by Richard Mansel, assistant editor
Heaven is a place everyone dreams of seeing, but few will actually experience (Matthew 7:13-14). Most will not do what it takes to enter its majestic gates, so they will miss out. They would rather be fleshly and stubborn and receive all of their pleasure on earth (Luke 16:20-25). However, Christians, can glimpse the inexpressible beauty of heaven within the pages of Scripture and it can empower us daily.
Revelation uses figurative language to allow us a peek. Whatever it will look like, we can be certain that it is beyond our imaginations. The Apostle Paul glimpsed its glories and said he heard “inexpressible words” (2 Corinthians 12:4, NKJV). It is certain that it fueled him the remainder of his days to remain faithful.
In every way, heaven will be new and fresh. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
God’s Word affords a view of heaven that can rejuvenate our spirits to battle sin and remain in the arms of our Lord (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Paul tells the Thessalonians about the promise of heaven and how they must “stand fast” in Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:15). They would therefore spend eternity together with their brethren who have passed from this life. He says that this hope should, “comfort [their] hearts and establish [them] in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:17).
In a brochure for the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida, they described its recent renovations. The designers wanted to open the place up so the patrons could have sunlight streaming through the windows and the art could thrive in an “environment similar to that in which it was originally created.” /1
The architects balanced the fragility of the art with the need for natural lighting to create a unique experience artistically and psychologically. They call the latter, wayfinding.
“Wayfinding is a term architects use to describe the intuitive way a person finds their way through a building with outside visual clues. It can be overwhelming to be lost in a museum, so giving a visitor [an] occasional glimpse [of] the outside is a good way to orient [the patron] and to help them further appreciate the museum experience.” /2
This illustrates what Scripture does for God’s people. It gives us a heavenly perspective on life.
Christians are not to be “of the world,” because Christ was not (John 17:16). Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). Through the Bible, we have what we need to reorient us in a dark and sinful world so we can resist being overwhelmed or lost.Heaven, in a limited way, comes alive through the pages of God’s Word.
Bible study is a reminder that we have a higher calling. A recent caller on a radio talk show said she had been born in Munich, Germany but had been in the United States for many years. She said she made it because she could return home once a year.
As Christians, we need more frequent glimpses of our home. We must spend time in the Word so we can retain our balance and focus.
When we are grounded and oriented, we can have a clearer head to do the work of the Lord so he can be glorified (Ephesians 3:20-21). Let us all be about his business, having our feet and minds on earth and our hope firmly in heaven
1/ Cinda Sherman, publisher, “Northeast Florida’s Art and Cultural Scene (Jacksonville: Arbus, August 07-June 08), 31.
2/ Ibid, 31-32.