As Christians, we are pulled in two directions. We all want to go to heaven, but this life also holds great appeal. We are like the youngster in Sunday school who listened intently while the teacher told about the beauties of heaven. She concluded by saying, “Raise your hand if you want to go to heaven.”
Every hand shot up immediately – except one. “Why don’t you want to go to heaven, Johnny?”
“Well,” he replied, “Mom just baked an apple pie for dinner.”
An elderly missionary couple who had served God for 50 years in a remote African village returned to the United States for a well-earned retirement. When they arrived, however, no one was there to greet them because of some confusion at the mission office. They had no one to help them with their suitcases and trunks, and no one to move them into their home. The old gentleman complained to his wife, “We’ve come home after all these years and there’s no one who cares.”
The man’s bitterness grew as they settled into their new home. His wife, a bit fed up with his complaining, suggested that he take up the matter with God. So the man went to his bedroom and spent time in prayer. When he came out he had a new look on his face, which prompted his wife to ask what had happened.
“Well,” he replied, “I told God that I’ve come home and no one cares,” “And what did he say?” she asked.
“He said, ‘You’re not home yet’.”
Many years ago a doctor made a house call on a dying patient, who asked, “Doctor, what will haven be like?” The physician paused, trying to think of a helpful reply. Just then they heard the sound of scratching on the closed door of the patient’s bedroom.
“Do you hear that?” the doctor asked. “Its my dog. I left him downstairs, but he got impatient and came up here looking for me. He doesn’t know what’s in this room, but he knows his master is here. I believe that’s how it is with heaven. We don’t know what it’s like, but we know that Jesus will be there. And really, nothing else matters.”
We’ll find out what heaven is like soon enough.
The old preacher was dying. He sent a message for his doctor and his lawyer, both church members, to come to his home. When they arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom. As they entered the room the preacher held out his hands and motioned for them to sit, one on each side of his bed.
The preacher grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled and stared at the ceiling. For a time, no one said anything. Both the doctor and lawyer were touched and flattered that the preacher would ask them to be with him during his final moments. They were also puzzled; the preacher had never given them any indication that he particularly liked either of them. They both remembered his many long, uncomfortable sermons about greed, covetousness and sinful behavior that made them squirm in their seats.
Finally, the doctor said, “Preacher, why did you ask us to come?” The old preacher mustered up his strength, then said weakly, “Jesus died between two thieves…and that’s how I want to go.”
We’re all going somewhere. Do you know where?
There was this Christian lady that had to do a lot of traveling for her business, so she did a lot of flying. Flying made her nervous so she always took her Bible along with her to read and it helped relax her.
One time she was sitting next to a man. When he saw her pull out her Bible he gave a little chuckle and went back to what he was doing.
After awhile he turned to her and asked, “You don’t really believe in all that stuff in there do you?”
The lady replied, “Of course I do. It is the Bible.”
He said, “Well, what about that guy that was swallowed by the whale?”
She replied, “Yes, Jonah. I believe that; it is in the Bible.”
He asked, “Well, how do you suppose he survived all that time inside the whale?”
The lady said, “Well, I don’t really know. I guess when I get to heaven I will ask him.”
“What if he isn’t in heaven?” the man asked sarcastically.
“Then you can ask him,” replied the lady.
“Stand up if you want to go to heaven!” the preacher exhorted his congregation. The worshipers rose as one, with the exception of a man in the front pew.
“Are you telling me you do not want to go to heaven?” thundered the preacher.
“When I die, yes,” the man responded. “But I thought you were getting up a load right now.”
We all want to go to heaven, but none of us are eager to get there. Like the front row guy, we want to wait until we are old and gray. This coming week we are going to examine heaven in this blog. What are you expecting in heaven?