Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heaven - A Wonderful Place!

Responding to the thief on the cross who asked to be remembered when Christ came into His Kingdom, Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:42-43). The word translated "Paradise" is of Persian origin and is found only three times in the Scriptures (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7), referring in each case to Heaven.

"Heaven" is spoken of in three different ways in the Scriptures. The first usage refers to the "heavens--the sky above the earth (Genesis 1:1, 14-17). Secondly, Heaven is the abode of God (Psalm 80:14) and where the redeemed shall someday be (Matthew 5:12, 6:20). Thirdly, the "New Jerusalem" described by the Apostle John as having streets of gold and gates of pearl (Revelation 21:21). The latter is what comes to mind when most people think of Heaven.

As a youth growing up in Church, I heard a lot about Heaven. I must confess, however, that the ways the preachers spoke about it did not excite or interest me much. I heard of "resting" and angelic choirs--none of which seems too appealing to a boy who would have preferred something like a gigantic amusement park. I certainly would have chosen Heaven over Hell but all in all it was not somewhere I was in a big hurry to go--maybe when I got old and was dying but not as a youth person.

I believe this is how most people view Heaven--a place they hope to spend eternity after they have lived a long life on earth. A study of Heaven in the Bible leads us to understand and appreciate it more. Heaven will be where we will spend eternity with our loved ones and Jesus Christ our Savior. It will be big, new, beautiful and free of suffering. David spoke of Heaven as "the house of the Lord" (Psalm 23:6) and Jesus called it "My Father's house" (John 14:2). He also said He was going there to "prepare a place for us" (John 14:2-3). The Lord has been working on this project for almost 2,000 years--can you imagine how incredible Heaven will be?

The souls of all the righteous are in the care and company of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). He will bring them with Him when He returns (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Ultimately, all of the saved will inhabit the celestial city for eternity.

The most important question is how does one get to go there? The same way the dying thief did--through faith in Jesus. The only thing he could do he did--express his faith in Christ. Have you? If so, your reservation is set.

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