasper, and the streets a made of pure gold—but, they both appear as clear glass (Revelation 21:18-21).

With the wall and ‘streets’ being transparent, “the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb [Jesus] is its light” (Revelation 21:23). The combined shining brilliance of God and Jesus will provide light in all directions throughout the city. (This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no sun or moon, rather that the city doesn’t need their illumination).

Continuing the pattern of a dozen, there will be “trees of life” (like the one in the Garden of Eden) that will produce 12 different kinds of fruit—a different one each month. The Apostle John also seems to be indicating that the tree’s fruit will have life-sustaining or life-enhancing properties that will help people maintain health and energy. Just as in Eden, the tree appears to have been a source of ongoing physical life. The presence of the “Tree of Life” suggests a supernatural provision for Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit God provided. Our physical life and health, even our healing, will come not from our intrinsic immortal nature, but from partaking of God’s gracious provision in the fruit and leaves of the tree of life. Hence, our well-being is not granted once for all, but will be forever sustained and renewed as we depend on God, and draw from His provision.

Flowing between the trees down the middle of the “great street” is the “river of the water of life,” coming out of the Throne of God. The “water of life” referred to here is not necessarily physical water as we know it. Rather, it may be symbolic of the ‘water’ of eternal life. The fact that the stream emanates from the Throne tells us that eternal life flows from God to His people.

 

All this defies human comprehension, but it will all PALE IN COMPARISON to this being THE ‘PLACE’ THAT GOD DWELLS!!! (Psalm 73:25). The city will be the capital of Heaven, the place of God’s special presence. It will even become the new ‘residence’ of God the Father Himself, and become the capital of the entire universe!

God will live with us on the New Earth. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God’” [ Revelation 21:3 ].

Here we see that God the Father’s new place of residence will be the New Earth, dwelling with His human-made-immortal family. It is most interesting to realize that while “the Third Heaven” is God’s current dwelling place, earth is destined to become GOD’S FUTURE ‘HOME’!!! He is also depicted as giving a very intimate and personal attention to us.

 

So, what difference should all this make for you right now? HOPE!…that God will MAKE ALL THINGS ‘RIGHT’: “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes and there shall no longer be any death, there shall no longer be any mourning or crying or pain, the first things have passed away” [ Revelation 21:4 ]. The Apostle Paul adds, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” [ Romans 8:18 ]. If we don’t understand this future glory of Heaven that awaits us, we won’t see our present sufferings shrink in comparison to its greatness.

So then, what is your life? Well, the Bible says that “You do not know what tomorrow will bring” [ James 4:14a ]. It continues, “you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” [ James 4:14b ]. Scripture is constantly trying to get us to look at this life in this way. Our life is but a blip on the eternal ‘time clock’. Pain will be erased and will be eclipsed by greater understanding—a glorious result! Something so superb, so grandiose is going to happen at the world’s finale, that it will suffice for every hurt and atone for every headache we even had in our lives! “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” [ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ]. We should live our lives fixed on this future!

The Apostle Paul summed up his whole approach to life by saying, “This one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” [ Philippians 3:13-14 ]. He lived with a heavenly perspective—A FIXED HOPE. We should take his ‘advice’ and live the same way!

Let the things that happen in this world ‘fall’ where they will. The sufferings of this life are trivial, meager, and insignificant compared to the glory of our future! They are not worthy to be compared with that glory which awaits us. “Fix your hope on the grace to be revealed” [ 1 Peter 1:13 ].

 

If you live with a heavenly HOPE and a heavenly ANTICIPATION, you will begin to understand the fullness of all that that means—nothing in this world that brings about suffering can really be ‘debilitating’. The truest path to life—a life of joy and endurance through very trying times—is to have such a ‘shining’ hope for Heaven, and understand that nothing that happens here can be compared with what is waiting for you in Heaven!

To wish for Heaven is to love God above all. To wish for Heaven is to desire Christ above all. To wish for Heaven is to long for pure fellowship. To wish for Heaven is to hate sin and the weakness of the flesh. To wish for Heaven is to resent Satan and his world system. To wish for Heaven is to long for perfect holiness and perfect joy. So, set your “affections on things above,” not on the things here on earth.

 

Knowing we will live forever as resurrected people on a New Earth should help us realize that the choices we make today—like personal holiness and how we act toward others—will make an indelible mark on eternity. God is ‘watching’ and keeping track. Jesus said that in Heaven He will reward us for acts of faithfulness to Him, right down to a cup of cold water we have given to the needy in His name (see Mark 9:41). The Bible is consistent in saying that what you think about Heaven determines how you should live today.

Also, there’s no need for a “bucket list,” since the adventures awaiting us in the New Heavens and on the New Earth will FAR EXCEED the greatest thrills of this life! Just when things are going REALLY WELL in our lives and we think “it can’t get any better than this”…let me assure you that IT WILL! Author C.S. Lewis summarized this well: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

 

So, if the Bible is right about what happens to us after death, every day, hundreds of thousands of people go to either to Heaven or hell. Polls indicate that over 80% of Americans believe in Heaven (37% were atheists and agnostics!), and over 60% say they expect to go there after they die. BUT, I can’t help but think of the old spiritual that says, “everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n ain’t goin’ there.”

As I mentioned previously, it is becoming a common belief in our society that “all good people go to heaven.” But, based on what the Bible says, that’s not true. The only people that get to go to Heaven are those who ‘belong’ to Jesus—and who have confessed that He is Lord of their life and truly believe that God raised Him from the dead. No one can ‘earn’ their way into Heaven, because no one is perfect and truly ‘good’. Because Jesus is perfectly good, He ‘transfers’ His perfect righteousness to a believer when they put their trust in Him—making them perfectly ‘good’ in the eyes of God the Father.

The “New Jerusalem” will be filled with God’s “redeemed” children. If you believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died and rose again and have asked God to save you by His grace, then you are a ‘citizen’ of the New Jerusalem. “God raised you up with Christ and seated you with Him in the Heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” [ Ephesians 2:6 ]. You have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” [ 1 Peter 1:4 ]. In order to dwell in New Jerusalem, you need to respond to GOD’S EXPECTATIONS of us.

If you have not yet trusted Christ as your Savior, then I urge you to REPENT and BELIEVE HIM NOW! The ‘invitation’ has been extended to all: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” [ Revelation 22:17 ].

 

I don’t know all of what God has planned for eternity, but I’m thinking that He has some AMAZING THINGS planned for this little ‘theater’ in the middle of His infinite universe. What God has in store for our future is so fantastic we cannot yet fully grasp all the details (1 John 3:2). The future we have to look forward to in the New Earth and New Heavens is truly beyond our ability to comprehend. Apostle Paul says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” [ 1 Corinthians 2:9 ].

 

Beyond all of what I’ve presented, we must accept the fact that God has not chosen to reveal all the details about earth’s amazing future, so we can merely speculate. Even though we do not know everything about God’s future city, we can confidently believe what God said through King David: “In your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). This is what we look forward to experiencing in the New Jerusalem!

 

Most of us have some questions about our eternal destination, but we may say, “That is a ways off, so why worry about it now. There’s still plenty of time for me to decide.” Well, there’s a proverb in the Bible gives us a warning about that: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” [ Proverbs 27:1 ]. None of us is promised tomorrow, so “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” [ 2 Corinthians 6:2b ]. Make ‘peace’ with God today!

 

Imagine yourself standing at the door of an open elevator. How do you decide whether or not to get on? Your choice is influenced by two factors: the elevator’s direction, and where you want to go. You wouldn’t want to end up in the basement if you intended to go to the top floor. Now imagine yourself standing at the ‘doorway’ to eternity. Where will you go? Will it be Heaven—or hell?

The decision you make now, before you die, will determine whether you are headed for the resurrection of the righteous or the resurrection of the condemned, whether your judgment will be joyful or miserable, and whether you will spend eternity with God or eternity separated from Him. The choice is yours. There are only two options!

 

Scripture makes clear that one of the central ‘purposes’ of this life is to PREPARE FOR THE NEXT LIFE. We need to be heavenly-minded people who see human beings and the earth not simply as they are, but as God intends them to be.

The great Puritan preacher, Jonathan Edwards said it this way: “Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey towards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives, to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?”

C.S. Lewis said it this way: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.”

 

As awesome as Heaven will be for those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, hell will be that much more awful for those who reject Him. One cannot read the Bible seriously without seeing that over and over again. The ‘line’ is drawn. The Bible says there is one and only one way to Heaven—‘thru’ Jesus Christ. Jesus made this clear by saying: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13–14). Faith in Jesus is the only ‘means’ of going to Heaven. Only those who have faith in Jesus are guaranteed to get there!

Some will argue that it’s extremely narrow-minded of God to provide only one way to Heaven. But, frankly, in light of mankind’s rebellion against God, it’s extremely BROAD-MINDED for Him to provide us with ANY WAY to Heaven! We deserve judgment, but God gives us a way of ‘escape’ by sending His one-and-only Son to die for our sins. Whether someone sees this as narrow or broad, it’s what Jesus said. The Good News is that Jesus died and rose again—showing what we will do one day—and those who are going to Heaven have received this Gospel by faith.

[ FYI: A previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post will give you more details about what you need to do to be assured of Heaven:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ]

 

There is a whole lot of preoccupation with how Jesus is supposed to ‘fix’ life here and make it idyllic. That is really not what the Bible promises us at all. In fact, the Apostle Paul warned all his young churches, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom” (Acts 14:22), and his protégé Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Then Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). So, our GREAT HOPE is not here on earth, it’s ahead of us—the GLORY OF HEAVEN.

Heaven will be ‘fantabulous’, and it is the ULTIMATE RETIREMENT ‘PLACE’—because it’s WHERE THE TRINITY IS!!! (God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit).

Just remember, in the story Jesus told of the two men where there is a great ‘gulf’ fixed between them, and whatever decisions you make about eternity will be made in this life. The Bible teaches that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)—there is no ‘holding place’ (“Purgatory”) where there’s a possibility that you can come out of that place and your destiny can be changed.

 

As Christians, our purpose for being here is not to try and make this “heaven on earth,” but to be “ambassadors” for God while we are here—to help people properly ‘PREPARE’ to go to Heaven. C.S. Lewis said, “I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.” Personally, my overarching ‘life goal’ is to “take as many people to Heaven with me as I can.”

So, again, if you are not yet a Christian, repent and believe—become “born again”—so you can come with me to Heaven!!!

 

Let me strongly encourage you to make Heaven your GREATEST ASPIRATION and DESIRE! It is too GREAT A ‘PLACE’ to miss out on because of POOR ‘RETIREMENT PLANNING’!

This will truly be the ‘IDYLLIC’ LIFE! Finally, ‘UTOPIA’ REALIZED!!!

 

[ Excerpts from: Martin R. De Haan II; Randy Alcorn; David Jeremiah; Tony Evans; Joe Mack Cherry; John MacArthur; Greg Laurie ]

 

“PRAYER OF REPENTANCE”
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying the the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2017

For just over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Each year we’ve refined and improved the process, bringing new categories and considerations into play, gathering new data, and asking more and better questions of a greater number of expats.

We’ve added countries to the shortlist as they moved into the limelight, Malaysia in 2000…Colombia in 2007…and let others drop away. But the winner this year has been constant. For the past 14 years, this country has consistently ranked in the top 10 retirement destinations on the planet. And—for the fifth time—it takes the top spot once again in our Annual Global Retirement Index.

This year sees our most comprehensive index yet, with a list of 24 top retirement destinations, all of which have been put under the microscope and examined as regards their cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and much more.

https://internationalliving.com/the-best-places-to-retire/

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12 Big Questions Behind The Retirement Question

– Will I have enough money for retirement?
– Will I need to continue working past age 65?
– Is age 70 or 75 the new 65 for me?
– What about my recessionary-affected IRAs, CDs, or 401(k)s?
– When should I begin collecting my Social Security supplement?
– Will I be able to make the emotional, mental, and physical transition to a life without work?
– What will I do about benefits after retirement?
– What about my medical care and long-term needs?
– What will I do with all the additional time I will have?
– Will I need to relocate my residence?
– Will I lose my identity as a person?
– Will I still have friends?

[ Christian Retirement ]

http://www.christianretirement.com/content.asp?id=369148

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Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ
By: John Piper

Finishing life to the glory of Christ means
finishing life in a way that makes Christ look
glorious. It means living and dying in a way that
shows Christ to be the all-satisfying Treasure that
he is. So it would include, for example, not living
in ways that make this world look like your treasure.
Which means that most of the suggestions
that this world offers us for our retirement years
are bad ideas. They call us to live in a way that
would make this world look like our treasure. And
when that happens, Jesus is belittled.

Resolutely Resisting Retirement
Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely
resisting the typical American dream of
retirement. It means being so satisfied with all
that God promises to be for us in Christ that we
are set free from the cravings that create so much
emptiness and uselessness in retirement. Instead,
knowing that we have an infinitely satisfying and
everlasting inheritance in God just over the horizon
of life makes us zealous in our few remaining
years here to spend ourselves in the sacrifices of
love, not the accumulation of comforts.

https://document.desiringgod.org/rethinking-retirement-en.pdf

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Heaven
By: Randy Alcorn

Have you ever wondered . . .

What is Heaven really going to be like?
What will we look like?
What will we do every day?
Won’t Heaven get boring after a while?

We all have questions about what Heaven will be like, and after twenty-five years of extensive research, Dr. Randy Alcorn has the answers.

In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it-a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ’s presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.

God has put eternity in our hearts. Now, Randy Alcorn brings eternity to light in a way that will surprise you, spark your imagination, and change how you live today.

If you’ve always thought of Heaven as a realm of disembodied spirits, clouds, and eternal harp strumming, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.

This is a book about real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing, traveling, worshiping, and discovering on a New Earth. Earth as God created it. Earth as he intended it to be.

And the next time you hear someone say, “We can’t begin to imagine what Heaven will be like,” you will be able to tell them, “”I can.””

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Randy-Alcorn/dp/0842379428/

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Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven
By: David Jeremiah

This website is designed to enhance your study of Dr. Jeremiah’s new series, “Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven.”

Heaven is the most encouraging subject in the Bible and the happiest location in the universe. You should know about it.

If you begin with the first verse of Genesis and go to the end of Revelation, you’ll find more than 600 references to the word heaven. Each of these uplifting texts affords “insider information” about God’s glorious habitation and the eternal home of His children.

The reality of heaven doesn’t just help us die more peacefully; it helps us live more joyfully and productively.

C.S. Lewis said, If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.

What we think about heaven determines how we live today.

I can tell you from my own personal experience and from my years of pastoral ministry and Bible teaching, when you study the biblical doctrine of heaven it will stir your heart and change your thoughts.

The heroes of Scripture thought of heaven constantly, confessing they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, seeking a homeland, desiring a better country—a heavenly one—and looking forward to the city with foundations whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10-16)

Jesus, too, longed for heaven as He approached the end of His earthly life, telling His disciples, If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father.’ (John 14:28)

This teaching on heaven will whet your appetite and direct you to key passages in the Bible you’ll want to study on your own.

Yes, goodness and mercy will surely follow us all the days of our lives. But what we’re really looking forward to is dwelling in the house of the Lord forever…and seeing what’s up with heaven!

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/revealingheaven/home.aspx

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Messages:

What’s Up With Heaven? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbM43iVekMQ
What’s Up With Heaven, Part 2 :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSrwno-vWcQ
What’s Up With Heaven:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7la-XPBTCg4
What’s Up With Heaven:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggKK2N2ZS40
Where Are They Now? Part:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rtpe1NRofY
Where Are They Now? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMBkPLhKiEc
Won’t Heaven Be Boring? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKAnfFc2VtA
Won’t Heaven Be Boring? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdxuqLRa_A4
The Ultimate Extreme Make-over, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a50p3AH1jqI
Where Are They Now?:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xHJDYM_INs
Where Are They Now?:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUNhNlnEd9U
The Ultimate Extreme Make-over, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXNPUNafzgw
Heaven’s Oscars, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHrhXAKj-54
Heaven’s Oscars, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOpg3-Mpi9w
The Heavenly City, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXyoy2cdKGE
The Heavenly City, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCNX284jSec
The Ultimate “Extreme Make-Over”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naocLprDW_4
The Ultimate “Extreme Makeover”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs8xRamtTxM
Worship in Heaven, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Gj58043Fc
Worship in Heaven, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq7QkrbINA0
The New Heaven and Earth, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_ny73gIaqQ
The New Heaven and Earth, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxBY730Tj0
What on Earth is the Millennium? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzKRkAu7nZc
Heaven’s Oscars:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmY2W-Ogrqk
What on Earth is the Millennium? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr8VU2EmtIE
What About the Children? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdc7jFh4Cok
What About the Children? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0on3A-cJmc
Tough-Minded About Heaven, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wT2Vu9RWD8
Tough-Minded About Heaven, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeHZSo5fZ9U

[ David Jeremiah ]

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We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven
By: Randy Alcorn

No author in history has more material in print than Charles Spurgeon. During his lifetime, Spurgeon and his writings affected the world far and wide. Today, nearly 120 years after his death, countless people continue to have a passion for this London preacher, and more and more discover him every day. Some of Spurgeon’s most powerful sermons were those that he preached on the topic of Heaven. Up until now, however, very few of these sermons have been accessible to a mass audience. In what is sure to become an instant classic, best-selling author Randy Alcorn has compiled the most profound spiritual insights on the topic of eternity from these sermons and arranged them into an easily-accessible, highly inspirational devotional format complete with his own comments and devotional thoughts. Whether you are familiar with the works of Charles Spurgeon or not, you are in for a treat, as Alcorn invites you to sit at the feet of the Prince of Preachers and discover timeless pearls of wisdom from one of the greatest theological minds of all time.

https://www.amazon.com/Shall-See-God-Spurgeons-Devotional/dp/1414345542/

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The Glory of Heaven: The Truth about Heaven, Angels, and Eternal Life
By: John MacArthur

If you’re going to call it “home” for eternity, don’t you want to know what it’s like?

Our pictures of heaven range from comical to curious, mystical to fictitious, with bits of biblical truth thrown in. But if heaven is our future, and we are to be living with an eternal mindset in the present, a Hollywood scriptwriter’s interpretation of the afterlife just won’t suffice. Quite simply, we need to know more about what lies ahead for the sake of what lies in front of us today.

In this newly updated and expanded edition, pastor John MacArthur takes us through the pages of Scripture, exploring the wonders of heaven and the truth about angels and eternal life while addressing current debates and issues. Come along with this best-selling author for an in-depth look at every Christian’s future—heaven, our eternal home.

https://www.amazon.com/Glory-Heaven-Second-Angels-Eternal/dp/1433538687/

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Heaven

Are your ideas about heaven based on hearsay or hard fact? How do the amazing claims of people who say they have been to heaven line up with the Bible’s own description? And what will we do once we’re in heaven?

Finding the answers is simple: piece together the biblical details, sift out the popular myths, and you have an amazingly accurate picture of heaven, angels, and the afterlife.

That’s what John MacArthur does in his classic, best-selling study with the simple title—Heaven.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/topical-series-library/175/heaven

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Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards’s Vision of Living in Between
By: Stephen Nichols

Heaven isn’t only about the future. It has everything to do with life on earth-life “in between.” Jonathan Edwards understood this well. His writings are full of his thoughts on heaven and how those thoughts should make a difference in our lives.

This book focuses on key sermons by Edwards, showing readers how his insights can be applied to the challenges of living the Christian life in the twenty-first century. Edwards reminds us of our duty to live on earth in light of heaven and to endeavor to bring the realities and the beauty of heaven to earth-even if only in miniature. This book is for all believers wondering how to live on earth with a view of heaven, and those familiar with Edwards’s works will have a special appreciation for this study.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Capturing-Jonathan-Edwardss/dp/1581347855/

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Heaven: Your Real Home
By: Joni Eareckson Tada

Step back a moment, focus your eyes of faith, and then come with Joni into a world you’ve heard about from your youth but have never seen: heaven. You just might discover that heaven is closer–and more real–than you’ve ever thought. In this joyful best-seller, Joni Eareckson Tada paints a shining portrait of our heart’s true home. Joni talks about what heaven will be like, what we’ll do, and whom we’ll see. She shows how heaven will be the satisfaction of all that our hearts cry for, something more real than anything this side of eternity. And Joni tells how we can prepare now for the reality of heaven. With hope for today and vision for those who struggle in life, Heaven invites us to a refreshing and faith-filled picture of our glorious destination. Once you’ve caught a glimpse of heaven, you’ll see earth in a whole new light.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Joni-Eareckson-Tada/dp/0310219191

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A Place Called Heaven: Answering 10 Questions About Your Eternal Home

Sermon Series:
– “Is Heaven a real place or is it a state of mind?”
– “Have some people already visited Heaven?”
– “Do Christians immediately go to Heaven when they die?”
– “What will we do in Heaven?”
– “Who will be in Heaven?”
– “Do people in Heaven know what is happening on earth?”
– “Will we know one another in Heaven?”
– “Will Heaven be the same for everyone?”
– “How can I prepare for my journey to Heaven?” Part 1
– “How can I prepare for my journey to Heaven?” Part 2

[ Dr. Robert Jeffress ]

http://www.firstdallas.org/heaven/

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The Heaven Answer Book
By: Billy Graham

God’s Word says heaven awaits all the saints of His kingdom, but how many of us really know what heaven will be like? The Heaven Answer Book is a biblically based book written in Q&A format with answers to commonly asked questions about our future and final home. Topics include what we’ll do, what we’ll be, what we’ll see, our rewards in heaven, and more. Billy Graham’s trustworthy Bible knowledge offers interesting insight and enduring truth about how believers can prepare their hearts for spending eternity with their Maker and Lord.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Answer-Book-Billy-Graham/dp/1400319382

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As It Is in Heaven: How Eternity Brings Focus to What Really Matters
By: Greg Laurie

Our lives here are so often cluttered with the “cares of this world” that we fail to consider heavenly priorities and how they should be reflected in our earthly ones. At the beginning of Jesus’ most famous prayer, He teaches us to pray that God’s will “be done on earth as it is in heaven”. What heaven is up to is critical for us to understand if we’re going to live biblically. Pastor Greg Laurie explains that heaven is anything but a long, boring church service. People in heaven know about the time and place of ongoing events on earth. They are rational and recall everything from their earthly days, but most importantly for us, they have a unique perspective from which we can learn a great deal.

In this rich and relevant study, Greg sheds scriptural light on the sensational books and stories about people going to heaven and coming back, answers the nagging questions we are all dying to ask, and guides us to focus―right now―on what really matters.

https://www.amazon.com/As-Heaven-Eternity-Brings-Matters/dp/1612915698/

—————-
Heaven: The Undiscovered Country
By: Ron Rhodes

Every person who has ever lived has wondered about that place beyond mortality-Shakespeare called it the undiscovered country. People have longed to uncover the secrets that shroud death and the afterlife . . . asking questions such as: What actually happens at the moment of death? Will we know our loved ones in heaven? What will we do in eternity? What happens to babies and toddlers when they die? Will we interact with the angels in heaven? Because God wrote the Bible for the sole purpose of helping men and women prepare for eternity, there’s no better place to go for trustworthy answers. Bible expert Ron Rhodes takes us to the Scripture to provide an incredibly clear and inspirational picture of the next life. Explore the wonder of heaven and the afterlife. Anticipate what is to come on the other side of eternity . . . in ‘Heaven: The Undiscovered Country’

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Undiscovered-Country-Exploring-Afterlife/dp/1592442102

—————-
The Saints’ Everlasting Rest
By: Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter’s The Saints’ Everlasting Rest (1650) has long been recognized as one of the great classics of Christian devotion, and it is by this book that he is best known. The original work consists of some eight hundred thousand words-a clear example of Baxter’s prolific pen-yet in Baxter’s own life-time it reached twelve editions! First abridged in 1754 by John Wesley, in the Christian Library, five years later another abridgement was made by Benjamin Fawcett, and innumerable reprints of this have since been issued. The book has also been translated into Welsh, Gaelic, German and French. The purpose of this abridgement, first published in 1962, was to present the work in a form suitable to the modern reader. No change has been made in the text of the passages selected from the original work, and the spirit and language of Baxter have been so preserved that the movement of his thought and style not only remains unimpaired but stands out even more clearly.

https://www.amazon.com/Saints-Everlasting-Rest-Richard-Baxter/dp/1573832839/

—————-
Heaven

When the Bible speaks of the new heaven and the new earth,it is not speaking of an alternative to this world; it is speaking of the healing and restoration of this world. This gives Christians a reason to participate in restoring this fallen world. Furthermore,because Christians know that there is a perfect world coming,they don’t put all their hope in the current world. Christians can sacrificially serve others because they value the things of the coming world more than the things of this world.

[ Tim Keller ]

http://www.gospelinlife.com/heaven-5941

—————-
Eternal Perspective Ministries
Founded and directed by author Randy Alcorn. We are a Bible-believing, Christ-centered nonprofit organization with two objectives:

To teach the principles of God’s Word, emphasizing an eternal viewpoint and
to reach the needy in Christ’s name, calling attention to the needs of the:
– unreached, who’ve never heard the gospel;
– unfed, unclothed, unsheltered and poor due to circumstance (not choice);
– unsupported, Christians suffering in hostile spiritual environments;
– unborn, targeted for abortion, and their mothers deceived and exploited by the child-killing industry;
– unreconciled, those of different races and cultures who are alienated, hostile, or suspicious of each other;
– untrained, a generation growing up in a society without moral absolutes and eternal values, who need to hear God’s truth spoken in love.

http://www.epm.org/

 

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FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDESWEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about how good one must be to qualify for Heaven, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d1_1of10.html

 

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ARTICLES:

 

The Pearly Gates

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a man who’s dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans.

Saint Peter turns to the first man and asks, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?”

“I’m Joe Jones, and I was a taxi driver in New York.”

Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the man, “Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter into the Kingdom.”

When it’s the minister’s turn, he stands erect and booms out, “I am Joseph Snow, pastor of New Covenant Tabernacle for the last 37 years.”

Saint Peter consults his list. “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter into the Kingdom,” he says.

“Just a minute,” says the minister. “That man was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?”

“Up here, we work by results,” says Saint Peter. “While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed.”

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Does the Bible tell us what heaven will be like?

When I was in seminary, I studied under an extremely learned professor who I was convinced at the time knew the answer to every possible theological question. I remember I was so in awe of him that I asked him one day with stars in my eyes, “What’s heaven like?” I asked him as if he had been there and could give me a firsthand report! Of course, he steered me immediately to the last two chapters of the New Testament, Revelation 21 and 22, in which we get an extensive visual image of what heaven is like. Some dismiss it as being pure symbolism, but we must remember that the symbols in the New Testament point beyond themselves to a deeper and better reality than they themselves describe. It’s here that we read of the streets of gold and of the great treasuries of jewels that adorn the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven. In the description of the New Jerusalem, we hear that there’s no sun and no moon, no stars, because the light that radiates from the presence of God and from his Anointed One is sufficient to illumine the whole place by the refulgence of their glory. We are told that there’s no death, there’s no pain, and God wipes away the tears of his people. I remember as a child having that tender experience (not often accessible to adults) in which I would scrape my knee, or something would go wrong, and I would cry and come into the house, and my mother would stoop over and dry the tears from my eyes. I received great consolation from that. But of course, when my mother dried my tears, there was always the opportunity the next day for me to cry again. But in heaven when God wipes away the tears from people’s eyes, that’s the end of tears—there are no more tears after that. And so heaven is described as a place of utter felicity that is filled with the radiant majesty and glory of God, where God’s people have become sanctified, where justice has been brought to bear, and where his people have been vindicated. There’s no more death, no more disease, no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more hatred, and no more evil. And then there is an experience of healing in that place. And that’s just a glimpse, but it’s enough to get us started.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/does-bible-tell-us-what-heaven-will-be/

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Which Way to Heaven?

The biggest question that will ever be answered is the question, “Which way to heaven?” The most important decision that anybody will ever make is the decision that they make regarding their eternal destiny. Life here, says the Bible, is a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away. It is like steam off a cup of coffee, nothing more, compared to eternity. Everyone will live somewhere forever without end. Where you live forever is absolutely critical. There are two options: hell and eternal punishment, or heaven and eternal joy. The question then is…which way to heaven? [ more…].


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogzpMpY7R8g

[ This video is excerpt’s from John MacArthur’s sermon “The Only Road to Heaven”:
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-325 ].

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What’s Up with Heaven

It can be very easy to get caught up by the things of this world, and we begin to lose sight of the greatest days ahead that God has promised to His children, but God wants to renew within us a fresh sense of the reality of hope in an eternal home for those who are in Christ Jesus.

[ James MacDonald ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrbFQGTBn1g

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The New Heaven and New Earth

Sermons via Gospel in Life: The historical event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ means everything, yet it is only the first installment on something to come, and this is it—new heavens, new earth, City of God.

[ Tim Keller ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ5h_HB5rbQ

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Joy To The World

Few people realize that Isaac Watts’ famous hymn, “Joy to the World” is really not referring to the birth of Jesus, but about Jesus’ Second Coming and the Millennium. It was actually inspired by Psalm 98, where David praises the Lord as our Savior, King, and Judge: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises” (Psalm 98:4), while the song says, “Let Heaven and nature sing.” The Psalm continues saying that “He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity” (Psalm 98:9), compare that with verse 4 in the song” “He rules the world with truth and grace.” Now, read the following verses with that in mind:

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing”

This did not happen when Christ came the first time. He was not readily received by everyone, but was despised and rejected.

Secondly, the world is now not void of sorrow.

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found”

Only in the Millennium will sins and sorrows be no more.

Finally, the Bible tells us that the following will only happen during the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-7):

“He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love”

[ Mark Besh ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4KTzoxzx9Q

*****************************
This World Is Not My Home

This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore…

They’re all expecting me and that’s one thing I know.
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go.
I know He’ll take me through,
though I am weak and poor.
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore…

Chorus
O Lord you know I have no friend like you
If Heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Just up in Glory Land we’ll live eternally.
The Saints on every hand are shouting victory.
Their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven’s shore
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqRpyG0W96k

[ Composer: Albert E. Brumley ]

*****************************
The Last Thing We Talk About” (Excerpt)

“I cannot prove the existence of heaven. I accept its reality by faith, on the authority of Jesus Christ: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn. 14:2)

For that matter, if I were a twin in the womb, I doubt that I could prove the existence of earth to my mate. He would probably object that the idea of an earth beyond the womb was ridiculous, that the womb was the only earth we’d ever know.

If I tried to explain that earthlings live in a greatly expanded environment and breathe air, he would only be more skeptical. After all, a fetus lives in water; who would imagine its being able to live in a universe of air? To him such a transition would seem impossible.

It would take birth to prove the earth’s existence to a fetus. A little pain, a dark tunnel, a gasp of air— and then the wide world! Green grass, laps, lakes, the ocean, horses (could a fetus imagine a horse?), rainbows, walking, running, surfing, ice-skating. With enough room that you don’t have to shove, and a universe beyond. What is heaven like?

For the tired, it is a place of rest. For the sorrowing, a place where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain” (Rev. 21:4).

Or war or greed or evil of any kind. It is a place of total happiness: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

Heaven is also a place of activity, of work (but without the curse of toil and sweat and barren ground), of sharing in the responsibility of divine government.

I sat with a friend recently in his hospital room. The diagnosis is terminal cancer. If death comes, it will interrupt a distinguished career as a leader in training young men to serve Jesus Christ. “When we think of heaven,” he said, “I don’t think we give enough consideration to what we’re told in Revelation, that ‘His servants shall serve Him’ (22:3), and that their service is ‘day and night’ (7:15). We talk too much about rest—our rest will be found in serving God.” In heaven we will be freed from our present fragmented intellectual knowledge, and see truth and beauty with greatly expanded vision. “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13:12).

Heaven will be supremely beautiful. The biblical descriptions include walls of precious stones, gates of pearl, streets of gold. (My mother used to say that she didn’t find any particular attraction in golden streets. I had no answer for her until I read a comment by F. B. Meyer, that in heaven all earth’s values are turned upside down. “What do we count most valuable on earth?” he asked. “Gold. Men live for gold, kill for it. But in heaven gold is so plentiful that they pave the streets with it . . . .”)

“But,” someone says, how could I enjoy such a place? I’m not made for it.” Neither is the fetus made for earth until he goes through the tunnel. Is there another place? Yes, but if the reality of heaven is questioned today, the reality of a place of eternal separation from God (hell, as it is usually called) is ignored. I accept its reality by faith, on the authority of Jesus Christ:

“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Lk. 12:4-5).

Jesus Christ described it as a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 25:30), of remembering the past with its lost opportunity to repent and turn to God, of the loss of those gifts men enjoyed on earth without a thought of their Source: “From him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Mt. 25:29).

Jesus Christ defined hell’s reality in stronger language than any other person in the Bible. But He also had compassion on the multitudes, wept over an unbelieving city, and defined His mission as coming not to condemn, but to bring life.”

[ Joseph Bayly ]

*****************************
The Way to Heaven

Enter through the narrow gate,for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction,and there are many who enter through it.
For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it. [ Matthew 7:13-14 ].

[ John MacArthur ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KcZibPO6pg

*****************************
Heaven

In teaching His disciples about heaven, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” But what did Jesus mean? In this series, R.C. Sproul provides clear teaching about heaven, explaining that Christians have the greatest hope—the hope of glory. In examining Scripture, he shows that heaven is the home of God’s chosen people, the church.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/heaven/

*****************************
When We All Get to Heaven

Heaven. It’s the last and greatest chapter in the story of God’s love for His children, the pinnacle of what Bible scholars refer to as glorification. Yet while heaven is marvelous to think about, you may be wondering, “What difference can my future glorification make today for my family, relationships to other Christians, and day-to-day responsibilities?”

In When We All Get to Heaven, John MacArthur stirs in you a longing for the glory awaiting you if you’re in Christ. He explains the glorification process–and it is a process. He shows you what you’ll experience in heaven, and what you won’t. Most important, he helps you understand why Christians should have a constant interest–right now–in the glory that’s ahead.

Get forward focused. Listen to these three messages and be refreshed today by seeing what your eternal tomorrow holds.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/topical-series-library/295/when-we-all-get-to-heaven

*****************************
Home

This world is not what it was meant to be
All this pain, all this suffering
There’s a better place
Waiting for me
In Heaven

Every tear will be wiped away
Every sorrow and sin erased
We’ll dance on seas of amazing grace
In Heaven
In Heaven

I’m goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Home
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong
Home

Lay down my burdens, I lay down my past
I run to Jesus, no turning back
Thank God Almighty, I’ll be free at last
In Heaven
In Heaven

I’m goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Home
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong

Blinded eyes
Will finally see
The dead will rise
On the shores of eternity
The trump will sound
The angels will sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I am
Goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Home
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong
Where I belong

I’m goin’ home
I’m goin’ home
I’m on my way home
I’m goin’ home

[ Chris Tomlin – “Never Lose Sight” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twL3v5r8s6o

*****************************
Everybody Talkin’ ‘Bout Heaven

Chorus:
Everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n that ain’t goin’ there
Everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n that ain’t goin’
Everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n that ain’t goin’ there
Oh my Lord

Repeat Chorus (x2)

Well I read about the streets of gold
And I read about the throne
Not everybody callin’ “Lord, Lord”
Is gonna see that heavenly home

Repeat Chorus

Additive Parts:
1 – But those who do the will of my God will enter heaven
2 – If you wanna go to heaven, you gotta do more than talk about it
3 – Oh heaven, to heaven, to heaven
4 – If you wanna go to heaven, to heaven, to heaven
5 – Heaven, I wanna go to heaven

Repeat ad lib

There will come a day
When we will all stand before the throne
On that day, some will say
“Did we not prophesy in your name?”
And they’ll say:
“We drove out demons in your name”
I know some will say:
“We performed many miracles in your name”
Some will say
“So many works we’ve done in your name”

Then the Lord will say:
“Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity
I never knew you”
That’s why I know

Repeat Chorus (x2)

Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord

Scriptural Reference: Matthew 7:21-23


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DGuG5O8X6A

[ Acappella Spirituals ]

*****************************
Heaven Isn’t Like That
(Parody of “Shine” by Collective Soul)

Do some good works and lead a good life
Always go to church and try to be really nice … really nice
Say a couple prayers and finally when you die
Go to Saint Peter, tell him, “Let me come inside
“At least I tried”
Yeah?
No! Heaven isn’t like that, child! (now) (pal) (now)
Learn to play the harp, you’ll need it while you’re there
Pick yourself some wings; I’m sure you’ll get a lovely pair
A lovely pair
Reach for a halo, keep it in your hair
Lead a wimpy life eternally with nothing there
But fluffy air
CHORUS
Get in God’s word; see what you find
Only place to look to tell you how to get inside
Let me tell you now; you gotta go through Christ
Open up your heart and tell Him He can come inside
Come inside
Yeah!
Yo! Let Him in your life right now (Repeat 3X)
You know what Heaven’s like?
It hasn’t entered your mind
Heaven is the best place that’s ever been
You wanna get in? Let Him
Let Him in your life; that’s the only way
C’mon … Nowwwwwww … come on in, in
C’mon Nowwwwwww C’mon inside!

[ ApologetiX – “Ticked” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udQjLApnlJw

*****************************
Heavenly Hill
(Parody of “Beverly Hills” by Weezer)

Where I come from there’s a tall flat place
It’s out on a hill where a ski slope’s at
My master went for a little walk
With His friends there just to do a retreat
He didn’t go with some big group
Just three guys, James and John and me
While we prayed I saw the Son of God talking with the prophets

Heavenly hill — that’s where I want to be (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill
Heavenly hill — Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and me (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill

Looking brighter than a star, His clothes so beautiful they gleamed
Don’t know how they scrubbed His wardrobe but His face it seemed to beam
I wonder if He’ll look like that whenever Jesus Christ is king
Maybe this ain’t quite as cool but it’s the next best thing

Heavenly hill — that’s where I want to be (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill
Heavenly hill — Mark n’ Luke 9, Matthew 17 (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill

The truth is … I can’t stand the suspense
There’s someplace that I’m more into
And I guess it won’t be long
No, it won’t, I guess you know that deep down too
And I will always dream of that day
When I will dwell in Paradise, but till that starts, hey

Heavenly hill — that’s where I want to be (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill
Heavenly hill — Second Peter verse 1:18 (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill

[ ApologetiX – “Wordplay” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5DRQkKzljs

*****************************
Narrow Way to Heaven
(Parody of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin)

There’s a way Jesus showed all us sinners must go
And He called it the narrow way to Heaven
If to get there’s your goal — with a pure heart and soul
In His Word you can get what you came for
Ooooooh and he described it right there in Matthew 7
There’ve been signs all along but you want to be sure
Cause the road sometimes swerves as you’re reading
In the free Bible book, there in John 3:16, come find how all our faults are forgiven
Two ways to ponder — two ways to ponder
There’s a freeway of death and it hooks to the left
And the steering and driving is easy
It is not quite as seems — see that smoke, feel the heat
Hear the voice of the Lord who stands knockin’
Ooooooh … it takes you under. Ooooooh … it really takes you under
And it’s His Word that’s true — if we all follow through
Then the Bible will lead us to Jesus
And the true way will dawn — on those who’ve read John
Chapter 14 verse 6 and thereafter Ooooooh …
If there’s a possible dead end road — don’t be a lost man
It’s best to think before you take it
Yes, there are two paths you can go by — but there’s a wrong one
But there’s still time to change the road you’re on
Ooooooh … can it take you up there?
You’re headed somewhere but it won’t go the place you wanna go
If Christ has called and you avoid Him
The way to Heaven’s very narrow, and did you know
It’s very wide on the way to Hell? LEAD
Where will you wind up down the road — a shadow land or street of gold?
There is a Way that we all know — He shines bright light on words that show
How every man will turn to dust — but if you let Him in your heart
The Truth will come to you at last — and our Lord warned us where to go
And He was God — He ought to know
And He called it the narrow way to Heaven

[ ApologetiX – “Chosen Ones” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm9PAIYF7Ag

*****************************
*****************************

DEEP THOUGHTS:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

“I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.”
[ Martin Luther ]

“If God hath made this world so fair
Where sin and death abound,
How beautiful beyond compare
Will paradise be found.”
[ James Montgomery ]

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord, you know I have no friend like You.
If Heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
[ Albert E. Brumley ]

“A large set of pearl-studded gates will welcome you to Heaven, but be careful of slippery roads that are paved with gold. Topping the list of scenic points is a sea of glass. However, local conditions preclude sunsets, sunrises, or full moons. [ Since God’s glory is continuously illuminating everything ]. Do not miss the spectacular New Jerusalem, a striking city of the future, employing award-winning architectural design. Marvel at its twelve foundations. Stand amazed before its twelve gates, each made of a gigantic single pearl. For sheer spectacle, the New Jeruslaem eclipses even the Emerald City of Oz.
[ Joni Eareckson Tada ]

“If you should see a man shut up in a closed room, idoizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light, and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all his lamps; and then throw open the shutters to let in the light of heaven.”
[ Samuel Rutherford ]

“When I shall reach the more excellent glory,
And all my trials are passed,
I Shall be like Him, I wonderful story!
I shall be like Him at last.”
[ W. A. Spencer ]

“The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with out friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

“The freedom of Heaven, then, is the freedom from sin; not that the believer just happens to be free from sin, but that he is so constituted or reconstituted that he cannot sin. He doesn’t want to sin, and he does not want to want to sin.”
[ Paul Helm ]

“The local church isn’t a piece of the heavenly church-like a tiny chunk is broken off a big cookie. Instead, it’s a miniature realization of the whole heavenly thing.”
[ Bernard N. Howard ]

“The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity.”
[ Dallas Willard ]

“It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward Heaven … to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven… to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]

“When the followers of Jesus Christ lose their interest in heaven they will no longer be happy Christians, and when they are no longer happy Christians they cannot be a powerful force in a sad and sinful world. It may be said with certainty that Christians who have lost their enthusiasm about the Savior’s promises of heaven-to-come have also stopped being effective in Christian life and witness in this world.”
[ A. W. Tozer ]

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“Cultivate, then, your hope, dearly beloved. Make it to shine so plainly in you that your minister may hear of your hopefulness and joy, cause observers to take note of it because you speak of heaven and act as though you really expected to go there. Make the world know that you have a hope of heaven…that you are a believer in eternal glory and that you hope to be where Jesus is.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Though Christians believe in heaven, sometimes they act as though going there were a calamity.”
[ Henry Jacobson ]

“Earth is an in between world touched by both heaven and hell. Earth leads directly into heaven or directly into hell, affording a choice between the two. The best of life on earth is a glimpse of heaven. The worst of life is a glimpse of hell. For Christians this present life is the closest they will come to hell. For unbelievers it is the closest they will come to heaven.”
[ Randy Alcorn ]

“When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there: The first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see; The second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.”
[ John Newton ]

“I have a home above
From sin and sorrow free;
A mansion which eternal love
Designed and formed for me.”
[ Henry Bennett ]

“The heavenly country is full of light and glory; having the delightful breezes of divine love, and the comfortable gales of the blessed Spirit… Here is a freedom from body subject to diseases and death, and from a body of sin and death, from Satan’s temptations, from all doubts and fears, and unbelief, and from all sorrows and afflictions.”
[ John Gill ]

“Heaven ought to so fill our hearts and hands, our manner and our conversation, our character and our features, that all would see that we are foreigners, strangers to this world, natives of a nobler clime, fairer than this.”
[ Edward M. Bounds ]

“Yes, there will be work in heaven! … Our work in heaven will be restful because it will fit us perfectly. It will be exactly what we are fitted for and love to do. It will have none of the pressures we experience in work today. There will be no outlandish deadlines, stressful coworkers or bitter competition. Things will not go wrong; Murphy’s Law will have been repealed. We will feel truly fulfilled because we will work in a manner fitting to the way God designed each of us. We will be free to work for the benefit of God, others and ourselves.”
[ Josh and Sean McDowell ]

“When Earth’s last picture is painted,
And the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded
And the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it—
Lie down for an aeon or two,
‘Til the Master of All Good Workmen
Shall put us to work anew!”
[ Rudyard Kipling ]

“In heaven we will be permitted to finish many of those worthy tasks which we had dreamed to do while on earth, but which neither time nor strength nor ability allowed us to achieve.”
[ Wilbur Smith ]

“There will be new planets to develop, new principles to discover, new joys to experience. Every moment of eternity will be an adventure of discovery.”
[ Ray Stedman ]

“Around us, all shall be at peace; within us, all shall be in harmony. There shall be nothing in us, as now, to jar or clash with the mind of God. All that we now feel stirring in unhallowed warfare against Him shall be purged out as dross, and be no more any part of our eternal being. We shall be full of Him; and we shall be conscious that we are what He would have us (to be) … ‘It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know what we shall be like Him.’”
[ Anonymous ]

“Will we know one another in heaven? Will we love and remember? I do not think anyone need wonder about this or doubt for a single moment …. For if we think for a minute, we know. Would you be yourself if you did not love and remember? … We are told that we shall be like our Lord Jesus … and does not He know and love and remember? He would not be Himself if He did not, and we would not be ourselves if we did not.”
[ Amy Carmichael ]

“Hell is the highest reward that the devil can offer you for being a servant of his”
[ Billy Sunday ]

“Of the many things heaven will be, it will not be boring. Our heavenly perfection, for example, will not be a matter simply of never making a mistake. Nor will it be always making a hole in one or a home run, as it were. Rather it will be a time of ever-expanding and increasingly joyous service, and the saints who then will serve the most and rejoice the most will be those who have served the Lord most steadfastly while on earth. Every soul in heaven will equally possess eternal life and will be equally righteous, equally Christlike, and equally glorious. Everyone will be equally perfect, because perfection has no degrees. The difference will be in opportunities and levels of service. Just as the angels serve God in ranks, so will redeemed men and women, and the degree of their heavenly service will have been determined by the devotedness of their earthly service.

“Heaven will not involve differing qualities of service, because everything heavenly is perfect. Everything done for the Lord will be perfectly right and perfectly satisfying. There will be no distinctions of superiority or inferiority, and there will be no envy, jealousy, or any other remnant of sinful human nature. Whatever one’s rank or responsibility or opportunity, those will be God’s perfect will for that individual and therefore will be perfectly enjoyed. In a way that is beyond our present comprehension, believers will be both equal and unequal in the…eternal state.”
[ John MacArthur ]

“The new universe will surely be as big or bigger than it is now — and it is mind-blowing in its immensity now! Billions of galaxies, far larger than our own galaxy of the Milky Way, fill the heavens as far as the eye can see by means of the greatest telescopes we have, and still we have not reached the end. That means that there will be new planets to develop, new principles to discover, new joys to experience. Every moment of eternity will be an adventure of discovery.”
[ Ray Stedman ]

“This world is only an anteroom of the next. This short life is incidental compared with eternity. This world is not home to the Christian. Here we are only sojourners, temporary dwellers in a foreign land. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Our treasure should be in Heaven. Our thoughts should dwell lovingly and longingly on that sweet home of the departed saints, of our Savior and of our Heavenly Father.”
[ John R. Rice ]

“…The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.”
[ John Bunyan ]

“I shall rise from the dead…I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began…No man ever saw God and lived. And yet I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.”
[ John Donne ]

“In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next, and we take solace whenever it does not.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“And, after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight?…Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Give me to know that heaven is all love,
where the eye affects the heart,
and the continual viewing of thy beauty
keeps the soul in continual transports of delight.

Give me to know that heaven is all peace,
where error, pride, rebellion, passion raise no head.

Give me to know that heaven is all joy,
the end of believing, fasting, praying,
mourning, humbling, watching, fearing, repining;
And lead me to it soon.”
[ “The Valley of Vision” A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions ]

“In heaven ‘tis the directly reverse of what ‘tis on earth; for there, by length of time things become more and more youthful, that is, more vigorous, active, tender, and beautiful.”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]

“When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there. The first wonder will be to see people there I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many persons whom I did expect to see; and the third and greatest wonder of all will be to find myself there.”
[ John Newton ]

“Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.”
[ Dwight L. Moody ]

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“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.”
[ John 14:2-3 ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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