Parson to Person
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
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
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!
William Andrew Dillard
THE COMPOUNDED EYE
As a small child in the community of Jenny Lind, Arkansas, a particular delight infrequently occurred by having a nickel to spend at one of three local stores. Clark and Bailey General Store sat on the west side of the highway traversing the community, and Presto Skinner’s store, later Griffin’s sat on the east side directly across from Clark’s. South about a block was Marion Matthews’ General Store. They were small buildings as most country stores were in the 1940s, but each of them had a large, glass, candy counter displaying all manner of delectable delights. Spending the nickel was not going to be easy because it demanded a decision to select one above all the others that must be left behind. With nose flattened against glass, the chore began. Imaginary tasting of each potential selection took a while much to the impatience of the proprietor. Finally, a choice was made, a purchase competed, and a happy kid walked out of the store with his sweet prize tickling taste buds on the walk home. What does this have to do with anything? Think with me!
Good decision making requires correct, studied information and good judgment to achieve a single eye. The prophet Elijah saw so many of his countrymen caught in the trap of the compounded eye, I Kings 18. His challenge to them was: “How long halt ye between two opinions?” They could not serve God and Baal. Their eye of life was compounded, and as Jesus taught, they were full of darkness, Matt. 6:22-23. That continues today as the religious offerings have increased exponentially together with a thousand other things vying for time and attention, offering promises that may or may not be true.
Your life is your nickel, and the world is filled with a myriad of offerings, brightly colored and touting themselves to be worthy of your interest and your years. It is the fool who spends it frivolously, but spend it each one will while often the compounded eye remains, or is narrowed in focus wrongly.. So long as one’s eye is compounded, full potential will never be achieved, and those whose eye is single, but focused on the wrong things will suffer eternal loss. Life is your nickel. Be very careful how you spend it: what you focus on as truly important. Narrowing the compounded eye to single vision with eternal hope can only be accomplished as Jesus, His person, words, and works are the focus!
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen,” Revelation 1:7.
One, hot, August day Joe sat on the porch looking down the dusty road—waiting. His dad had gone on a business trip but was due home any moment. Joe did not act very nicely while his dad was away. He disrespected his mother, terrified his sister and his mom had warned him many times to behave politely—he did not listen to the warnings and now he knew the consequences that faced him. Suddenly, he saw a cloud of dust rising from the road—daddy is coming home.
Many people are like Joe. The gospel has been preached, and they have turned a deaf ear. The Bible is made available in every form possible and yet, they do not read it. A witness of His salvation has told them personally but they mock and laugh. They must face the consequences of their choice. The clouds are gathering—Jesus is coming.
My friend, do not be like Joe. This is your warning—Jesus is coming again. Do not turn away from the message of salvation. Do not spend your Sundays, leisurely, as you please. Come to Jesus as He pleads. Do not laugh or mock when family, friends, or even strangers tell you about the only begotten Son. Believe. He is coming again, and that day will not be a happy day if you do not heed the warning.
Jesus is coming in the clouds on that day. It will be a sad, sad day for many people when their loved ones are gone and they alone remain.