Heaven is a Wonderful Place!

believing god can i trust god courage to share curse of the fall faith gospel and new age heaven is god good? Jun 06, 2023

It's camp season as I write this blog. I'm headed to middle school camp with our church youth group this coming Friday as a cabin counselor! I've not served in this role in many many years. But granddaughters have a way of talking Nana's into anything!

  If you know anything about me at all, there's not been a summer of my life (since I was 9), that I haven't made my way to camp. I began as a camper, graduated to a counselor, ended up a director, then rose to the position of the person who hired the director, and at my own church I started the camps. :) You could say that, in my world, summer was put here by God for us to have camp! 

It was at camp that we sang the song that inspired the title of this blog post: 

Heaven is a wonderful place.

Filled with glory and grace.

I wanna see my Savior's face.

Heaven is a wonderful place (I wanna go there...) 

While part of the group sang those words, the other part of the group just grunted out the same words with a bass and percussion kind of sound. It's hard to describe and if I were clever, I'd sing it for you--be glad I'm not that clever! 

Nonetheless, I decided that if I were going to write 2 blog posts on the reality of hell, I better counter with a blog post about the reality of heaven.

In my research I found a super great article on heaven that I want to share with you here:

What is Heaven Like? Top Questions Answered With Bible Quotes

I couldn't quite figure out who the author was, but they did a great job of explaining what the Bible teaches about heaven by answering these questions:

  1. Where is heaven?
  2. What is heaven like?
  3. Who is in heaven right now?
  4. Will we know each other in heaven?
  5. What will we do in heaven?
  6. How can I be sure I'm going to heaven?

If you want to know more about heaven and begin anticipating how great it's going to be to live there FOREVER, read the article. I also highly recommend the book, Heaven by Randy Alcorn.  I love to give this book as a gift to those suffering the death of a loved one.

Heaven is a wonderful place. But not everyone goes there.

And that there is the rub, isn't it?

You might even think that it's not very kind of God to keep people out simply for not professing Jesus as Lord; but it's the truth.

In our world today, we've recreated God into our own image and we've redefined love.

We've Recreated God in Our Own Image

We've so emphasized God's compassion and love that we've distorted our understanding of His goodness. God's not good because He unconditionally accepts everyone into paradise...He is good because He judges righteously AND makes a way for us to escape His righteous wrath.

God reconciled His righteousness with His love by allowing Jesus to be a substitute for all mankind, and pay sin's wages by suffering death by crucifixion Jesus, God in human form, stood in for us--paid sin's debt we owed, and proved His success by resurrecting from the dead to never die again.

Some people say this makes God a cosmic "child abuser." That could only be so if He coerced or forced Jesus to die for us. But Jesus willingly fulfilled His Father's plan marching from Gethsemane to Golgotha on His own accord. God's compassion and love can never be understood apart from His holy righteousness. God is good even when He is angry. And God is right even when we feel wronged.

We've Redefined Love

Love is defined today as unconditional acceptance of each person's "right" to determine what is right and wrong for them. We express love in community by celebrating everyone's "right" to live ever-how they choose to live. We have fully embraced Satan's temptation to eat from the tree of knowledge, and our culture is feasting on the fruit of our own intellect and power. 

I plead with you; do not be deceived. There's only one tree of life that will truly satisfy, and it's the one Jesus was nailed to. 

The tree of knowledge will seem tasty at first, but it's rooted in this world. And this world is indeed broken.

I know. It's not popular to say that.

The world is so beautiful! There's so much wonder in it!

The beauty and wonder that we see in our world today is the reflection of the glory of God! But the same world that offers us sunsets, waterfalls, young love, and new life, also houses famine, wars, injustices and abuse.

We can't educate, eat, practice, meditate or exercise ourselves into righteousness.

God alone is holy. Which makes Him...set apart from us and perfect in every way. 

As part of His perfection and set-apartness, He sees sin as it truly is and responds to it justly. His justice is carried out with wrath, fury, anger and destruction. He dealt with sin on calvary's cross, and will continue to deal with sin by damning wickedness, evil, and rebels to Hell. Hell is the eternal reality of the righteousness of God.

If You Were God...

On Quora, one person asked, "If you were God, would you punish someone for eternity and send them to the lake of fire?" 

"If you were God..."

That's what we've kind of become, isn't it? Our own little gods of our sin stained world. And with our limited knowledge, experience, and power--we consider ourselves worthy of making the call for where people spend eternity.

Who are we?!

How can we possibly consider ourselves capable of making such decisions?!

If you are reading these words and thinking to yourself, "this is precisely why I don't want any part of Christianity! They are exclusive, and judgemental, and they believe in a God who actually sends people to hell." 

We do. 

We believe in a God who knows everything; can do anything; and always behaves in a way that is perfect. He judges sin justly. In fact, God explains sin and evil to us by telling us about heaven and hell. Hell shows us the eternal, righteous indignation, and wrath of God; in regard to sin. Heaven shows us the extravagant grace, and mercy of God; in regard to Jesus.

In fact, people who go to hell are not necessarily "bad" and those who go to heaven are not "good." People who reject Jesus as their Savior and LORD endure the wrath of God forever in hell; but those who place their trust in Jesus and humbly accept His extravagant gift of salvation spend eternity in heaven.

God gets to establish the rules because He's God! 

He's right to do so because He is holy (pure, just, complete in and of Himself).

I read an article that accused Christianity of using the hell and heaven narrative to coerce people into accepting the faith. There are some people who resent the fact that, when they were children, their parents told them they were sinners and scared the bejeebers out of them by telling them about heaven and hell.

Ironically I'm writing this blog post during "pride month." It's not just the LGBTQ+ supporters who promote pride.

Most all of us do!

And pride makes you stupid.

Pride blinds you to truth.

Pride actually moved the 2nd in heaven and made him the first in hell.

Pride does the same thing today that is did in the beginning. Pride exalts people to god-like status where they, and not He, determine what is and what is not good. 

If it feels good, and it doesn't hurt anyone else, it is good (unless it hurts a baby in their mothers' womb--then the good of the person who was born first supersedes the good of the person who hasn't been born yet).

And what keeps each other feeling good is good; anything that makes us feel less than, or dares to point out our flaws...anything the makes us feel bad, is not good.

We've decided that we are smart enough, strong enough, savvy enough, and whole enough to make our own rules; live our own lives on our own terms.

People don't mind believing in heaven. What they don't like is that the only people who will go there are those who've chosen to accept God's right to make the rules.

I'll spend the remaining days of my life sharing as whimsically as I can that God rules. He rules whether or not you choose to acknowledge Him. He's a good Ruler, He's kind. God perfectly maintains His holiness and love. He's extended an invitation to "whosoever" and declared His love to "the world." No one is left out. No one left behind. But everyone has a choice to make.

Heaven? Yes, please! (On the merit and sacrifice of Jesus.)

Hell? No! (But without it, you wouldn't have a choice.)


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