Jill's mother recently passed away at 88 years old - some of those years good and some difficult. However all in all she had a good life, being married 63 years, raising 3 children, enjoying 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. That's pretty good in this day and age when so many precious peoples' lives are being cut short and robbed of some of these joys. She will be missed, and yet we are thankful she is relieved from the suffering she endured in her body, and now enjoying the joys of Heaven!
Whenever death happens, we can feel a myriad of emotions. Some experience sadness, regret, sorrow, anger, pain or heartbreak, and for others relief or closure. And then there's this mysterious unknown that most all of us think about... HEAVEN!
Is there really an afterlife? What is Heaven? Does it really exist? If it's real, then what is going on up there? Do our loved ones really see us? Do they think about us? Do they communicate with us and us with them?
The list of questions can go on and on, and I really don't have all these answers. However there are volumes of books on the subject that give various points of view about this very interesting and passionate subject. But to me, here's the bottom line:
HEAVEN IS REAL!
Some have testified of dying and going to Heaven and then being sent back and describing what they experienced and saw. These stories are always gripping, yet many times questioned by the atheist and scientist who say it is all in their minds.
Although I can't prove it myself since I haven't been there and come back with any evidence, there are enough testimonies and enough scriptures to convince me that Heaven is a genuine, amazing place where the people of God will live forever with Jesus Himself, where our departed, believing loved ones preside, and myriads of angels are worshipping God.
Paul the apostle even saw a glimpse of Heaven:
I was caught up to the third Heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don't know - only God knows... But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NLT)
Wow! Now that's amazing - Paul could not even speak about it because it was so awesome!
On the other hand, in Revelation 1:10-11, John saw Heaven and God told him to write it down! He then goes on to show us more amazing pictures of Heaven in this book.
The truth is, Heaven is a GLORIOUS, INDESCRIBABLE, UNIMAGINABLE place! And guess what!
WE GET TO GO THERE!!
Jesus said in John 14:2 Jesus told us,
I go to prepare a place for you.
All throughout the Bible we are shown pictures of Heaven and the glorious place it is.
But the most beautiful thing about Heaven is that we will be living with JESUS, in His very presence forever!
He goes on to say in John 14:3, I will come again and receive you to Myself,
that where I am, there you may be also.
I love that. Where He is now, we will get to be there too! Now THAT's Heaven to me! :)
So here's the bottom line: None of us are getting out of here alive.
We will all die some day. But as born again believers, as soon as we leave this body, we can be assured we will go immediately into the presence of Jesus forever!
Thank God, our loved ones who have gone before us are with Him in Heaven. Often, when I am praying for my children and grandchildren, I will thank God that HE has our son Beau with Him in Heaven and is taking better care of him than I ever could!
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named. Ephesians 3:14-15
I like what King David said when he lost his son, I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.
Until that day comes, let's decide to honor God by living a full life that is pleasing to Him.
I like what someone said - It's not about the two dates on our tombstone that count...It's what we do with THE DASH between those two dates that matters. That's where we live.
The important thing is not how many years are in your life,
but how much life is in your years! (Dr. Edward Stieglitz)
In the words of our dear departed friend, Dave Duell,
It's Only Forever,
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What an amazing time we had in Nicaragua, filled with heartfelt ministry to hundreds of poor children from schools and feeding programs in many different cities, singing our son...
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