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8/3 So what will Heaven and Hearing God be Like?

As we continue with this eight and last Covenant, it helps if we have some idea of what Heaven will be like.  Will it be like the advertisements or angels floating on clouds, watching what’s going on elsewhere?  Will it be a ‘state’ of floating ‘nothing-ness’?  Will we just be sitting around singing with the angels throughout all eternity?  One thing we know for sure is that this place, this existence will be far, far beyond what we can imagine with our natural mind. 

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him”, 1 Corinthians 2:9. Our minds simply cannot comprehend the glory that awaits us.   Our language doesn’t even have the proper words to describe how things will be in heaven.

In this post, we want to lay out a few important thoughts about the reality of Heaven.  When you think of this eternal existence in Heaven, does it leave you with a sense of monotonous singing and boring inactivity?  So what does the Bible say about Heaven?

Do you think like Mark Twain?  He once sarcastically asserted that in Heaven, for twelve hours every day we will all sing one hymn over and over again.  This is hardly an invitation to eternity that the Bible pictures.

A.  So why think about Heaven at all?

Before we begin to see what Heaven will be like, it will help to think about just a few of the ways in which our life on earth should be impacted by what we believe about Heaven.   What difference does it make to believe in Heaven?

1. It helps build a very real faith in Jesus and the Creator if we can get a glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us.

2.  The hope of Heaven also transforms our perspective on the disappointments and sufferings of this life.  The hope of Heaven can do is help us to put the “dark side” of life in perspective.

3.  Our present sufferings actually play a role in preparing us for that glory to come!

As the apostle put it: “For momentary, light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison”, 2 Corinthians 4:17.

The very qualities and virtues that will fit us for Heaven are today being woven into our soul through the many afflictions of our present life . . . freeing us from the bonds of self-indulgence, creating in us a heart of compassion for others, and prodding us to draw ever closer to the One whose presence we shall enjoy for eternity to come.

4. The hope of Heaven transforms our perspective on the true nature of success.

On every side we hear the message that the “good life” consists in the accumulation of material possessions, the acquisition of power, or the enjoyment of sensual pleasure.

5. The Bible does encourage us to enjoy the many good things of life with which we may be blessed, 1Timothy 6:17. 

However, the hope of Heaven should remind us that this world and all that is in it is passing away, that its glory is for only a season, 1 John 2:15 17.  We truly are “strangers and aliens” in this world, 1 Peter 2:11.  We need to think about the things that will accompany us into the next world.

6.  Thinking about Heaven is not ‘Escapism’.

A comment from C. S. Lewis:

Who talks the most against “escapism”? Those who want control over others  – Jailers. Is it escapist for a baby to wonder about life outside the womb? Is it escapist for someone on a long ocean voyage to wonder about landfall? Is it escapist for the seed to dream of the flower? It is escapist if, and only if, Heaven is a lie. Those who call Heaven “escapism” are presupposing atheism.

6. Finally, the hope of Heaven transforms our perspective on death.

The Scriptures nowhere teach that as believers we are immune from or should deny the reality of the sorrow that death can bring. We also need to remember that in Christ, we share in His victory over death!

Our time here on earth has only been the forward and chapter one to eternity.  It’s the chapters that go on for eternity that every believer needs to also think about.

B.  Part of the next chapter is to Receive our eternal rewards.

At the end of our known time, Creator God will open the ‘scrapbook of our life’.

1.  Believers will never stand before an angry, judgemental God

For those who have come to Jesus and had a heart and spirit change, there are long sections missing from that book. Why? All the things we have done, said and believed have been wiped clean by Jesus’ sacrifice. When we believe Him rather than our guilty Conscience, we have changed our present, future … and the pages in our scrapbook.

You will never, never stand before an angry, judgemental God who holds you accountable for every wrong word, action or sin when you face and work things through with Him! Your Creator cannot and will not punish you as He has ‘already settled the accounts’ at the cost of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

What’s more, God cannot ‘double dip’ as the Aussies say; He cannot accept Jesus price and still hold you accountable! You really are free of all condemnation and shame and guilt and remorse and … the list goes on.

For more on the assurance of this truth, visit our other blog:  www.totalwholeness.mentorsnotebook.com/blog        You looking for this post:  Series #5/11.

http://totalwholeness.mentorsnotebook.com/blog/?p=420

2.  However, we will be ‘evaluated’, like the Steward in Luke 16:1

We can enter into Heaven in different ‘possibilities’, 2 Peter 1:10-11.  We shall find some who enter triumphantly or others in a “stumbling” fashion. The Apostle Paul said that we can either be “rewarded” or “suffer loss”.  It is possible to be “saved, yet so as through fire”, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. In other words, some people will enter Heaven “…by the skin of their teeth.”

3.  It is the time and place to receive our rewards from our labours on earth.

a. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad”, 2 Corinthians 5:10.

The word for “bad” in this case refers not merely to what is “evil” but to what from God’s perspective is “worthless.” Not only will our “works” be evaluated, but also the very motives of our heart, 1 Corinthians 4:5. The Scriptures tell us that praise will come from God to every believer, 1 Corinthians 4:5.  For some there will be more, and for others less.

b.  Our life’s work and behaviour will be tested, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.  With Jesus by our side, He will show us the Refiner’s fire.  Some of our endeavours will be lost as “….. hay, wood, straw…”.  Other things will come out as “…silver, gold, costly stones…”

4.  Many passages speak of our heavenly reward.

This is in terms of the responsibility with which we will be entrusted by God when we reign with Christ in the new heaven and new earth. In Jesus’ parable of the talents, He spoke of rewarding those who had been faithful by putting them “…..in charge of many things” in His kingdom, Matthew 25:21 23.

In another place He spoke of putting some of us in places of authority over cities in His kingdom, Luke 19:17, 19.

In other passages heavenly rewards are likened to the “crowns” worn by victors in athletic contests. Whether literal or metaphorical, these crowns represent different aspects of our heavenly reward.

5.  The most important fact about our heavenly rewards is that they are based not on our position or ability, but on our faithfulness.

Time and again Jesus told His followers that “……he who is faithful in a little thing, will be faithful also in much“, Luke 16:10; 19:17.

We can see from our brief study of Heaven, it will be a place that is far beyond our imagination and finite views. We do know, however, that heaven will be a big celebration. However, we know it will also be a place of righteousness and peace.43

Jesus gives us the best description of heaven in Revelation 21 and 22. What’s so wonderful about it is Jesus’ excitement. You can sense that He yearns to share heaven with us. When you get to heaven He will smile, put His arms around you, and say, “All this I have prepared for you because I love you. Enjoy my fellowship!”

In our next post on Hearing God and what Heaven will be like, we shall see that not only is our future one of incredible worship in so many varied forms, but also a place of fulfilment and total wholeness, with a new understanding of who our Creator is and who we are meant to be.  Join us then,

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

   

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