By: Rev. Chris Troxel, Associate Pastor of Christian Growth
What do you imagine when you picture heaven?
Do you see spirits or babies flying around with harps on clouds? Do you see angels who used to be your loved ones looking down on you? Maybe you picture nothing because you feel nothing happens when you die.
So many of our concepts of what awaits us in eternity come from sources that get mingled with God’s Word. That makes trying to understand the “heaven” God talks about very confusing. In the sermon, we’ll talk about five things that God reveals to us about heaven. Heaven is probably not babies, clouds, and harps. Nor is it a place where our loved ones transform into angels or look down on us. This may sound harsh, but many of those concepts come from myth.
When we mix myth with God’s Word, we actually steal people’s God-given comfort and assurance. Sure it may be a nice thought at the moment, but ultimately those myths become revealed for just that: nice thoughts and nothing more. So too the thought that nothing happens when we die. This is an idea coming only from what observable but forgets what was observed by soldiers and disciples on Easter morning and the following days.
Jesus is real. His death and resurrection are real. His forgiveness is real. What he teaches us about heaven is real. Souls of believers who die here will go to rest with Jesus: the presence of God is heaven. One day Jesus will return, and when he does, all things will be made better than they ever were. We will get to see our loved ones face to face with all our bodies made new. Even greater than that will be seeing Jesus face to face. Heaven is real, but it is not the end. It’s a real place of rest for those who die in faith, the knowledge of which God gives to those who remain here to comfort and console them in the rest of their life here.
May God’s real truth bring you real comfort and real hope in your grief, joy and all the moments between until you see Him face to face.