What If There Is a Heaven? Part III
"According to the Lord's own word … the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."1
Regarding heaven, we have been given evidence from those who have had near-death experiences and what they witnessed, the testimonials of the last words of famous people including those of non-believers, and the experience of a very close friend as he departed this life. All of these are very interesting, but the final point is the most powerful evidence of all as to whether there is a heaven or not.
Fourth, we have evidence from Jesus Christ himself and the whole of God's Word, the Bible. Speaking about heaven Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. In my Father's house are many mansions. I am going there to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come back to take you there to be with me forever."2 While ministering here on earth, Jesus repeatedly made mention of heaven so it was clearly evident that Jesus believed in both heaven and hell.
Furthermore, according to one Bible scholar, there are 1,845 references to Christ's coming back to earth that are recorded in the Old Testament and 318 in the New Testament. There are many more references about heaven and hell. And as Jesus said, he is right now preparing heaven for all Christians and will, when everything is ready, return to take them to be with him forever.
Nobody can prove that there is a heaven or a hell. Neither can anybody prove there isn't. The evidence, however, confirms that there are both, and I know which side I'd rather be on. If I believe, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. But if I don't believe, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain.
The choice to believe or not to believe is each individual's decision. For those who choose to believe, the key issue is to be sure that you are prepared for heaven and ready to meet God face to face. You do that, first, by believing that when Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago, he died to pay the ransom price for your sins; second, by confessing your sins to God; and third, by responding to Christ's call to accept him into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior.
The wonderful thing is that God's invitation to heaven is open to everyone. As God's Word, the Bible, says, "Whoever will may come."3
If you have not already done so, will you accept God's invitation to come to him by confessing that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness and by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Today? For help to make absolutely sure you are ready for heaven be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian (without having to be religious)" at: www.actsweb.org/christian. Receiving Jesus as your Savior is your Passport into Heaven. Whatever you do, don't leave earth without it.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you again for your promise of heaven for all who believe in you and have accepted Jesus as their Savior. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I confess that I am a sinner and ask you, Lord Jesus, to forgive me for all my sins, and come into my heart and life and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for hearing my prayer, for forgiving all my sins, and for your promise of a home in heaven. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV).
2. John 14:1-3.
3. Revelation 22:17.
NOTE: I repeat: to make absolutely sure you are ready for heaven read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian (without having to be religious)" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.