Devotional 11/8: Tia Carrere and Heavenly Expectations
Please Note: We will return to our series, Those Who Stood Up and Signed, next week.
I think back to high school and my experiences talking about God. Of course, no one is allowed to talk about God in public school, are they? Well as we all know, what is allowed and what happens are often two different things. I remember one experience in particular in 12th Grade World History. You cannot talk World History without discussing what people believed about God! So in talking about the selling of graces (one of the factors which contributed to the Protestant Reformation), our teacher, Mr. B. gave us HIS definition of “grace”. He said that grace is when you get to go to Heaven and you “….ride around in limousines all day long and get all kinds of ‘good stuff‘.”
A 2013 film called, This is the End starring James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, and others, had a similar view of Heaven. According to their film, in Heaven, for anything you want, that will make you happy you simply need to wish for and it will be yours in Heaven. Jay Baruchel wishes for doobies and to see the Backstreet Boys perform and POOF there it was!
I used to and sometimes still do think that Heaven is like that too. A place where all my fantasies will be lived out!!! Believe me, 72 virgins would not be enough for me! I even once sent a message via Facebook to Tia Carrera telling her that I was glad to hear that she is a church-going woman because it gives me hope that in the next couple thousand years or so, I might get a chance with her!
However, if Heaven was everything I thought it should be (and therefore probably just a product of my imagination) then it would be a lot different than how the Lord described it and how people of faith who have had a NDE (near-death experience) have described it.
Some of those things that the Lord said that are surprising to me are:
There is no marriage in Heaven (Matthew 22:30). For some this is very disheartening. I know a lot of couples who long to be together in Heaven as they spent their entire lives together. Others will be happy to be free of their spouse! I don’t know if this means there is no sex in Heaven. If so, don’t worry Tia baby, we will work something out!
Another thing that I am surprised that the Lord said about Heaven is that there will be a lot of people there who I did not expect. Just as the Lord promised the thief next to Him on the cross, there will be a lot of people there who I did not know were going to be there. I am sure that there will not be a lot of people who I expected to see too.
However, Heaven is not just a place that I can define by calling it a place where all my carnal fantasies will be met. In the following video, this man who had a Heavenly experience tells of a case where he saw two men having a conversation and asked his angel guide what they were talking about. The angel said to him, “Its none of your business!”. That response surprises me as much as it did him because if Heaven were just a product of his personal imagination, then even that desire would be granted him.
Now, I am not saying that all people who report an NDE are to be trusted. Anything like that that we hear about needs to be tested via scripture. However, again I am impressed and I am interested when people have unexpected experiences because to me, it is evidence that Heaven is not just a self-generated view of what Heaven would be if I had my way or all my desires fulfilled.
However, despite the fact that Heaven is Heaven and I cannot define it based on all my desires anymore than I can define New Orleans or Brazil based on all my personal desires for it, I look forward to it. I look forward to seeing things as God defined them to be. I look forward to clarity and peace and strong senses and a strong body again. I look forward to “seeing” my family members and meeting great people who lived lives of faith. I look forward to talking with Jesus about things I could guess about from Earth. Where my heart is, there is my treasure!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.