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Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 4: Getting to Heaven

Day 4 is about acknowledging that life is a dress rehersal for the after life. Your relationship with God will determine whether you go to heaven.

So what is heaven like? Despite all you may have heard about heaven, the bible says very little. I did a key word search on for the word heaven and the vast majority of uses were in relation to God, ie "God in heaven". There is mention of angels in heaven and there is mention of doing good things so you can accumlate riches in heaven.

The only place in the bible where heaven is described is in Revelations. I tried to have a read of Revelations, but the overall impression I got was that John (the author) was on some serious drugs and only read about seven chapters.

To get a better handle on it I pulled out my copy of The Complete Idoiot's Guide to The Bible. Chapter 7 mentions a group of people in white robes. An elder identifies these people as those who have come out of the great tribulation and says "never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

In Revelation 15:2-4 the people who had been saved are playing harps and singing God's praises.

After the apocolypse and judgement day, God creates a new heaven and earth. A Holy City, new Jerusalem, comes down from heaven and God lives with people on the new earth. "He will wipe 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."

Rick Warren says that in heaven we will be:
  • reunited with loved ones who are believers,
  • released from all pain and suffering
  • rewarded for our faithfullness on earth
  • reassigned to do work that we will enjoy
He doesn't where he got this information from. I can only find references to the second point (see above), meanwhile that last one turns me off the whole idea just a little - since when do we have to work in heaven!

The question to consider for the chapter is "since I was made to last forever, what is the one thing I should stop doing and the one thing I should start doing today?" In my copy of the book I originally wrote "I should stop working all the time. I should start building a relationship with God." As I am now on maternity leave I have stopped working all the time and I reckon this blog is helping me to build a relationship with God.

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