Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter in Heaven

by Dan Jones


On Monday morning, the day after Easter, I was listening to Kinship Christian Radio. There’s nothing odd about that, as I am always tuned in on the drive to work.

My attention was drawn, however, to a conversation between announcers Allen Jones and Steve Ware about Easter in heaven.

Allen and Steve are a joy to listen to. Allen has no shortage of enthusiasm for the Lord and Steve is one of the kindest people I have ever met.  They are both excellent at what they do and each is truly a blessing individually and they are even better together.

Steve, however, had endured a rather rough 2015 as both of his parents had gone on to be with the Lord in that same year.

But Steve wasn’t complaining or looking for pity. He was wondering out loud what Easter in heaven would be like for both of his parents to take in.

Now, Steve didn’t say he knew for sure what Easter in heaven would be like, but he had a mental picture of Jesus riding a white horse down streets of gold as countless throngs praised our Lord and Savior.

The book of Revelation does indeed mention Jesus on a white horse (Chapter 19) and streets of gold. (Chapter 21) Revelation is also packed with praise of the LORD, both from angels and from saints.

Actually, Revelation doesn’t describe praise and worship as being limited to just saints and angels:

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13 NIV)

Granted, the context of this scene is that it is taking place just before Jesus returns, so this is not an “ordinary” day in  heaven, but…

But, is there ever an “ordinary” day in heaven?

We know that there will never be any more tears, pain, death, or mourning. (Revelation 21:4)

In addition to the streets of gold, Revelation also describes a river and the tree of life. The tree bears fruit each month and “its leaves are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2) Obviously, we will continue to enjoy the beauty of nature or these things would not be here. Will we enjoy a cool drink from the crystal river or enjoy the taste of fruit from the tree? I cannot say for sure because it’s not specifically spelled out, but certainly the leaves exist for a purpose, so it would certainly seem the water and the fruit would also.

The New Jerusalem will be immense and gorgeous beyond our present ability to imagine. The foundation of the city will be made of precious jewels more pure than any seen on earth and its gate will be made of gigantic pearls. (Revelation 21:15-21) Jesus will have prepared a place there for us. (John 14:3)

And there is no temple in the city of heaven because:
the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. (Revelation 21: 22b-26 NIV)

So, we know heaven will be incredibly beautiful. And, because there is no sin and no death and no pain, we will have nothing to worry about. There will be no mortgage payments, no doctor bills or health concerns of any kind, no cars breaking down, no poverty, no pollution, no corruption, and absolutely nothing associated with sin.

We will truly and honestly be carefree.

And, when we put off these imperfect bodies (2 Corinthians 5: 1-4) we will also be granted not just a full understanding of who Jesus is, but we will see him face-to-face:

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV)

And it will go beyond even that:

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)

But, best of all, with no more sin between us and God, with all healed and revealed, our relationship will be restored to what He intended all along.

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7 NIV)

We will finally and completely and perfectly be the sons and daughters of the King of All with nothing to confuse or darken or inhibit our relationship with Him or with each other. We will be His children in perfect relationship with him, not just for a day—but for all eternity. We will finally be able to perfectly and completely love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We will know exactly who we are in His eyes and so we will be able to love each other completely and fully in perfect relationship with all our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will fully grasp how wide, how long, how wide, and how deep is the love of Jesus Christ and we will be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God! (Ephesians 3:18-19)

So, to Steve and Allen I thank you for setting my mind and heart to contemplating on this subject, and (if I may be so bold) I would respectfully suggest that every day in heaven will be an indescribably glorious, incredible, joyous celebration of the Resurrection and triumph of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ beyond our present ability to think or imagine.

HALLELUJAH! HE IS RISEN!

Today’s Praise.  

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:8 NIV)

No comments: