Not only is heaven a prepared place for prepared people, but also it will be too sweet to miss. How deeply tragic it would be to be absent when the golden street of that celestial city opens wide to receive its own. We dare not miss the eternal joy of that land beyond the river of death where the redeemed of all ages will gather for the grandest fellowship ever known. H.L. Gilmore wrote these wondrous words of hope: How precious the thought That we all may recline, Like John the beloved and blest, Where no tempest can harm, Secure in the haven of rest!
We have the ability to hope to the end for the joys yet to be revealed (1 Pet. 1:13) as we look for the glorious appearing of the Lord (Ti. 2:13). Because our citizenship is in heaven, we have genuine hope as an anchor for the soul as we look for a better country (Heb. 11:16). Christians comfort one another with the eager anticipation of being received into glory after the toils of this life come to an end (Psa. 73:24). We know because Job 3:17 tells us there is a place where "the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest." We surely plan to go there. But love of worldly things will cause millions to miss heaven. An unknown poet clearly reminds us about the tenacity of materialism:
You have time to resort to mountain and glen;
And time to gain knowledge from books and men,
Yet not time to search for the wisdom of God
But what of your soul when you are under the sod?
Then, what of the Judgment? -- Please think, I emplore!
For time will be lost on eternity's shore.
We need to make a definite reservation for heaven lest our names fail to be enrolled there with "the spirits of just men made perfect" (Heb. 12:23). Such a tremendous goal -- eternal bliss -- demands tht we abstain from evil, actively pursue righteousness, and grow daily in the traits of spiritual maturity that result in an abundant entrance into the everlasting kindgom of heaven (2 Pet. 1:11).
When we come to the crossroads of life that will determine our destiny, we must choose with courage the challenging road of Christianity rather than the glitter and gold of selfishness and compromise (Matt. 7:13,14). Suffering for the cause of the Lord means we will reign with Him forever (2 Tim. 2:12). Steadfast loyalty shall be rewarded abundantly (1 Cor. 15:58), but cowardice will lead to a realm wherein many are banished from God's presence (Jno. 8:21-24). For people who are forever lost, it would have been better for them never to have been born (Mk. 14:21).
Therefore, we need to take heed lest we neglect so great salvation and have to pay the sad dividend of a tragic blunder, called by the writer of Hebrews, a turning back into perdition (Heb. 3:12; 10:38,39). What are some of the major reasons that many people will miss heaven?:
1) The power of Satan (2 Cor. 2:11).
2) The separation of sin (Jer. 3:25; Isa. 59:1,2).
3) Shallow excuses (Lk. 8:14; 14:18).
4) Ungodly parents (Prov. 14:11).
5) External religion (Ezk. 33:31).
6) Delay (Hos. 10:12).
7) Dying outside of Christ (Rev. 14:13).
We can overwhelm all of these ploys of the devil through the blood of Christ, the Word of God, and a life of surrender to the Savior (Rev. 12:11). Heaven will be too grand to miss. Do not dare make the mistake of living in error and dying in sin lest the majestic sweetness of glory pass you by.
A lack of love for the truth (2 Thes. 2:10-12) keeps millions still in the bondage of iniquity and, therefore, unprepared to meet the Judge of all the earth (Jude 6). One of the saddest points to contemplate concerning the vast number of souls who will be lost in the final day is the empty lives they manifested while upon Earth. May we live and love and serve in the Master's Will so that heaven can be our eternal abiding place because we chose to live for Christ in the here and now. By the matchless grace and mercy of God we dare not miss heaven. Then in the words of "On Zion's Glorious Summit," we can: Sing the song of Moses And the Lamb by and by, And dwell with Jesus evermore."
By Johnny Ramsey in Gospel Minutes, Vol. 54, No. 34, August 26, 2005.
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