Thursday, April 23, 2015
Psalms 23:4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." The afterlife, Over Jordan, Heaven... What is it like? The Bible gives us a few personal accounts of what Heaven is like. Adam - The first, I would like to say, is Adam; though his witness may not exactly be Heaven, but a likeness unto it. Adam saw a perfect world. Genesis 2:9 "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Genesis 2:10 "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." Revelation 22:1 "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Revelation 22:2 "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Revelation 22:3 "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:" Isaiah - The second I would like to mention is Isaiah. Isaiah saw the glory of God of which we may see when we "cross Jordan". Isaiah 6:1 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Isaiah 6:2 "Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." Isaiah 6:3 "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:4 "And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke." Stephen -Third is Stephen who also saw the glory of God when he looked into heaven, the place that he was about to go to. Acts 7:55 "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God," Acts 7:56 "And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Note that this was not Abraham's bosom, it ended at the resurrection of Jesus, but the arms of Christ, whom Stephen was about to personally meet. Paul -Then there was Paul. Paul was caught up to the third heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:2 "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven." 2 Corinthians 12:4 "How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." The words he heard while there are beyond utterance. I can't imagine what he heard nor what he saw. Paul having been to Heaven and as we read with Stephen's testimony, when we that believe are absent from the body, we are present with Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:8 "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." John - Lastly there is John, whom Jesus talked to directly. It is only with God's help that we would be able to understand what lies after the grave. John 3:12 "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" We may often think of the golden streets, but that is in the end, what of today? If one has received Jesus into their heart and was to die today what lies beyond the grave? God tells us some tidbits, though they still are not fully comprehendable. Jesus explained about beyond the grave that when we die we, that believe, will have an angelic escort. Luke 16:22 "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;" And he explained that we will be comforted. Luke 16:25 "But Abraham said, "Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." John shows us beyond the grave in revelations. First we see the throne of God, Revelations 4:2 "And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." And we see Jesus! Revelation 5:5 "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. " Revelation 5:6 "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain..." Surely we the saints will fall down before Christ and like the elders we should bow and sing praises. Revelation 5:8 "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." Revelation 5:9 "And they sung a new song,..." Though the sayings of John are futuristic, we can apply these at our death being absent from the body and present with the Lord.