“You Brought Pavement?”

I once heard a story that was intended to express how heaven’s riches are beyond measure.  It was a story about a rich man who was near death.  He grieved because he had worked so hard and wanted to carry his riches with him.

The rich man pleaded with God and was allowed by God to bring one bag. Overjoyed, he loaded his suitcase full of gold bars.  Upon arrival at heaven, he was checking in and was told by Peter the bag would not be allowed.  He insisted that he had permission.  Things were checked on, and it was found that he did have approval from God.  When the bag was opened to see what was so needed by the man, Peter exclaimed, “You brought pavement?!”

Imagine a place that is so vast in its riches that gold is its pavement!  The Bible says…

“…And the street of the city

was pure gold, 

like transparent glass.” 

(Revelation 21:23)

It reminds me of the time in the Bible when the queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon and see the splendor of His wisdom and His kingdom.  Remember that she is very rich herself.  Yet, look at her words when she saw THIS kingdom!  She says…

I did not believe the words until I came

and saw it with my own eyes; 

and indeed the half was not told me.

Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the 

fame of which I heard.”

(1 Kings 10:7)

Even she was “blown away” by what she saw!  Solomon’s kingdom was so loaded with gold that nothing was made from silver for “silver was counted as nothing in the days of Solomon” (1 Kings 10:21).  Imagine that!

Indeed, God uses the grandest earthly riches and colorful words to try to describe heaven’s beauty to us.  Yet, I am still persuaded that within the first few seconds of actually seeing it with eternal, spiritual eyes, we will exclaim, “The half has not been told me.”  

An entire suitcase of gold is as nothing there, especially when the street is laid with the finest gold ever quarried!  And then to see God and our Lord Jesus Christ whose wisdom, splendor, love, and kindness have no equal!

O, for a home with God!  Read about it.  Ponder it’s majesty.  Obey God’s plan of salvation.  Live the adventure that leads to the mansions of glory.  You will be eternally glad you did.

– Jeff May

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Heaven — The Ultimate Vacation Destination!

vacatinIt’s vacation time!  Schools are letting out for the summer across our nation.  Families are looking forward to vacations in the mountains or at the beach, and a fortunate few may even visit some exotic luxurious destination in a distant land.  But no vacation spot on earth can compare to the glories of heaven.

The Christian’s ultimate destination is heaven, which offers wonderful amenities and gorgeous vistas to be enjoyed with beautiful people for all eternity.  While heaven is not a physical place for fleshly bodies, it is a place that the Bible describes using earthly metaphors.  Imagine seeing an advertisement for a vacation spot that has these features and amenities:

  • You’ll stay in a mansion prepared by Jesus. In John 14:2 Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.”
  • Everything is new and nothing decays. The Lord promises that He will make “all things new” ( Revelation 21:5) and that nothing can destroy what we’ll possess (Matthew 6:20; Hebrews 10:34)
  • You feel great every day. There is no pain or sorrow! (Revelation 21:4-5)
  • You have a glorious body without diet and exercise! Philippians 3:20-21 promises that Christ “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.”
  • Your mansion is in a beautiful city, filled with beautiful people. The glory of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ illuminate the city, “and the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it” (Revelation 21:21-25).
  • And all of this can be yours at no cost to you! It is given freely for eternity! (Revelation 21:6-7)

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Do you wanna go?

The good news is that if you have been born again, your reservation has already been made by God Himself.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope…to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

If you’ve ever had to cancel a vacation reservation at the last minute because “something came up,” you know a little about disappointment.  Let’s make sure we keep our reservation in heaven.  Let us make going to heaven our greatest desire, and let us pursue that desire with our most diligent effort, no matter what comes up.  “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:13-14).

– Steve Klein

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Jesus’ Blood: A Special “Wite Out”

Quite often I come across Christians who wonder how they could ever be fit for heaven.  They wonder, “If heaven is a perfect place and I am imperfect, how could I ever be allowed there?”

wite-outJesus’ blood provides the way for us to be blameless, perfect and suited for heaven.  It has been compared to liquid paper (“Wite Out”) used by secretaries, especially in the days of typewriters.  The boss hires a secretary and expects her to turn out excellent work.  But he knows that even while she strives for excellence, she will occasionally make a mistake.  So, he provides “Wite Out” to her.  The “Wite Out” is not provided to encourage mistakes but rather to cover them.  One day she is typing and she notices that she has made a mistake.  Immediately, she reaches for the “Wite Out,” blots out her mistake and then retypes.  What is presented to the boss at the last?  A perfect paper.  It’s not perfect because she has been perfect but because she made use of the “Wite Out” and then retyped to get it right.

Likewise, you and I can be presented holy and blameless before Jesus on the judgment day.  Each day, with the help of God, we strive to be like Jesus in every way.  When we sin and fail to be like Him, we reach for His blood through prayer and ask God to blot out our mistakes.  The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  Once He has blotted out our sins, we then continue to be about the business of striving to be like Jesus—retyping, if you will.

The blood of Jesus, our special “Wite Out” keeps us perfect before God.  It’s our progress in becoming more and more like Jesus that God wants to see.  And when we have given our all to be like Jesus, God will cap it off at the last by making us just like Him—perfect and suited for heaven (1 John 3:2-3)

 “Though your sins are like scarlet, 

they shall be as white as snow” 

(Isaiah 1:18).

                                                                                                    - Jeff May

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A Day in the Courts of God

Is there somewhere you long to be more than any place else in this world?  Think about it.  Maybe it’s a favorite vacation spot, a cabin on the lake, a concert by your favorite entertainer, or just an easy chair in your living room surrounded by family.  Most of us have that ideal place that stirs within us a wonderful mix of feelings — joy, excitement, peace and contentment.

For the Psalmist, that ideal spot was the tabernacle of God.  He longed for it with every fiber of his being.  “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalms 84:1-2).  He’s a bit obsessed, isn’t he?  But what a magnificent obsession!  In verse ten he sounds like a kid talking about getting to go to Disney World when he says, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.”

Heaven is God’s eternal tabernacle.  Just one everlasting day in God’s presence will be better than any day you’ve ever spent on earth, even if you could live a thousand lifetimes.  As the apostle John is about to be shown heaven’s splendor in the book of Revelation, he writes. “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God’ ” (Revelation 21:3).

For those who love God and long to be with Him, there could be no better place than God’s eternal tabernacle.  May it be our life-long obsession.

 – Steve Klein

 

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