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Home Sweet Heavenly Home

by Alan Allegra  
9/20/2016 / Salvation


We often visit an elderly gentleman who, due to massive economic elder abuse, is living out his last days in a tiny half-room in a veteran's home, bereft of meaningful possessions other than his clothes; without friends; only years of regrets. He is hard of hearing and seeing, and cannot even move in his chair without help.

Recently, he has taken to fantasizing about how news of his plight spread to every corner of the globe, and an anonymous wealthy real estate benefactor from Ohio built him a mansion and purchased a Cadillac with a paint job so unique and spectacular, people come from every continent and line up just to admire it. Someone has even written a book about him.

I shouldn't say "fantasizing," for he is convinced this is all for real. We cannot blame him for wanting to believe this he so badly wants to restore his former life and fill the emptiness of his soul and make things right.

Everybody longs for something better. When someone dies, we say (or hope) he has gone on to a "better place." This hope has spawned many false religions, messiahs, and books about people who have visited heaven.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Man knows instinctively that there is a God, everything has a purpose, and only eternity will reveal it all. So, he tries to pave his own road to that better place.

Many miss the highway to heaven established for us by Jesus Christ. It is a narrow road (Matthew 7:14), but it is not a toll road (Revelation 22:17). Amazingly, there is room for everyone who wants to travel it: "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price" (Revelation 22:17).

Heaven is the ultimate gated community. The new heavens and earth contain those gates of pearl (Revelation 21:12), and, although they will never close (v. 27), "Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (22:15). "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

When we read the list of outsiders, we wonder how anyone can be admitted. Who hasn't lied or committed immorality or other sins? How does a mere mortal gain entrance? Simply, the password is "repentance." "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11). Jesus Christ alone takes away sin and voids the criminal record.

There is no need to fantasize about a better place; Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2). Not half a room, but a furnished room designed by a unique carpenter who knows the neighborhood: "No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man" (John 3:13).

Instead of losing touch with reality, get in touch with reality: "For [we are] looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10).

Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!

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