Sunday, April 20, 2014

Heaven is For Real

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. ~ 2 Peter 1:19

Heaven.  It is the place most desired among men.  Heaven.  It is the place that garners so much intrigue in the minds and conversation of men.  Heaven.  It is the place that holds such mystery as to what it is really like. With so much wonder of this place and with it being the destination of so many, what is it like? Who goes there?  What takes place there?

Well first of all, God is there.  Yes, God, very God who created everything and rules over everything.  He is there.  Heaven wouldn't be heaven if God was not there.  Yet, isn't it strange that men created in His image do not want to have God on earth but when they come to die, they want to be in heaven, where God dwells?

    “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them ~ Revelation 21:3

What else can we expect in heaven?  No tears.  No death.  No sadness.  No pain.  No sin.  "Hey, wait a minute, leave that sin stuff out of this!"  No, no, we're talking about murder, theft, abuse, things like that.  "Oh, ok.  Proceed."  Yeah, things that you did on earth.  You know, all those times you murdered another with your hatred because after all Jesus, the God of heaven, said whoever hates his brother has committed murder in his heart.  (Matthew 5:21-22)  But we'll stop there as that alone is enough to condemn you to that other place that very few want to go to.

          and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”~ Revelation 21:4

This is just a taste of what we know of heaven and just how do we know about heaven?

The Holy Scriptures.

No other source.  Not men nor 4 year old boys who have visions of heaven.  Nor hucksters looking for a buck from gullible people with pockets deep enough to throw good money down the dirty sewer of cleverly devised fables. (2 Peter 1:16)

So when Todd Burpo tickles your ears by exploiting his own flesh and blood by telling you that Jesus rides a rainbow colored horse, disregard it as at best, an overactive imagination from a kid still euphoric over a visit to the Emerald City.  At worst, and probably more likely, a dad who has given his son the kool-aid of a fish story the size of Greenland.  Or when you're told that Mary the mother of Jesus has dark hair and brown eyes (tough stretch on that one) and has a light over her head, please point that description out to me from scripture!

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. ~ 2 Peter 1:20–21

Halos?  Really!?  Why did God wait 2000 years to tell us and to use a 4 year old boy?  We're told that we get to "choose if we want to walk or fly."  Of God we're told, "we can feel his love everywhere."  Feel love?  Again, really!?  How do I feel love?  Is that like feeling my toast is hot?  Gabriel "looks like God" or is it the other way around?  I'm confused.  Gabriel and Michael are "taller than Jesus but Jesus is way more powerful."  By now, you may be saying (I hope you're saying!) you're making this stuff up.  I wish I were but in actuality the Burpo's are.  Go ahead check the FAQ on their website.

Well that's enough of that!  I hope it is for you as well.  I'm past the point of wanting to throw up.  Such foolish lies are a mockery of God and tools of Satan to deceive you.  Oh, and don't expect to run into Michael Landon up there either, that is unless he placed his faith solely upon Christ's satisfactory atonement on Calvary before he succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 1991.

Tell me how a 4 year old Burpo was given such privilege yet the Apostle Paul was forbidden to speak of the things he saw?

And I know how such a man....
was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:3–4

Tell me how nowhere.  No, no, nowhere in scripture can we find these foolish descriptions of heaven. Nowhere do the apostles of Christ speak of these things.  Nowhere can we substantiate these things with the authoritative word of God as given to His saints whom He chose to speak through.

Oh and because people need such help in understanding this make believe heaven a movie has been made and produced by T.D. Jakes.  Yes, that T.D. Jakes.  That lover of money that doesn't even believe in the Trinity but an aberrant view called Modalism.  The only thing he has to gain by producing the movie version is a few more Bentley's compliments of the unwary public looking for another misrepresentation of the Christ of heaven.

But back to what scripture says about heaven.  Go ahead and look.  2 Chronicles 18:18 and Acts 7:55 tell us this great description of heaven, specifically the throne.  They saw God on His throne and the host of heaven.  They saw God and Jesus on His right side.  And......well, that's it!  That's the description.  We've already seen above the Apostle Paul's description of heaven.  Look in Ezekiel chapter 1 and 10 or Isaiah 6.  Tell me how it matches with Todd's, er Colton's, account of heaven.  It doesn't.  Because the "Heaven is For Real" account is the imaginations of a huckster looking for some cash.

So what did the biblical authors see or express?  They were fearful unto death.  They saw glory.  They saw majesty.  They were deeply aware of their sinfulness and God's holiness.  And guess what, they were visions. They were not death experiences where they went and came back.

Who has ascended to heaven or descended? ~ Proverbs 30:4

No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. ~ John 3:13

Friends, please!  If you're giving attention to such stories, if you've tossed some bills into that fire, turn your mind away from such folly, such cleverly devised fables.  If you must have fables, pick up a storybook.  Seeking after and believing such fables is dangerous for your soul and may lead you to see with real eyes and feel with real feelings the horrors of that other place that is quite hotter and quite full of pain, agony, and tears.  A place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched.  (Mark 9:44, Luke 13:28)

So in the end, why are we so enamored with heaven?  Why are churches flooded with people who typically wouldn't darken her doors except when Easter or Christmas or catastrophic events happen?
Because unbelieving people desire to enjoy life and then enter some eternal rest where they get a life of ease devoid of all the problems earth has presented to them.  Nice stories of heaven make people feel good but feelings are subjective and never a trustworthy source of hope.

There is only one who provides that.  Christ.  For He is the hope of glory, the reward of those who diligently seek Him, the desire of the nations.  If we're looking for anything but the Christ of heaven, we are looking for ease and we will not get heaven.  Look to Christ and get more than you ever could have hoped for or imagined!

 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;
and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;
and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. ~ Revelation 21:22–27

Is your name written in the Lambs book of life?  If so, look for Christ.  If not, look to Christ and He will make you fit for heaven but it will take some laying down of all other gods and following Him alone.

He must increase,
~ Kevin

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