WHAT ARE THOSE IN HEAVEN DOING RIGHT NOW?
It’s natural to wonder from time to time about heaven and what it is like. At funerals for Christians, we are reassured that our loved one is in heaven enjoying eternal bliss. We’ve no doubt that is true, and assure ourselves that we will be in heaven when God calls us home. Yet what is going on in heaven? What are our loved ones doing right now? Does the Bible tell us? Well, yes and no.
God doesn’t give us a lot of detail about what heaven will be like so we don’t know specifics, but He does say enough for us to get a clear picture of eternity. God uses a wide brush to paint broad strokes describing the after-life. One reason is that there really isn’t vocabulary to adequately describe something like heaven. There is nothing to compare it to. Describing it is like describing blue to a blind person. As it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). We can’t personally see or hear what our loved ones are doing right now, but God does give us enough information so that we can form an accurate picture.
First, and foremost, we have assurance that those who put their faith in Jesus are in heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This starts immediately, the moment our earthly lives are over. “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). When a loved one leaves us it creates a painful void in our lives, but we can be encouraged by knowing that they are instantly in God’s presence, and will be there for all eternity.
Jesus told His disciples that He was preparing a place for each one of us in heaven. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2-3) He has been spending the last 2,000 years preparing heaven specifically for us, making a place for each one tailored to their individual tastes and likes. Remember, it only took Him 6 days to create the beautiful world we are in, so imagine what heaven will be like after 2,000 years of preparation! So, when you visit your loved ones’ final resting place, remember that they aren’t there but they are in their special dwelling made by Jesus just for them!
Revelation 21:4 paints an inspiring picture of the eternal state of believers in heaven, describing a future where pain and sorrow no longer exist: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This verse assures us that in heaven, there will be no more sorrow – including the sorrow of missing loved ones. It helps us look forward to experiencing joy with our loved ones in God’s presence together.
What our loved ones are doing now we will be doing for all eternity as well, if we have put our faith in Jesus. God promises that “we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). “We” means all of us, together, forming a vast multitude of believers who will worship God and the Lamb (Revelation 7:9-10). We will join our loved ones in Jesus’ presence worshiping God and Jesus. That’s what they are doing now. Would they rather be back on earth? No way! And neither will we when God calls us home.
Heaven is not just a distant and mysterious realm, but a real place where we can enjoy reunion and eternal communion with both God and our loved ones! That’s what they are doing now and it’s what we will do one day as well. (February 5, 2024 Doylestown, PA)
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
Who do you know that is in heaven right now? Take a moment to picture them there.
What would they say to you if they could communicate with you?
Thank God for the assurance you have that you will be there with them one day if you put your faith in Jesus.
INDIA UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST From a pastor friend in India: “I got a mild stroke 3 weeks ago. I was admitted to the hospital for a week. By God’s grace and the prayers of many God’s people, I got better and now I am at home, discharged from hospital. I am under medication for 3 months, after which I shall see our doctor again. Keep praying for me, for complete healing. I am so comforted by reading the testimony of Magic Johnson and meditating God’s word. I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. Philippians 1:25, (NLT)
“Magic Johnson, a former Lakers National Basketball Association president, player and part- owner of the NBA announced he had AIDS in 1991. In the years since, Magic and his wife, Cookie, have given their lives to Jesus Christ. In a social media post a couple of years ago, Magic said, “Today marks 30 years living with HIV…. Through it all I learned to trust in Jesus and I learned to trust in God!” (Nicole Alcindor, ‘I Learned to Trust in Jesus,’ The Christian Post, November 21, 2021). Notice the verb he used: learned. Songwriter Andraé Crouch said the same thing: “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.” Trusting the Lord is a learning experience as we grow in faith. When we trust the Lord with today’s load, we see His faithfulness and learn to trust Him even more for tomorrow’s uncertainties. Paul told the Thessalonians, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
“It is so sweet to trust in Jesus! Whenever you face a crisis, turn to the Lord and find the needed promises in His Word. Pray today that God will help you trust Him more and more with every passing day. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, O for grace to trust Him more! (Louisa Stead)
Please pray for these pastors in India and CTO as we seek to help them grow the Kingdom of God.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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