Monday, March 29, 2010

The Promise of Heaven

By Billy Graham

What is heaven like? I've never met a Christian who didn't want to know the answer to this question - including me! Even Jesus' disciples wondered; after saying He soon would be going to Heaven to prepare a place for them, Thomas protested, "Lord, we don't know where you are going" (John 14:5).

The Bible doesn't answer all our questions about Heaven - but it does tell us that it will be far more glorious than anything we can imagine. Heaven is like the most perfect and beautiful place we can possibly conceive - only more so. Only in Heaven will we know exactly what Heaven is like. People have speculated for centuries about what Heaven will be like - some realistic, some fanciful (or even perverse).

But the most essential truth about Heaven is this: We will be in God's presence forever. And because we will be with God, no harm or evil can ever touch us again. One of the most moving descriptions of Heaven in all Scripture is this: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

In Heaven there will be no more fear or worry or stress. We won't need locks on the doors, or bars on the windows, or sophisticated alarm systems - because everything that causes fear will be eliminated. Evil and Satan and death will be banished forever, and we will no longer be threatened, either by nature or by other people. Conflicts and wars will cease, and all the things that divided us on earth will divide us no more. God's promise will be fulfilled. In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to "a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).

Heaven will also be a place of reunion. I am often asked if we will meet our loved ones there who have died in the Lord. I have no doubt that we will! This truth has become even more precious to me since the death of my wife, Ruth, almost three years ago.

The most important truth about Heaven for us today, however, is that God wants us to be there! We cannot win our way into Heaven by our own goodness, because we will never be good enough; God's standard is perfection. But God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins - and when we put our faith and trust in Him, all our sins are erased and Heaven's door opens before us.

May this truth become a reality in your life today.

Rev. Billy Graham is an evangelist and chairman of the board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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