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A glorious dose of reality

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“… no mind has conceived … what God has prepared.”– 1 Corinthians 2:9, Isaiah 64:4

There are all kinds of things about Heaven I don’t understand. But still, I don’t think popular or embellished church teaching about the recognizable tangibility of heaven is all that helpful in explaining what it actually is. Our love, trust and faith in God makes Heaven a worthy, rational goal. Heaven’s adventure is in what we don’t know about it.

Neither do I think Heaven is transactional, i.e., “If you behave in this life, then you will go to heaven.” When carefully examined this “quid pro quo,” i.e., “something for something,” winds up being all about “me and what I do.” Eternity, suddenly, centers on my frantic efforts – Did I do enough? – rather than on God’s abiding grace. Our shortcomings, real and perceived, result in guilt that displaces God’s love and grievously suggests a wanting faith. I become the point instead of God’s glory being the point. Heaven never should be dangled like a carrot on a stick; it’s about God, not me.

We can’t earn Heaven and, to me anyway, there is little point in trying to define it. Jesus on the cross and our faith in Him is the only thing that makes us worthy of Heaven because that’s what the Bible says.

You can look it up – John 14:6.

Heaven is what it is, and God has it handled. Whatever He does with it is better than anything we can imagine.

So, I’m a big fan of Heaven, just not a big fan of trying to explain what it is. If we love God, praise Jesus, trust the Holy Spirit, know the Bible is true and love others, that provides sufficient context for anticipating eternal joy.

Nonetheless I am curious what others think about Heaven. Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, described a fascinating go-round with death and heaven chronicled in his New York Times bestseller book, Proof of Heaven.

What I really like about the book is that it, better than anything else I can remember reading, puts science in what I believe to be its proper context regarding ultimate reality. The Heavenly, God side of things, not science, is the real reality, Alexander writes, and it’s truly not something we can imagine.

Secular scientists, of course, blast Alexander’s book for its God-centeredness while many Christians blast the book’s biblical off-centeredness. It is definitely not a treatise on John 14:6.

But regarding Alexander’s report that Heaven is more than we imagine, different from this life, and beyond our understanding?

To God’s glory, we can take all that to the bank.

Walters (rlwcom@aol.com) observes what a surprise Jesus was. Maybe Heaven tops that.

 


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