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Beginning To Look At The End
I was having a discussion the other day about heaven. I was taking the scriptures dealing with the end and how man is going to experience the end of time and what happens afterwards.
We know that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) We also know that the earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10). In between is where we come.
Will anyone get to heaven any quicker than anyone else? Other than the fact that Jesus is already there in heaven at the right hand of God in an authoritative capacity; can we say anyone else is already there? We hear it in funerals all the time, yet I believe the idea is wrong. We know that all will die (Hebrews 9:27). We know that all will face the judgment. Matthew 25 tells us of the great judgment scene where all the souls will be. Sheep on the right, goats on the left. We read that Jesus will speak to one group and then the other. We see that the punishment or reward is issued at that time.
Everyone will be judged and sentenced at the same time. Everyone will go one of two places at their judgment. Either it will be heaven or it will be hell, and there are no other options. We also realize that such sentence is final and will never change or cease.
We often speak about how grand and glorious it will be in heaven. The revelation speaks of that great city and its street of gold, and the tree of live by a pure river. My own personal opinion is that heaven will be so great, that we will not notice the golden street or the tree. We will be there in the presence of God and the Lamb of God, Jesus. This we are told will never diminish or fade away. It will never get old. There will be nothing of the human experience to limit us as we have today. We are limited by time, space, physics, and numerous other things. That is why it is hard to really appreciate the things of heaven, or hell for that matter.
As we concluded our discussion, I realized that thinking about heaven and eternity is what keeps me going in my serving the Lord. I have come to the point in my life where I realize that this earth is just temporary, and what is really important is eternity. When we focus upon heaven and heavenly things, our behavior and actions will reflect such. We will live like we have something to live for. We will live with the purpose God intended for us to have. We will be the faithful of God who practice righteousness, realizing that by God's grace, we can be acceptable to Him.
Paul said that our citizenship is in heaven. We realize that heaven should be our home. We also realize that to get to that home, we need to be faithful and help others go to that home as well. A preacher I know once preached that one cannot go to heaven alone; they have to take someone with them. After studying the parables of Jesus, I realize this is a true statement. If we are going to heaven, we have to lead others there also. We do this by setting an example for them, then teaching them the truth. once they have obeyed the gospel, we need to encourage and edify them. We should assist them if it becomes necessary.
Are you looking forward to going home to heaven?
By Carey Scott

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