Heaven is for Real, Part 3

    06.09.14 | Eternity by Will Pareja

    Part One here & Part 2 here

    Curiosity + Discontent = Facebook, Ford & Mariano’s (the list goes on…)

    Curiosity plus discontent often creates wonderful (mostly) new companies and inventions in our world. The same equation in the Christian faith is a recipe for disaster.

     

    We’ve started a series in this column on the merits of the published experiences of people who have “died and gone to heaven.” The believer who cares about Christ’s truth will carefully listen and evaluate. So far, the tools we’ve given for this discernment process are:

    1. Think from and act upon what God has said not on what he hasn’t (Deut 29:29).
    2. Similarly, Scripture is the divine authority over human experience (2 Peter 1:3-4, 16-21). This one point alone should settle the question, but sadly is either an afterthought or not considered at all. Let us not seek information about heaven from the wrong places. Go to the Bible and be content with what you find there. It is true faith to take God simply at his Word.

     

    My hunch is that Christians who gobble up near- or after-death tales are not content with what the Bible says. Compared to these modern, sensational stories, the heaven of the Bible is boring, right? Not so. This leads us to the third tool in discerning the tales: The few times the Bible records someone having a vision of heaven, the details are sparse AND they are obsessed with the glory of God (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul and John)! Furthermore, anyone in the Bible who died and came to life never wrote anything down. Where do you find the glory of God? Not in a 5 year old’s heart-warming account but ultimately in Jesus. And where do you find Jesus? In Scripture.

     

    Heaven, ultimately, isn’t about us. It’s about the ONE who is enthroned there. Not everyone ends up there. Some (since they were probably youngsters) may have been fed the line by well meaning relatives that those who don’t make it to heaven are the really bad people (like murderers, ponzi schemers, sadistic dictators, etc). This deception is most unfortunate because it ignorantly belittles God’s justice and glory.

     

    We must bridle our curiosity in making our own version of heaven. Heaven is not an extension or embellishment of the American dream. It’s so much better, but we’ve got to submit our imaginations and hearts to the right Source of information.