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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Knock-Knock-Knockin on Heaven's Door

A few Sundays ago, in the sermon at church, a situation was presented and a question asked so I am going to put the same forth to you since it caught me off guard more than I care to admit. I will warn you, it is somewhat convicting and a thought provoker if you are honest with yourself. Picture whatever you think Heaven is in your mind. Go ahead, really close your eyes, sit and picture it for a few moments.

Beautiful sunshine everywhere, maybe? Streets of gold, happiness and no more suffering, angelic music flowing from everywhere, perhaps. Maybe a 24-hour restaurant serving up all your favorites any time and you never have to worry about too many calories, too much cholesterol or trans fats. Your clothes ALWAYS fit just right. A place where no one is sick or ever dies. You see all the lost loved ones you have missed and have many happy reunions. Maybe even your long lost Fifi and Fido are there to lovingly greet you-and they never have dog breath or hairballs! Most of us can agree that whatever image of Heaven we have in our minds is one of utter perfection and sheer blissful happiness. Now, what if Heaven had ALL those things, and then some (Starbucks flowing from a continuous pump, Coke Zero on tap!!) and you could enjoy them without restriction, but there was one catch. Suppose you were met at the entrance to Heaven by and told "Welcome, good and faithful servant! You made it! Come on in and enjoy your eternal life, but just so you know, Jesus is not here."

How does that compare with Heaven in your mind's eye? When you picture Heaven, IS Jesus there? In EVERY part of that picture? Or is that one of those things you take for granted--"of COURSE He'll be there, duh!" but He never quite makes it into the actual picture you have of Heaven? Maybe He's inside that Starbucks you just cannot see Him right then? Is He off talking with someone else and so you know He's there of course, you just maybe didn't have Him exactly in that particular image? Why is He missing from your picture? Would you be willing to say "No, thanks" to the welcome at the gate and instead say "well, if Jesus isn't there, I don't want to be either"? Is your goal to get to Heaven, or to get to Jesus?

I'd love to hear what you think.

(BTW-If you are not sure if you really care or know if Jesus is there, please feel free to contact me by email, and we can talk about that more specifically than we could in the comments)


Troy said...

Man, you make a guy think, huh?

Well, we've talked alot about the day we all see Jesus ... and there's a Judgement meeting ... not judgement in a bad way but a good way of how we've done with what He's given, revealed, and entrusted to us ... so I think of that first ... and of Him showing me my treasures that have been built up, and finding out my new assignment for His Kingdom!

However, my personal opinion is that we may see Him on the new earth before we see him in heaven as I feel we're living in the last days! COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS!

And, oh yeah, enjoying every no-fat, no-calorie peanut butter concotion He's ever invented :)

nell ann said...

This truly is a thought-inspiring question...and one I'm going to ask in my small group this coming week. I am excited to come back and read what your comments say.

And if I were to be honest, I'd have to admit it would take me a minute to think about it at the pearly gates, and I desperately hope that milisecond is over before I've wasted too much time eating peanut butter concoctions instead of looking for Jesus.

Great point!!

Kimmie said...

Jesus...yup, its all about Him.

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

Kristi J said...

ok, so you made me think...but I'd still choose jesus over my Starbucks...and I REALLY love STarbucks...but I have to admit..I was picturing all that good stuff and didn't picture him there with it...I'll picture him from now got me there, kristi

be_a_Mary said...

There have been times in my life when I have felt SO CLOSE to God--when I could FEEL him and even HEAR him, and those were beautiful redeeming times. I think heaven will feel like those days, only magnified to the nth degree. I'm excited for it ... as far as the physical presence of Jesus, I've sort of assumed he can come and go as He pleases?! :)

missy said...

thanks for this post! i'm not one who likes to think of heaven, honestly, because it can weird me out(are we flying? do you know what's going on on earth? etc). so consequently, i think i don't put my hope in it and get wrapped up in the here and now. but i do like to think about my jesus. so this concept both challenges and encourages me! i will be chewing on this one all day.

Mellie said...

Hey Jody,
I was there too, and thought about that question.Reading it today on your blog, two thoughts dawned on me that are things we know, but they hit me fresh. All that great stuff about heaven- Jesus is the one doing all that -for us, his bride ("I go to prepare a place for you..."). It gives him more pleasure than we can possibly imagine ("to know the love of Christ though it is so great we can never fully comprehend it...")to fit it for each of his unique, specific loved ones! Also, it dawned on me again that really, it wouldn't be there, all that good, lively stuff, without him, that that life is his life ("I am", "the Lamb is it's light"). I thought afresh that my heavenly bride groom is full of love, joy, exuberance, creativity, fun, happiness, and to be with him is to experience heaven( "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"). It is sort of like when we moved here from Texas and were en route;it dawned on both George and I again that home was not a location, it was our family. We were our home. That is how it felt. And that is like heaven. Our home isn't just that heavenly place,it is our family (the church) of whom Jesus is the husband ("the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all")!