Archive for the ‘Heaven’ Category

Story of healing / protection

Posted: January 17, 2012 by wisconsinsk8er in Heaven
Tags:

this is a story starting of when i was 5 and then skipping to when i was 17 . Well when i was roughly 4 years old me and my mom went to do the laundry at the laundry mat in town and it was a typical day you know those perfect sunny days well i was sitting on the floor playing with my little tonka trucks right behind my mom while she was loading the washer and out of no where a car comes speeding through the parking lot and right into the laundry mat and hit my mom and all of a sudden all i remember was seeing these 2 figures come out of no where they each grabbed under my arm’s and i was instantly on the other side of the laundry mat and every one was speechless well those two figures were Jesus and my Guardian Angel now Skip ahead To age 17 almost 18 i was constantly Tired and sick and not wanting to do anything not even go to church and i fell away from god that summer till about july and i had these two red spots show up on the back of each leg so i went to a walk in clinic and the doctor gave me a pill to take and said go see you Dr in 2 weeks so i did and the walk in Dr said i said something that i didn’t so my doctor ordered a couple test’s so i did that and he called me about an hour after i got home that afternoon and he said ” Tim are you sitting down?” i said no he said well you might want to i sat down and said okay and he was like well Tim you have Leukemia and i just started Bawling and i said okay what do i do he said well i want you to see a Hematologist and i just started praying and my church and friends and family prayed for me non stop and i went to see that doctor could not get a accurate read on my blood so i went home for a couple months and took iron and vitamin c so i went back to the hematologist 2 months later and he said well i have some good news and some bad news . The good news you no longer have Leukemia . you had it i know i saw it but i have no idea what happened to it but it is not there bad news i have no idea what is wrong with you so Moral of the Story No matter what you are going through always Stick to God cause he will bring you through it even though at that point in time it may not seem like it

A Better Place?

Posted: January 17, 2012 by whoneycutt in Heaven

“Well, we know _________’s in a ‘better place’.”  Oh, how often we hear these words spoken at funerals; words that are intended to comfort those who have just lost a loved one to the “last enemy” which is death.  I fear that sometimes (not always) people take a false comfort in this idea which is actually, if you really think about, missing the point.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Heaven is a place, and I do believe it is a better, much better, place than here.  I do not think it is a place, however, that any technology devised by humans, no matter how sophisticated we may get with it, will get us to, though, because it is in another dimension, and you must be in spirit to arrive there, in that place.

I have a funny little story about when I asked someone once about how to get to heaven.  It is humorous upon first read, but then, when you think about it, is a most profound realization.  Once, when trying to explain the Gospel to my 6 year old daughter (who is now 18 and in college!), I asked her, “What do you have to do to get to heaven?”  So the little child, in her childlike innocence and concrete thinking, said “die.”  You see? Perhaps you chuckled; I laughed out loud (LOL) when I first heard it!  But upon further reflection, she is so right.  Paul even makes this quite clear when he writes,

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 . . . we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.
(
1 Corinthians 15:50-54).

You see, we have to be “changed” to experience our eternal and immortal inheritance.  Paul also says in 2 Corinthians 5,

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, . . .   from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Notice what Paul says here.  He acknowledges that in our flesh, “this earthly tent,” we are “absent from the Lord” but when we are “absent from the body” we are “present with the Lord.”   Paul here not only indicates clearly that we must have a different form when we reach heaven (that is, I would venture to say, why people who report NDEs, like Colton, do not disappear, but their physical bodies remain in front of us, while the true person has an ‘out of body’ experience), he also makes a most significant observation about being in heaven; and this is what it is all about, I believe.  He says, “to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the LORD!”  There it is; the most glorious truth of heaven.  Not so much that it is a better place, but what makes is such a “better place” and that is because the best Person is there.  People who focus on the “place” of heaven miss the important point that heaven is really about a Person; and that person is the LORD Himself.  For Paul, this reality was what made death such “gain” for him (Philippians 1:21).  Read again what he says to the saints at Philippi,

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. . .   23 For I [have] a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
(Philippians 1:21, 23)

It seems clear that Paul’s anticipation of heaven was not the better place, but being “with” the best Person, and this is what makes heaven “far better” indeed.  To die is gain not because we will be in  “a better place,” but be in the very presence of the very best Person – our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  This brings a whole new meaning to RIP – Rejoicing In the Presence!

Colton’s testimony about heaven had two powerful ideas, Jesus told him, a four year old, that He died so we could “be with His Daddy” and later, Colton told that dying man that he had no need to worry because the first person whom He could expect to see when he arrives to heaven is Jesus!

Frankly, I do not know, nor do I really care, what heaven is as a place, the most important thing to me is the Person that awaits me there; the One, and only One, who, because of His love, left his royal throne and glory and came into this dark, sin-infested world and willingly suffered its pains and shocks, to experience the ultimate humiliation of death by cross in order to, as Colton said, as well as Peter the Apostle,  “bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

Do we really understand  Heaven if all we anticipate about it is its being a “better place” and are not wanting with all our soul, to be with the  Best Peron? For that matter, do we really understand the Gospel, if all we are concerned about is what kind of “place” it is, and what kind of “mansion” we will have (which I do not think Jesus taught) and we are not focused on being “with” the Person that paid the necessary price to make the way for us to get there?

Blessings In Christ,

Doc. H.

 

P.S. –  Jesus said ““You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:23-24).    Understanding this, Peter tells us clearly, “18 For Christ also suffered once and for all for sins, . . . that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).  You  will die, and when you do, as the Scripture says, “the body returns to the dust from which it came, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).  You have an eternal and immortal spirit, the real you, and if you die without having come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins for which He died, you will not be with Him for eternity.  Trust that He is the one who died and paid for yours sins now and heaven will be your home, and Jesus will be the first one you will see when you awaken in that new dimension after your death.

 

Proof of An Afterlife?

Posted: January 10, 2012 by liftyourvoice1 in Heaven
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This weeks topic on Lift Your Voice is “Heaven.” It is a very broad subject and I have yet to sit down and discuss with Dr. H as to how we will approach the subject as a whole. But, the inspiration for the topic this week is the book “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. I was given this book for Christmas and I read it in one day. It is an excellent book and it chronicles the true story of a Todd’s son Colton and his trip to Heaven. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a heartwarming true story, and it can strengthen the faith of many believers.

On that topic in particular I will be discussing. For our regular listeners you will recall that we did a show on doubt several months ago. When I was younger one of my biggest doubts and worries was about the after life. It was a struggle for me, and I believe for many people still living because we simply do not know what will happen when we die. Will I see a bright light? Will it be like I’m sleeping? Will I just cease to exist? Even though I was a young believer these were the questions that graced my mind. But, thankfully as I’ve grown I trust in what the Bible says. I believe that upon my earthly bodies death I will see my Savior in Heaven and spend eternity with Him there.

But there are still doubts and doubters out there. They ask questions like what proof is there other than the Bible? We live in a culture that seeks evidence. As Dr. H often says Christianity and the Bible is not about blind faith, but about having evidence to back up what we believe. Thankfully in a book that was given to me for Christmas there is an article that tackles this very subject. The following portion of this post is taken from the book “The Complete Bible Answer Book” by Hank Hanegraaf. The title of the article is called “Is There Evidence for Life After Death?”

–IS THERE EVIDENCE FOR LIFE AFTER DEATH

Atheists believe that death is the cessation of being. In their view, humans are merely bodies and brains. Though they reject metaphysical realities such as the soul a priori (prior to examination), there are convincing reasons to believe that humans have an immaterial aspect to their being that transcends the material and thus can continue to exist after death. Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland advances several sound arguments for the existence of the immaterial soul.

First, from the perspective of logic, we can demonstrate that the mind is not identical to the brain by proving that the mind and brain have different properties. As Moreland explains: “The subjective texture of our conscious mental experiences—the feeling of pain, the experience of sound, the awareness of color—is different from anything that is simply physical. If the world were only made of matter, these subjective aspects of consciousness would not exist. But they do exist! So there must be more to the world than matter.” An obvious example is color. A moment’s reflection is enough to convince thinking people everywhere that the experience of color involves more than a mere wavelength of light.

Furthermore, from a legal perspective, if human beings were merely material, they could not be held accountable this year for a crime committed last year, because physical identity changes over time. Every day we lose multiplied millions of microscopic particles—in fact, every seven years, virtually every part of our material anatomy changes, apart from aspects of our neurological system. Therefore, from a purely material perspective, the person who previously committed a crime is presently not the same person. A criminal who attempts to use this line of reasoning as a defense would not get very far. Legally and intuitively, we recognize a sameness of soul that establishes personal identity over time.

Finally, libertarian freedom (freedom of the will) presupposes that we are more than mere material robots. If I am merely material, my choices are merely a function of such factors as genetic makeup and brain chemistry. Therefore, my decisions are not free; they are fatalistically determined. The implications of such a notion are profound. In a worldview that embraces fatalistic determinism, I cannot be held morally accountable for my actions, because reward and punishment make sense only if we have freedom of the will.

While the logical, legal, and libertarian freedom arguments are convincing in and of themselves, there is an even more powerful and persuasive argument demonstrating the reality of life beyond the grave. That argument flows from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best minds of ancient and modern times have demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that Christ’s physical trauma was fatal; that the empty tomb is one of the best-attested facts of ancient history; that Christ’s followers experienced on several occasions tangible post-resurrection appearances of Christ; and that within weeks of the resurrection, not just one, but an entire community of at least ten thousand Jews experienced such an incredible transformation that they willingly gave up sociological and theological traditions that had given them their national identity. Through the resurrection, Christ not only demonstrated that he does not stand in a line of peers with Abraham, Buddha, or Confucius but also provided compelling evidence for life after death.

-Adapted from Resurrection

For further study, see Gary R. Habermas and J. P. Moreland, Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1998).

Matthew 10:28
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

(This excerpt is taken from pages 121-124 of the Book “The Complete Bible Answer Book” by Hank Hanegraaf)–

I found truth in these words and  I pray that you do as well. I also found comfort in the words of Colton from the book “Heaven is For Real.”  On page 119 Colton is talking with a man who is dying and he says these words… “It’s going to be okay. The first person you’re going to see is Jesus.”  For followers of Christ we can trust those words. And what amazing words they are. I cannot wait to see Jesus face to face in Heaven and if He truly is the first person I’ll see when I get there how grand it will be.

Brandon Witmyer–Host and Director of Lift Your Voice Ministries

Heaven

Posted: January 8, 2012 by andreacaresse in Heaven
Tags: , , , ,

Wow… If I thought last week’s topic of “Forgiveness” was a big subject how much more so this week’s topic is!  Heaven is one of the most fascinating things to think about – maybe because there is absolutely nothing like it on earth.  Even in our wildest imaginations and most spirited thoughts we are probably incapable of giving Heaven’s beauty even a remote amount of justice.

What are some things that come to your mind when you think of Heaven?  For me, wow… words can’t even describe it…   Absolute peace beyond comprehension.  No fear and perfect rest.  An unfathomable joy that reaches every atom of my being.  Beauty that is impossible to imagine with my limited earthly thoughts.  I think about so many things…

When I knew the topic was going to be Heaven for this week there was one question that came immediately to my mind:  What is that first moment when we arrive in Heaven going to be like?  I can only hope and imagine what glorious sights, sounds, and feelings we’ll experience.  First and foremost:  to be physically present with our God for the first time… To be able to see our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as we’ve always wanted to see Him.   The sheer glory and majesty surrounding the throne of God that makes our legs shake… the power and might of His presence which causes us to fall prostrate on the ground.  Will we even have the courage to look upon Him?  Will His fabulous white and pure glory enwrap us so that all we can do is fall down and breathe-in His presence?  Or perhaps, when we fall on our faces, will Jesus reach down and pick us up and give us that one and only kind of perfect hug that we’ve all been waiting for?  Something inside me says that this glorious bear hug awaits His children. The final completion of everything our souls have been longing for:  Forever eternal, literal and perpetual union in Heaven with our Heavenly Father.  It’s true that we have an eternal relationship with Him here on earth, but in Heaven we will never lose the fellowship we have with God.  The mountains and valleys we experience in our walk with Christ here on earth will never be found in Heaven.  There will be no sin to cloud that relationship. That in itself is a glorious thought.

Beyond finally meeting our Lord face-to-face, the other joys of Heaven pale in comparison… but are exciting things to think about.  What other sights and sounds will we see? Will it be white and golden with vivid colors?  Will it be like combining the most beautiful sunrise we’ve ever seen with the most breathtaking scenic vista we’ve ever discovered?   We get some descriptions in the Bible, and also of the New Heaven and New Earth that come after the defeat of satan. But exceedingly great detail about Heaven isn’t really given.  I believe God knows that sometimes, surprises are more enjoyable than knowing exactly what’s going to happen.  But we do know that Heaven is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen on earth.  No artist’s rendering could ever touch the surface.  Not only is the visual beauty incomprehensible, but what we will hear is unlike anything we’ve ever heard as well.  Innumerable amounts of angels praising God in a chorus like no other.  I’m sure that we also will be joining the voices and lifting praise to our Father.  Just think… millions of believers from since the beginning of time exclaiming His goodness in one accord.  We’ll see the faces of those we knew on earth and once again be reunited with believers who have gone on before us.  We’ll know believers that perhaps we never met on earth, but we will know them there.  And what about what we will smell?  Will there be scents? I think so… like stepping out on a beautiful spring morning and filling our lungs with the smell of honeysuckle and clover wet with dew.  That fresh, clean air that makes you want to inhale deeply and sigh with sublime happiness.

I also know there will be a time where we stand before our Maker and give an account for our lives… A time when God will give us crowns in Heaven based on how we have lived our lives for Him here on earth.  Knowing this causes me to want to live the most God-honoring life possible while I am alive in this world.  I don’t know what that interaction is going to be like with my God, but His Word says there are no tears in Heaven, so I can rest in knowing that it will be a loving judging of my life–not one of harsh words which one could expect here on earth.

This brings me to my final thoughts for this post… I find incredible peace and joy in knowing that there will never be sorrow, will never be pain, will never be worry… period.  No one will ever be concerned with all the fallen human issues that we face today like: sin, guilt, sadness, abandonment, sickness, hunger, persecution, and death… I am very much looking forward to that kind of place.

As believers who look forward to eternity in Paradise such as this, let us be sure to live a good and productive life for God now.  Sometimes we can get so caught-up in the future, that we forget about the present. This could be another reason God didn’t fill us in completely on what Heaven is going to be like… He doesn’t want us rushing to get there and surpassing the existence we have now.  He has us on earth living our lives for a purpose.  Let us never forget that.  Since we are in Christ, we can look forward to that day when we arrive to our Heavenly Home… right now we are simply visiting planet earth for a very short time in comparison to eternity.  We need to not waste each opportunity God presents to invite others to come with us to that Resting Place.  After all, that’s one of the very reasons He’s placed us here.

Andrea MacBean –  Listener and Contributor