Does heaven really exist?

2/7/2007

By Francis Scott
Guest Columnist 

Why do we so seldom speak or hear of heaven? Is it because we do not consider it important or necessary with so much happening in the world today that gets our attention?  

Is it because there are more and more religions with other types of reward for dedication that we are confused or question our own beliefs? Or maybe we just don’t believe or think about what will happen when this life is over. Have we forgotten that there is life after death and where we spend it depends entirely on our acceptance or rejection of the one who assured us of its existence? 

Heaven is a reward. It is the reward promised by the one who will determine who receives it. The event is open to everyone, but only the ones willing to run will receive the reward.  

Although I have never received a significant reward, I have always appreciated what rewards I have been offered. One day soon, I anticipate the greatest reward a person can receive. Jesus has offered me an invitation to live with him in glory, and I have accepted his invitation to the greatest feast ever. We are all invited. I hope to see all my family and friends there among the crowd. 

What will heaven be like? For one thing we know there will be light. There will be no need for the sun, for the holiness of God and his son will light the heavens. We know the city will be walled because there will be great jeweled gates that will stagger our imagination. The streets will be of pure gold and precious stones of beauty we have never before beheld.  

There will be many mansions there that will make the beautiful Royal Hilton in all its beauty insignificant. There will be angels and heavenly bodies we have never heard of and according to Revelation exciting beasts and living creatures of every description, all of which along with us will glory in His presence. 

We know it will not be crowded, although there will be multitudes of people and legions of angels. Our king has prepared a place for us. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” and “I go to prepare a place for you.” Don’t you know it will be a breathtaking place? 

Don’t worry about being bored. Heaven is not just an eternal existence where we sit around and wonder what we will do tomorrow or next week. Heaven will be one eternal day of activity, so awesome and wonderful that man’s mind could not accept or comprehend. God is saving this description for us to experience when we arrive.

The greatest reward we will experience will be when we reach the presence of our holy and righteous God and savior. The radiance and glory and majesty are unimaginable to us because no man has seen God in his majestic glory.

I am struck by the words from the hymn, When We All Get To Heaven that states, “Just one glimpse of Him in glory will the toils of life repay.” Imagine standing in the presence of our savior. 

The scriptures tell us little of the details of heaven perhaps because of our inability to comprehend the beauty and glory there, but enough is given to assure us of a wonderful place we don’t want to miss. Just think about it. No more will we experience pain or heartache. No more will we experience unhappiness, depression, fear, hunger or oppression, only good things because God is good, and he only has good for us. We are his people, his kin, his heirs. I believe the angels will welcome us into heaven. The scripture tells us there is much rejoicing in heaven when we are converted (Luke 15:7). Remember how everyone applauded the football or baseball star when he caught the winning pass or hit the winning home run? That is a minute example of the rejoicing in heaven at your conversion. 

I believe there is a heaven prepared by our savior for all who will follow him and keep his commandments. I miss the great John Wesley and Charles Wesley hymns that tell of a glorious abode for those who are faithful to Christ, and I need the old hymns that warn of missing that reward if we fail to stay true to him. I need the sermons that encourage me to live so that one day I will be reunited with friends and loved ones who have gone on to that reward. I might not appreciate those sermons that warn me of the pitfalls of life that are so available, but I thank my God I have a pastor that believes there is a heaven and also sends out warnings. 

The reward of eternal life is available to everyone. Jesus died to make this possible, but we have to accept it and not everyone is willing. The way is hard. The world is opposed to it because it makes them uncomfortable. Sometimes the stand you have to take hurts, but be assured the reward is greater than the hurt. Heaven is worth everything. Don’t you think we should talk about it more? 

Scott is a resident of  Hurley and attends Pascagoula First UMC.