Every so often, the news outlets carry a story about someone coming back from the dead. A couple of months ago, there was a story about a man in Ohio who had a heart attack and experienced about 45 minutes without a heart-rate, pulse or any blood pressure. When he awoke, he spoke of walking toward heaven, beautiful visions of flowers and light and a loved one who told him to go back to earth.
Every time I read one of those stories I am perplexed. Frankly I begin to wish the Lord had been more explicit in His word about Heaven and all it involves. And that’s why I love Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.
In the very first chapter, Randy asks the question, “Are you looking forward to heaven?” It is a great question and I am convinced that far too many of us are hesitant to answer it honestly. Frankly, too many believers are unsure of what’s to come.
Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn articulated the perspective that many of us wrestle with. At one point, the old spinster Miss Watson is lecturing Huck about his mischievous ways. “She went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn’t think much of it. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said, not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.”
“Going around all day with a harp and singing…” is not only a boring view of heaven; it is an unbiblical view of the promise to come.
To offset that erroneous perspective, Randy includes a contrasting view with a quote from Charles Spurgeon (the English pastor). He said, “To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labor, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.”
Boring endless church service or the “summit of my wishes…” I vote the later.
This week, if you struggle a bit with imagining what God has in story for His kids, may I recommend Alcorn’s very helpful book? It would make great summer reading for an individual and a terrific book to read as a family.
While not everyone will agree with every assertion, it will be wonderful fodder for great discussion!
Remember; “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9 KJV)