Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heaven Is For Real

I just finished reading the book, Heaven Is For Real, by Todd Burpo. Todd is a pastor in Nebraska, and this book relates the things he's learned about heaven from his little boy. In 2003 his little 3 year-old boy, Colton, is ill from a ruptured appendix. He is rushed to surgery and the doctors aren't sure that he will live. But he does!
In the months and years that follow he relates how he experienced heaven during those moments in surgery - even though he didn't actually die. His stories of heaven coincide with Biblical accounts of heaven, but because his stories are in little boy language, they really encouraged me. I feel the way Todd's mom explained it (page 150 in Heaven Is For Real):

"Ever since this happened," she told me, "I think more about what it might really be like in heaven.  I accepted the idea of heaven before, but now I visualize it. Before, I'd heard, but now I know that someday I'm going to see."

Last Sunday my devotion was also about heaven. Most of it was about how it is possible to experience the joy of heaven while we are still here on earth. But the devotion ended with this quote from Charles Spurgeon:

"It is the very joy of this earthly life to think that it will come to an end."

I haven't always felt joy at thinking that my life on earth would come to an end. I wanted to keep living here, to see my kids have kids of their own, to see them grow up, to enjoy my home and my cabin and everything here on earth. I was afraid of dying - not really afraid of heaven, for I knew that I would be with God, but afraid of the dying. And then I wondered what heaven would really be like. How could we possibly even get close to God because of all the Christians that have died before us or will go to heaven in the future? What will I do in heaven?

As I sit and think about Colton's experience in heaven, I realize anew that heaven will be a very wonderful place. I think that once there, if I even do look back to this time on earth, I will wonder why I even tried to hold on to the things of this earthly life. They will all pale in the light of God in heaven.

I am going to try to view this time on earth more as preparation for my future in heaven. I want to be ready to live there when God calls me home. I am going to look forward to that day.

I am so thankful that I know that I know that I know that I am going to heaven when I die. There is no doubt about that. How do I know? Because the Bible says so. I read John 3:16 -
"For God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him (I believe, do you?) should not perish but have everlasting life." 
Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life - whoever believes in Him shall live even if he dies.
 (John 11:25-26)
Jesus said that He is going to prepare a place for us in heaven and that He will come back to get us.
 (John 14:1-6)
There are many more verses that let me know that my salvation is in Him, and is secure.
The question is, "Do you know my Jesus?" 
If you were to die today, can you say for sure that you are going to heaven? You can't get there on your own. You can never be good enough to earn your way. Jesus said that He is the way - the only way.
Won't you ask Him into your heart today, let Him know that you know you are a sinner and need Him to save you? Won't you join me today in viewing this world as just a prelude to the joy of heaven?

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