Jim and I have begun reading the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I haven’t really given a lot of studied thought to exactly what to expect in Heaven, but I do have some ideas. Probably more ones that I came up with on my own rather than what Scripture actually teaches. So, I look forward to reading this book. Jim and I keep a Bible nearby as we read so that we can check context to any verses cited. (It was good to read early on that this is exactly what the author wants the readers to do!)
Early in the book he writes:
“For every American who believes he’s going to Hell, there are 120 who believe they’re going to Heaven. This optimism stands in stark contrast to Christ’s words in Matthew 7:13-14: ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’
“What would keep us out of Heaven is universal: ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). Sin separates us from a relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2). God is so holy that he cannot allow sin into his presence: ‘Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong’ (Habakkuk 1:13). Because we are sinners, we are not entitled to enter God’s presence. We cannot enter Heaven as we are.
“So Heaven is not our default destination. No one goes there automatically. Unless our sin problem is resolved, the only place we will go is our true default destination…Hell.
“I am addressing this issue now because throughout this book I will talk about being with Jesus in Heaven, being reunited with family and friends, and enjoying great adventures in Heaven. The great danger is that readers will assume they are headed for Heaven. Judging by what’s said at most funerals, you’d think nearly everyone’s going to Heaven, wouldn’t you? But Jesus made it clear that most people are not going to Heaven: ‘Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’
“We dare not ‘wait and see’ when it comes to what’s on the other side of death. We shouldn’t just cross our fingers and hope that our names are written in the Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). We can know, we should know, before we die. And because we may die at any time, we need to know now — not next month or next year. ‘Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes’ (James 4:14).
“It’s of paramount importance to make sure you are going to Heaven, not Hell. The voice that whispers, ‘There’s no hurry; put this book down; you can always think about it later,’ is not God’s voice. He says, ‘Now is the day of salvation’ (2 Corinthians 6:2) and ‘Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve’ (Joshua 24:25).”
I must admit that I find it interesting that people who believe they’re going to Heaven don’t really want to know about God or Jesus. They simply want to believe that they’re going to Heaven. Don’t they understand that Heaven is going to be an eternity — that’s a really really long time — with them?