Randy Alcorn says in the introduction:
"Maybe you feel as if you've passed your peak, physically or emotionally, an that your best opportunities are behind you. Perhaps you're burdened, discouraged, depressed, or even traumatized. Perhaps your dreams - your marriage, career, or ambitions - have crumbled. Perhaps you've become cynical or have lost hope.
An understanding of the true christian teaching about Heaven (not the popular caricatures of Heaven) can change all that. That's why I wrote Heaven, a full-length treatment of the subject that deals with all the questions people ask about this great subject. The purpose of this little booklet is to give you just a taste of the glorious truth about Heaven."
This booklet got me excited about Heaven. Not the Heaven of boring monotony, (we won't be sitting on clouds playing harps all day ) but an exciting place where God is. A place where we will really live the life God intended us to live, full of love and peace, contentment and joy. No suffering, no betrayals, no depression, no exhaustion, no temptations, no murder, no death.
The booklet answers questions like:
What will Heaven be like?
Won't Heaven be boring?
Will Heaven (the new earth) be an actual place?
What will we do for all eternity?
But the most important question, I feel is How can we know for sure that we'll go to Heaven? I thought I'd try to condense this chapter to share the answer:
Randy Alcorn starts off the chapter reminding us of hell.
I think believers do a disservice to non-believers when they don't talk of hell, and talk only of Heaven. Hell is a real place. Randy reminds us, Jesus talks about it more than anyone else in scripture. (Matthew 10:28; 13:40-42; Mark 9:43-44)
I trust Jesus.
So how do we know if we will go to heaven, not hell? Well, we have this problem, it's called sin and it separates us from God, and it condemns us to hell.
All of us.
But God made a way to be saved, through His son Jesus Christ.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:16-21
I love this verse.
It tells me I was already condemned in my sin and how Jesus didn't come to condemn me, but to save me.
Because of Him, I am no longer condemned.
He loved me so much He came to die for me and when I believe in His name I am saved.
Randy Alcorn says here:
On the cross, He took upon himself the Hell we deserve, in order to purchase for us the Heaven we don't deserve."
So how do we know for sure we are going to heaven after believing in Christ? The apostle Paul says here:
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
So we can know.
Studying my Bible, the one thing that has really stood out to me is how many times God say...Come.
He asks us over and over and over again in Scripture to come to Him, to take His free gift of true life.
"Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Revelation 22:17
Don't wait to believe on him.
"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on Him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6
I believe we don't fully comprehend this free gift God has given us through his son Jesus Christ. We are loved by God, so much more than our minds can conceive.
I thought I'd share this song with you. It's a beautiful song from the point of view of Adam and Eve, from the album "The Story" It's a song of longing to get back to the way it was before sin entered the world. It's a longing for Heaven.
Note: As I was writing this post I began to worry readers would think I was pushing my views of heaven and hell on them. I've often heard loved ones say, 'those are your beliefs, not mine.' So I pray that God's words will speak for themselves and pierce your soul as He asks you to come to Him. He loves you so much.