Updated: Jan 25
Good morning. It is Monday, September 13, 2021.
What is your idea of heaven? When you picture heaven in your mind, what do you see?
I love the Far Side cartoons. Gary Larson thinks in ways that seem so common and relatable and yet, you know you have never seen anything quite like it.
One of my favorites, because it just made me giggle out loud, depicts two cows. The male is sitting in his chair, the female is standing at the window looking out. She turns to him and says “Wendell…I’m not content”. I was married to a Wendell for many years and was also familiar with Elsie, the Contented Cow. Do you remember her? She was the cow symbolized on condensed milk products put out by Borden. The idea was that Borden kept their cows so contented that their milk output reflected their happy life.
Larson said his family has "a morbid sense of humor", and that he was influenced by the "paranoid" sense of humor of his older brother, Dan. Dan played pranks on Gary, for example by taking advantage of his fear of monsters under the bed by waiting in the closet for the right moment to pounce. Source Wikipedia
I recently saw a cartoon showing an angel handing harps to people in line saying “Welcome to heaven…Here’s your harp. In the bottom section of the cartoon is the devil handing accordions to people in line saying, “Welcome to hell…here’s your accordion.” Only people with a strong distaste for accordion music would get that, but in a way it is funny.
There is another Far Side cartoon the shows a man with wings and a halo sitting alone on a cloud. The thought bubble above his head reads “…wish I’d brought a magazine.”
How many times in your life have you see images of heaven depicted with cupids on clouds, strumming harps?
I am reading Max Lucado’s 3:16 The Numbers of Hope. In it he quotes Isaac Asimov: “Whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.”
I think the devil must take great delight when we see heaven in such a plain, and frankly boring, manner. Indeed, who would want to spend eternity sitting on a white cloud?
“Those images of knee-high fog banks, disembodied friends, and floating spirits? Forget them. Jesus has gone to “prepare a place.” Heaven is tangible and touchable: as real as the soil in your garden, as physical as the fruit in your orchard.” - Max
When Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised his disciples He would be back!
John 14:1-3 are some of my all time favorite verses. There is so much imagery here. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” ESV
Revelation 21:2 “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
I have written recently about the holy city, but I love the way Max describes it. “Scripture reveals its jaw-dropping dimensions: an exact square of 1,400 miles. Large enough to contain all the land mass from the Appalachians to the California coast – Canada to Mexico. Forty times the size of England, ten times the size of the France and larger than India. And that’s just the ground floor. The city stands at tall as it does wide. Supposing God stacks floors in his metropolis as an architect would in a building, the city would have over 600,000 stories, ample space for billions of people to come and go.”
Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ESV
Billy Graham once wrote “Heaven will be a place in which its inhabitants will be freed from the fears and insecurities that plague and haunt us in the present life. No energy crisis there … Free from the economic and financial pressures that burden us down here. Free from the fear of personal and physical harm … No fear of personal failure … Our relationship with Him will be intimate and direct. I’m looking forward to that glorious day of going to heaven. Heaven will be what we have always longed for. It will be the new social order that men dream of. All the things that have made earth unlovely and tragic will be absent in heaven. There will be no night, no death, no disease, no sorrow, no tears, no ignorance, no disappointment, no war. It will be filled with happiness, worship, love, and perfection.”
However, the Bible makes clear that there is only one way to heaven, and that is through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way …” (John 14:6). Jesus paid for our sins through His death on the cross. God offers us the free gift of friendship with Him in this life and eternal life in heaven when we die if we will but turn from sin and trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved …” (Acts 16:30). Source billygraham.org
If you have not given your life to Jesus, if you have not asked for forgiveness of your sins, if you have not invited Jesus to lead in your life and change your heart and renew a right sprit within…what are you waiting for? We are not promised tomorrow. Do not put it off, the price is too great. Heaven WILL be worth it!