ON GOING TO HEAVEN


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

I’ve noticed that a lot of folk want to go to heaven when they die, but they don’t want to go to church while they live. Could it be that they really don’t want to go to heaven, but just want to escape hell? Hummm.
What really happens to a saved, never-dying spirit the moment death comes? The scriptures are very clear: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. How long does it take to go to heaven? Just the twinkling of an eye. There is no process; there is no purgatory.
But just here is where things seem to get a little confused in the minds of a lot of nominal Christians. It is thought that St. Peter will greet one at the golden gate; that the departed will be in a bodily form; that all manner of activity occurs in heaven and a tear drop will never be shed. Is this really the way it is? Think with me!
While confessing freely that I have never been to heaven, there are still some things that may be known, according to Bible revelations. It must be emphasized that since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, (I Cor. 15:50) only departed spirits may go to heaven upon physical death. The breaking of the fifth seal in Revelation gives one extremely rare insight into the state of saved departed spirits. They are seen as being under the altar of God, not running around all over the place. It is furthermore stated that the meaning of death is a rest from all labor. Moreover, it is revealed that the departed spirits of righteous persons cry for the Lord to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth. This is a subliminal cry of sorts for these departed spirits to be clothed with resurrected bodies. Oh, it is a blessed state to be sure, but not in keeping with common visions of that state and place.
When the Lord Jesus returns to earth, when the resurrection and rapture has occurred, all of God’s people will have new, incorruptible bodies. They will live again on this earth for one thousand years with Jesus ruling from the throne of His father David.
When the 1,000 year rule of Jesus is completed, the kingdom will be yielded up to the Father that God may be all in all. I Corinthians 15:28. At that time, the universe will melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a loud noise. 2 Peter 3:10-12. Then God will recreate new heavens and a new earth. 2 Peter 3:13. There will be a great and unimaginably marvelous city on the new earth: New Jerusalem. God’s saints will inhabit this new city whose street is of gold, and whose gates are of a single pearl, and whose foundations are precious stones. Revelation 21. How long will it last? Forever and ever. Now this is more like the vision of heaven that most Christians have. What a blessed eternity that will be! I would not miss it for anything, even my life, but, sadly, there are multitudes who will because they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two things All men should know 1) that all God requires of man was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, and He may be had by faith! 2) that no man may come to God except through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

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