I feel God working in me more than ever. I’ve developed a longing for Him and Heaven that I’ve never had before. I’m at my happiest when I am studying His Word or listening to praise and worship music. This peaceful joy can only come from God. As a believer, you can hear about these experiences, and you can believe that people have them and that you can have them… but until you have them you can’t fully comprehend the feelings they involve. I’ve said many times before (maybe not here on this blog, but other places) that God often confirms things for me. He’s doing it again. This is probably the most He’s ever done along these lines, and that’s probably because it is so important.
Looking back, I believe that it started when I was reading “Revolution in World Missions” by K.P. Yohannan (Gospel for Asia). Brother K.P. has such a burden for reaching the lost souls in countries throughout Asia… Countries where preaching the Gospel of Christ can get you killed, or worse. And yes, there are things worse than death. I shared in his burden while I read this book. I prayed that his work to reach the lost would bring people to Christ by the hundreds of thousands and beyond. He and those native missionaries who risk their lives to proclaim the Gospel will be rewarded so greatly in Heaven… and there it is. Heaven. It didn’t really hit me until I finished the next book I read: “The Slumber of Christianity” by Ted Dekker. This book challenges us to reset our focus on Heaven. Everyone looks so hard to find something to make them happy on this earth, and we always come up empty. Happiness here is temporary. Mood, emotions, circumstances… these can take our happiness away. Dekker says we should focus on our goal (Heaven – our Eternal Home) and realize that all the pleasures of this earth are just a foretaste of what Heaven holds for us. If we take this perspective, our happiness will not be based on the things of this world, but on the hope of Heaven.
Now, somewhere in the middle of this I read an article online that led to me writing my last post, “Eternal Hell or an Unconscious Death?” I did my own research to find out if the statements made in that article were Biblically sound. I found that they weren’t. At least not based on what I was finding in scripture. It got me thinking a bit… what really would Heaven be like? Could we ever really know until we got there?
Fast-forward a bit… I was still reading Ted Dekker’s book when I found Randy Alcorn’s book “Heaven” on sale along with the study guide. I ordered it, it came in, and I put it on the shelf. I would get to that one later… maybe after a few of the other books I had purchased but not yet read.
Once again, in the middle of all this…. every Sunday morning a local pastor (Jesse Duplantis) has a 30 minute tv spot. The past few Sundays (this morning was the final one) he has been showing a teaching he did on Heaven, based on a personal experience he had. This teaching is not new. It is several years old and I have seen it before. But it caught my attention in a new way. One night while reading Dekker’s book, it hit me… I was being bombarded with Heaven. It was coming at me from all directions. After finishing Dekker’s book, the questions I had about Heaven had become more urgent in my mind… I had to know. I began reading Alcorn’s book that same night. I am nowhere near finishing that book yet, but Alcorn’s research is so detailed, offering scripture for his statements, that I am already getting answers to questions I had and confirmation for the things I already believed about Heaven. Only now, what I believe is less vague. It has more substance. I can’t wait for Heaven… I’m longing for it. I want to see more believers long for Heaven. More importantly, I want to see the lost come to Christ so they can long for Heaven… and one day get there.
If you have never proclaimed Jesus as your Savior and asked forgiveness for your sins, and you have made through to the end of this post, I beg you… yes BEG you… to do it. Seek Christ and you will have eternal life in the presence of God, receiving all the desires of your heart. I want to meet you in Heaven one day. If you are already a Christian… re-examine… where is your heart? I urge you to read Ted Dekker’s “The Slumber of Christianity.” And I urge everyone, believer or not, to read Randy Alcorn’s “Heaven.” It will open your eyes to what Heaven really is… not the free-floating, transparent, angels-in-the-clouds-playing-harps kind of Heaven so often portrayed in literature and movies, but the real Heaven!