Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Heaven? Yea right. There are many ideas conjured up by the word Heaven. It seems to be an “umbrella” word for anything after death, and even among Christians, there are various and sundry concepts of heaven, most of which are not at all Biblical. These were influenced by everything from culture, to geography for our parents, but for us, the greatest offender is certainly the media.
Is it important? I think so. In the movie “a Few Good Men”, Tom Cruise asks Col. Jessup what he did in preparation for his trip from Cuba to the United States. His point was to contrast the Col.’s preparation for a two day trip, with that of Private Santiago’s permanent move.
Spiritual Switch: Are you going? Are you Sure? If you learned you were going to a foreign country, wouldn’t you exhaust yourself learning, googling, seeking any information you could find about your destination? And this is a temporary move. Heaven is for ever.
Before we discus what heaven is, lets spend this week on what it is Not. Folks seem to use a “cut and paste” method of determining what heaven will be like. We take a slice from television, a chunk from the New Age movement, stir in some personal opinion, and sprinkle with some Bible. What do we get? a) Heaven is a state of mind. It’s different for different people. It’s whatever you want it to be. If you can experience Hell on earth, isn’t the reciprocal true? The world tells you there is no such place, but if there is, it’s whatever you want it to be. Question: If Heaven is whatever you want it to be, Who is God?
If you get nothing else out of this today, get this. Heaven is a real place. Furthermore, what is true about heaven is true for everyone, and what is false is false for everyone. b) Heaven is Boring. A Farside cartoon shows two angels sitting on a cloud when one says to the other:
“I wish I’d brought more books.” c) Purgatory comes before heaven. This is nowhere taught in the Bible. To those who espouse it, it is a layover between earth and heaven where your post-baptism sins are dealt with, or “Purged”. This is simply not necessary. “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son, cleanseth us from all sin”. 1st John 1:7. Your bible may read “His blood is continually cleansing you from all sin”. 2nd Cor. 5:8 = “to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord”. See also, Luke 16. Then there is d) The Gospel according to It’s a Wonderful Life, where you evolve to Angelhood. This comes from where Jesus told the Pharisees that there would be no marriage in heaven; Matt. 12:25. Next week, we’ll look at some things heaven Is, and till then, more important than our finite ability to define heaven, is your ability to go. Focus on this, and God Bless.