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Imagining Heaven: Remember, we reap what we sow

 


Many of the ideas and Scriptures used in this article are from the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn.

Psalm 16:11 states, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever more.” God invented fun. On the New Earth we will be free from sin so that we can experience joy and eternal pleasure. We will grow in knowledge and develop our skill sets. Since Adam and Eve sinned, man’s best days have been in the past. When we are no longer under the effects of the Curse our best days will be in the future. We can worship God knowing that His gifts to us will not be subject to death in Heaven. Like the psalmist we will sing to the Lord and praise God. Both music and dancing are parts of our worship of God.

Martin Luther said, “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.” God created humor. Luke tells us that those who weep now are blessed because they will laugh. Romans instructs us “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Sometimes circumstances can pile up on us and we just need a good laugh.

The gospels encourage the poor, those who hunger, those who weep, and those who are insulted, rejected, hated, and excluded. The blessings Jesus promised will be ours on the New Earth.

Because we reap what we sow it is wise for us to bless God and others during our brief time on this present earth. When we help people who cannot repay us we will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. We can lay up treasures in Heaven that we can enjoy forever. A great investment is faithfulness today to God that will pay eternal dividends. We also need to remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

God gave skill to craftsmen in the Old Testament and the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. With renewed minds and the gifts He has given us I expect that many of us will be working on God ordained projects on the New Earth. Recently one of my older friends passed away. As he was laying in the ICU I told him he was a saint not because he never made any mistakes but because he believed in Jesus. I told my friend that I didn’t know if we would hunt together or farm together but I do believe that we will not be playing harps and floating around on clouds in heaven. Some folks will probably play musical instruments but that is not my strong suit.

As believers we should be optimists. Our hope is in Jesus. James tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials. Luke instructs us to rejoice that our names are written in heaven. 1 Peter 4:13 states, “Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” Randy Alcorn tells the following story concerning how we should anticipate Heaven: When H.S. Laird’s father, a Christ-loving man, lay dying, his son sat at his bedside and asked, “Dad, how do you feel?” His father replied:,“Son, I feel like a little boy on Christmas Eve.” Just before Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged he prayed aloud, “Oh, God, this is the end; but for me it is just the beginning.” We weep over death but rejoice that our saved friends and loved ones are present with the Lord.

As we conclude this series on Heaven let’s remember that the Lord’s appraisal of our lives is what ultimately matters. Peter encourages us to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God. Moses is an example for us of one who stayed faithful because he was looking forward to his reward. Let’s spend our time and money wisely. Hebrews 12:28 states, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” Remember that we were made for Jesus and Heaven.

May God bless you big.

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This is the 12th and final column in a series of examining the Christian view of heaven by Kevin Barsotti, pastor of Ark Church in Havre.

 

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