|Dr. Paul Engel..a man who loved the Lord|
There is an old saying that goes, "Nothing is more certain than death and taxes". We know about taxes but none of us has yet experienced death. What do we really know about eternal life and heaven? In the book of Revelation we read this description: "3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
5And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Chap. 21:3-5) If we knew nothing else about heaven, this would be a great blessing. No more pain, no more suffering, no more sickness, no more death and all the tears we have cried, will be wiped away by the Lord. For those that long for perfect peace, justice, truth and happiness, this will be the place where there is joy forevermore.
If you read on in chapter 21 of Revelation, there is a description of the new Jerusalem that has come down from heaven. The description is beyond our understanding as the streets are gold and many beautiful gems make up this magnificent dwelling place. There is no need for the sun and the moon because God's glory lights the entire realm. God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit dwell here, and we are forever with Him in this perfect place. This is the City of God and is for those whom He has chosen from before the foundation of the world. Verse 27 says: "27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life."
I will never forget that a few days before my own father died, he looked off in the distance and described this beautiful city. He said the streets were gold and it was so remarkable. This gave me peace as I knew from God's Word that he was given a glimpse of heaven. Even more though, I know that he also is enjoying a special home in heaven because Jesus went on to describe that in His Word.
John 14:1-3 says: "1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also..." How wonderful to know that those who have physically left our presence are now living in a city not made with hands and a dwelling prepared for us by the Lord.
Dear ones, while we grieve the loss of those we love, we also rejoice for them that their race here in this fallen world is over. Their worn out bodies sleep but their souls are bathed in the presence of God where they will live forever. This is the inheritance of all who confess their sins and receive the gift of God's salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
This past August and I had the opportunity of seeing my Uncle Paul for the last time when we traveled to attend my husband's class reunion. We laughed, reminisced and then, before leaving, we prayed together outside his home with his wife Anna. I will carry that memory in my heart until I see my Uncle in heaven again. He has now joined that great crowd of witnesses in heaven cheering the rest of us on to fight the good fight and run the race for the prize of God's high calling. This is our comfort, our encouragement and our future in Christ! Selah!