I am interested and not surprised to hear people’s reactions to spiritual ideas on campus.
If you ask folks about the supernatural stuff they see in their favorite Netflix show or movies (current or an older show), I have found men and women ready to believe in ghosts, goblins, demons, heroes, villains, and all sorts of characters and expressions of power and authority.
I like to ask people I am chatting with if it is intellectually sensible and responsible to consider ideas from the greatest selling book of all time, and from the author of that volume? In other words, can someone believe in heaven, especially based on what Jesus said?
The responses I have received have ranged from, “I do not want to go to heaven, but Alaska instead,” to “I hope all of you Bible-bangers who are talking about heaven are not headed there, because if that is the case, I do not want to go there,” to “Everybody’s going there anyway, so why talk about it?”
I respond and ask if they have studied the topic of heaven to come to an informed answer and most have brushed me off. A few asked what the Bible had to say and I began by stating that heaven is the place where God dwells. The writers of Deuteronomy 26:15 and Revelation 13:6 affirm that truth and reality. Why not? Where else would God be?
It is insufficient to argue that any place can contain God (1 Kings 8:27), yet heaven stands to be a place where the greatest manifestation of God’s awesome presence and holy glory can be.
Some argue with me that heaven is merely a state of mind, not a real place, due to a lack of clear evidence. Yet the physician Luke wrote in Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:9-11 about Jesus ascending to a place above and outside of our world. Jesus Himself spoke often, clearly, and confidently about going to the Father and then returning to take His followers to the place where the Father is (see His words in John 14:2). These writings have led me to conclude that heaven is an actual place, even though the GPS coordinates marking its location are unknown to any but God.
Read Revelation 21:1-6.
According to Revelation 21:1-6, heaven is the place where no traces of evil and sin will exist. God dwells there in undisputed authority and will dwell with us in intimacy and rule over His people with kindness and care. He does so now, but we who make it to heaven will be able to see and experience God more fully in unbroken fellowship. Heaven is the place where there will be no pain, grief, illness, or sin to get in the way anymore.
How does it make you feel to realize that Jesus is preparing a place for you in the Father’s house? How is Jesus preparing you to be with Him? How are you preparing to be with Him?
Do you recognize that God loves you? Understand that sin separates each of us from God and His love. Jesus said that if you believe that His death is your bridge to having a personal relationship with Him, you can be reconciled to God (John 3:16). Respond today by turning from your sins and turning to God. Then trust in the Holy Spirit to help you walk in Christ-likeness. Grow devotionally. Thoughts of heaven should affect how we live on earth today.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz