Two weeks ago, we talked about the fact that life on earth is going to end sooner or later. When this life ends, you can’t change your eternal destination, hence the need to make the decision that guarantees eternity with God in heaven. Once this opportunity is missed, one cannot get it back, but while one still has the opportunity, this is what the Scriptures say, “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31 NLT).
Last week, we talked about having to choose between two places e to spend eternity: Heaven or hell, with no middle place! In order to spend eternity in heaven, one would have to repent and be saved by placing faith in Jesus. Remember, being created by God doesn’t make one a child of God; sin took care of that by interrupting the God/man relationship. That relationship has to be restored for one to be able to call God, “Father.” And it’s only through repentance and faith in Jesus that that relationship is restored. Jesus stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NLT).
To go to hell, one would have to ignore God’s offer for salvation—don’t repent, and live any way one would like, and one would be sure to get to hell. How sad. Why would anyone really choose to go to hell? It’s my prayer that after we compare heaven and hell, you’ll choose heaven.
Heaven is described as God’s home! The prophet Jeremiah prophesied, years before Jesus was born, “In that day, Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord.’ And nations will come there to honor the Lord” (Jeremiah 3:17 NLT). When Jesus was on earth, He promised the disciples, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:2-3 NLT).
Again, heaven is described as “Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering” (Hebrews 12:22 NLT).What an amazing place! Heaven a real place: it is God’s home, and He is there. The wall’s foundation is made of precious stones, the gates are made of pearls, and the main street is made of transparent gold. The place is illuminated by God’s glory, and therefore has no need of the sun or moon (see Rev 21:19-23). In addition, sin will be nowhere to be found.
You might be wondering, “What are we going to be doing in heaven this whole time?” Some people actually think it’ll be boring, but it will be far from that. The Bible tells us what we’ll be doing-worshipping Him: “…the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads … And they will reign forever and ever” (Rev 22:3-5 NLT).
One might also ask, “Who else is going to be in heaven?” Well, the Bible states clearly, “After this, I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe, and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb [Jesus]. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, ‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9-10 NLT). These of course are those who have placed their faith in Jesus. Will you be in that crowd?
At the appointed time, Jesus will come back to escort God’s children home,to heaven! God promises there’ll be no sin, pain, sorrow, crying, tears, or death in heaven (see Isaiah 25:8; Rev 21:4). What an awesome promise!
Would you like to be where God is? Well, this is your chance; don’t postpone making your decision, because if He comes, or you die, without having made that decision, it will be too late. I don’t know how anyone could want anything other than heaven. Haven’t we had enough pain and suffering here on earth? Of course we have; let’s look forward to something better! Sin has put us through the mill; this is our chance to break free. Can you imagine a place where life goes on uninterrupted and never ends, where we’re free from diseases, with no children with unheard of cancers or murders, lying, stealing, or conflicts? My name is written in the Lamb’s book of life already, and when I get there, I’ll be dressed in a white robe. How about you?
The alternative to heaven is hell, but I’ll not encourage that, because the description is very frightening! More about that next week. Please, please, I’m pleading with you; call on Jesus today. Don’t miss heaven!