Yeah, not me.
An art lover, it’s not that I don’t appreciate, or hold at great value, an illustration or painted canvas.
It’s that the artist’s depiction of heaven, and of angels, and of important people of long ago shows a boredom that is unequalled.
Am I really going to stare endlessly up with solemn attention for eternity at some unidentifiable blinding light? Uuuh..Sounds fun.
Are you going to miraculously know each note on a harp, and play Renaissance-y type music on a cloud forever and ever? Yikes. Wouldn’t even look forward to it.
Are the guardian angels we’re assigned really these weak and puny, but cutsie diaper clad, chubby thighed, arrow shooting babies? How’s that going to protect me from danger?
I talk to many people about Jesus, and what I’m finding, and have found in the last two decades, is an extreme apathetic view of heaven. I understand that a supernatural place is hard to visualize. We have nothing to compare it to, and so we guess. But unfortunately, what we’ve tried to put into words, and what we’ve tried to express artistically is accidentally causing heaven to be only the lesser of two evils.
As a matter of fact, I’ve even had people of all ages say, “Well, I’d rather go to hell anyway, cuz that’s where my friends will be. It would be better to party and live it up with all my buds in hell, than play harps all day on clouds!” I will talk more in depth about the very real place called hell in a later blog, but I would encourage you to listen to what the Bible says about heaven. If the thought of spending your days sitting on clouds falls flat, and uninspiring, let’s listen to the King of this place, who created it, and reigns there.
Scripturally, it is described as a kingdom, perfect and personal.
Jesus himself called it “the world to come”, and “eternal life” in the gospel of Mark chapter 10. So we know this state of being goes on forever and ever.
Jesus states that in this kingdom “they will neither marry, nor be given in marriage.” In Mark chapter 12 he states that this feature of un-marrying in the kingdom, likens us to the angels who apparently don’t have weddings and honeymoons either.
Some of you already are like, “sign me up!”
Jesus also, in the same chapter, talks about long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God still told Moses at the burning bush, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Not past tense, I was the God, but present tense I Am..He IS..and Jesus goes on to say, “so He is the God of the living, not the dead.”
Jesus is playing with words, alluding to the facts. Fact is, people on earth are ‘dead’ in their sin, and in eternity they are very much alive. More alive than you can ever be here.
The Bible also declares that no matter how visual or imaginative you are you will not be able to fully grasp the magnificence. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
The scriptures also talk about a “throne”, and “someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones- like jasper and carnelian. The glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow.” In Revelation 4 it goes on to say, “from the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches”, and that there is “a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.”
Read Revelation chapter 4. It goes on to describe the living creatures that talk to God, what they say, how they look, and what they do. It puts the fictional kingdoms of Oz and Narnia to shame. It puts an ordinary monarchy to shame. Heaven puts our democracy in Washington D.C. to shame. Heaven makes our lives seem anticlimactic. Because they are.
No more sickness.
No more pain.
No more doctors. No more death.
We will have answers to all our questions, and I believe with great certainty we will finally grasp that we simply couldn’t understand all the earthly moves of God because of our perspective.
You will never have another misunderstanding with someone again.
There will be peace. No more wars, or rumors of them.
You will always feel like you belong.
No more insecurities.
You get a new name.
An immediate large, and loving family.
The Bible speaks of a banqueting table, and a great feast. We still eat!
A new body that doesn’t break down or get old. Or fat? I dunno.
A mansion in heaven, a place for each person that Jesus himself prepared.
Nobody out to get you. No agenda of scheming or manipulation.
No more curse.
No more regrets.
Never again will you have a nightmare.
No more warring with your temporary body of flesh.
Love all around you all the time.
Being in the true promised land.
Listening to the true life accounts of the saints of old.
My all-time favorite? The presence of Jesus.
I can finally sit on His lap, after bowing low, put my arms around His beautiful neck, and whisper the words that are never enough. “Thank you.” I can slip my hand into his. My savior Jesus around me, visible and tangible. No need for the sun because He lights up all of heaven. He reigns. No more small town carpenter. No more boy-next-door. Jesus, the King of Kings, the King of Heaven, trading his earthly yamika for His princely robes, a crown upon His head. Faint traces of scars still visible on His face from the treacherous crown of thorns. My rescuer, Jesus, my best friend, around me, speaking with me, smiling at me… Inside-joking with me!
Just when I can picture what I just wrote in my minds eye, the Bible says its even better than that! “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him, and are called according to His purpose.”
Heaven is a place you’re going to be wanting to go. All it takes is repentance. Don’t let a priceless work of art, or my accidental bad grammar in this amateur blog stop you. Jesus wants you there with Him.
Praying for you,
a daughter of the King