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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


If I Don’t Get to Heaven

Mrs. B. J. Wilz related the following incident: "Trying to impress on my son that he should take good care of a souvenir from Jerusalem, I said, 'This is from the Holy Land, and it is so far away we will never be able to go there.' Next day when showing the gift to a neighbor girl, he announced, 'This is from Heaven, and that's one place our family will never go' " (The New Speaker's Sourcebook, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1968: p202). Heaven is Holy Land, and it may be far away, but you can go there if you want to! Five verses from the end of the Holy Bible, in Revelation 22:17, is God's standing invitation to you and me and every human being to come to Heaven: 'And the Spirit and the bride say, Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." The simple truth of the matter regarding Heaven is that God wants me to go, God invites me to go, God incites me to go, and God has provided everything I could possibly need to go! All that remains is for me to accept His invitation, decide I am going, and get busy doing what He asks me to do to prepare for the trip!

I don't want to miss Heaven. An old spiritual song says, "If I don't get to Heaven .... It will be nobody, nobody, nobody, no nobody's fault but mine." What if I don't get to Heaven? Revelation 21-22 records what many believe is a description of the glory awaiting faithful children of God in Heaven. While there is some debate about the exact nature of the promises given in these verses, there seems to be little reason to re ect them as an apocalyptic description of the eternal home of the soul. Understanding it that way, what do we miss if we don't go to Heaven? Of course, we will miss the breathtaking glory and grandeur of God's city as depicted in the imagery of the wall of jasper, foundations adorned with the most precious stones known to man, the twelve gates of pearls and the street of gold (21:18-21). But far beyond a wall of jasper and a street of gold, if we miss Heaven we will miss the very home of the soul. Revelation 21:3 depicts heaven as "the tabernacle of God" where "He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God." Verse 4 promises, "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Modem homes have many features which make them attractive and desirable, but the benefits afforded those who gain Heaven are out of this world! If I don't get to Heaven I don't just miss a good time and a nice house. I miss being at home with God - forever.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ