5/30/07 At the End of the Day…the Hope of Heaven

Tonight at Kindred Community Church Dave Dunn continued his study in the book of Revelation. We dove in chapter 4. Jesus had just finished giving His messages to the seven churches and now John seems to have an almost out of body experience as Jesus bid him to “Come up here and see what must take place”.

It was exciting and Dave has a way of bringing every nuance out of a passage or a verse. It makes it so rich and so very full. I tell you…when we study the word of God…I feel like the disciples on the road to Emmaus and want to shout “Didn’t our hearts burn within us!” The word of God is magnificent.

This lesson seemed to coincide with what God was impressing upon me today. I was interacting with someone…a non-believer…and was struck by how hopeless their life is….and I can understand why. If this is it…and I don’t know God…and if my earthly existence is messed up…then I would be utterly hopelessly depressed…in despair.

Without knowing in confidence that my sins are forgiven, paid in full…and that one day…I will go to heaven…how could I have peace? Peace with God, other people and myself? I couldn’t…plain and simple…it would be impossible. I would feel constantly on edge…wondering did I tip the scales enough in favor of good…so that God might approve of me. How much good is enough? And what happens if I die on the heels of a bad day…when I really blew it?

Or worse yet…that this world is it…and then I die. Yikes…don’t want to even go down that road.

I am so grateful that God by His predetermined plan…called me to be one of his own. I have a hope…and a future. Life down here…may be good…or bad. But at the end of the day…it pales in comparison to the hope and rewards that face me in eternity.

But the unbeliever on the other hand…has only what they have in the here and now. So what are they to do when problems abound? Problems at home, at work, in finances, with their health, in their marriage, with their children and with family. What’s a person to do when they can’t turn to God…because they don’t believe? How can anyone carry such burdens…burdens that they can’t lay down before a loving God? How do they make wise decisions…when they must rely on their own wisdom or the wisdom of the world? What books does an unbeliever consult? Whom do they esteem…and get wise counsel from? How do they know what’s right and wrong?

I guess I do know the answer to that after all. You see I came to Christ relatively late in life…at the age of 32. So I know first hand what a godless existence is like. I turned to myself for answers and wisdom and support…and what failing miserable existence that was. Now on the other side…I can testify to the goodness, kindness, faithfulness and mercies of my Lord…which are new every morning. Of rich graces that He pours out upon me daily.

The existence of an unbeliever is kind of like trying to navigate a maze in a lonely, cold, wet, muddy and dark tunnel. You feel your way…but have no solid point of reference to move towards…you don’t know if you are making progress or even moving in the right direction. You don’t have anyone to coach and encourage you. How sad…how very sad. It truly makes me want to pray that they too will one day have forgiveness of their sins…and the hope of heaven.

Indeed…I do have the hope of heaven. Not because of any good work of mine. That hope is based solely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. His atoning death…acceptable to the Father…a propitiation for my sins. More than that…I get the Holy Spirit who dwells within me…and marks me as one of His own. Sealed with an everlasting covenant. Nothing that Susan does…can change that or make it go away. So even after a bad day… I know I have forgiveness of my sins…and help for each day, each hour.

To top that I have the promise of heaven. Tonight Dave shared why he believes the interpretation of the rapture to be correct…and gave many scriptures to back it up. Just reading those scriptures brings a renewed sense of hope and peace. It is my prayer that those reading this may have that hope too. Need some assurance today? Need some hope…how about the hope of heaven? Read God’s word and be filled with hope filled to overflowing.

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:32, Revelation 3:7-8, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1Thessalonians 4:17 & 4:13, Acts 1:11, Matthew 24:27, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, Genesis 5:21-24, Genesis 7, Genesis 19, 1Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, Acts 1:10-11, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Revelation 3:10, Revelation 19:11-14

To look up the passages…go to Bible Gateway…a most excellent tool in these extraordinary days.

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