This weekend, my family attended the estate auction of my grandmother... There were several things that would make the people on those antique reality shows drool. I smiled at the thought as my wife and I walked along the tables looking at everything. But then it happened…we walked by a box of wooden shelves and I saw the crescent moon with a stairwell going from one landing at the bottom of the moon to a landing at the top.
My father was a Christian - an exceptional Christian. He was a saved over 32 years ago and served the Lord ever since. He was ordained as a Deacon to serve in 3 churches and gave sacrificially of his money and time to God and His church. He loved teaching the Word of God (as a Sunday School teacher for 20+ years). But he especially loved witnessing to the lost about the power of the gospel to change a life!
Did you know that more people believe in heaven than hell? Even if they do not believe in the actual existence of the place, almost everyone has their own concept. Some people believe it’s where all the “cool people” go, and that only fuddy-duddies go to heaven. They laugh and joke about the wild parties that take place, and that the “real” party won’t start until once they arrive. Others believe we are living in hell now and that our only escape is by death into heaven. Still others believe that hell is just an exaggerated expression that people use to curse with but that it is not an actual place.
Joy is built-into & a natural by-product of salvation. If you are not enjoying your salvation, there’s a specific reason... Maybe it's because you're not really saved. Or maybe sin is zapping you of all godly pleasures. Or maybe you've forgotten how awesome your salvation really is!
“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for this world were those who thought most of the next.” - CS Lewis According to 1 John 3:2-3, the reality of Heaven produces a purifying hope - a motivation to real, spiritual change (sanctification). Jesus told us to pray in faith for His kingdom to come to earth, so we should expect that to happen in us first, then through us (His kingdom is His authority, power, & glory manifested in beauty). First, Christ delivered several revolutionary principles to live by...
"What makes Heaven great is not only what's there, but also what's not there!" In order to fully understand what God has planned (in Eternity), we've got to understand what God had first planned (in Eden). The way it will be - will be the way it way originally intended. Revelation 22:3 is clear: God will reverse the curse and restore creation back to its former glory. There was perfection in every way... Unity in nature between animals and man. Peaceful productivity. Beauty unhidden. Total harmony. But sin shattered that world into a million tiny pieces, and since that moment sin and its curse have caused pain for all of humanity.