May 2, 2012

Heaven: Biblical Answers to Common Questions

This is a short booklet which answer some common questions about heaven.

Randy Alcorn says in the introduction:

"Maybe you feel as if you've passed your peak, physically or emotionally, an that your best opportunities are behind you. Perhaps you're burdened, discouraged, depressed, or even traumatized. Perhaps your dreams - your marriage, career, or ambitions - have crumbled. Perhaps you've become cynical or have lost hope.

An understanding of the true christian teaching about Heaven (not the popular caricatures of Heaven) can change all that. That's why I wrote Heaven, a full-length treatment of the subject that deals with all the questions people ask about this great subject. The purpose of this little booklet is to give you just a taste of the glorious truth about Heaven."

This booklet got me excited about Heaven. Not the Heaven of boring monotony, (we won't be sitting on clouds playing harps all day ) but an exciting place where God is. A place where we will really live the life God intended us to live, full of love and peace, contentment and joy. No suffering, no betrayals, no depression, no exhaustion, no temptations, no murder, no death.

The booklet answers questions like:

What will Heaven be like? 
Won't Heaven be boring? 
Will Heaven (the new earth) be an actual place?
What will we do for all eternity?

But the most important question, I feel is How can we know for sure that we'll go to Heaven? I thought I'd try to condense this chapter to share the answer:

Randy Alcorn starts off the chapter reminding us of hell.

I think believers do a disservice to non-believers when they don't talk of hell, and talk only of Heaven. Hell is a real place. Randy reminds us, Jesus talks about it more than anyone else in scripture. (Matthew 10:28; 13:40-42; Mark 9:43-44)

I trust Jesus.

So how do we know if we will go to heaven, not hell? Well, we have this problem, it's called sin and it separates us from God, and it condemns us to hell.

All of us.

But God made a way to be saved, through His son Jesus Christ.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."                                                                                 John 3:16-21

I love this verse.

It tells me I was already condemned in my sin and how Jesus didn't come to condemn me, but to save me.

Because of Him, I am no longer condemned.

He loved me so much He came to die for me and when I believe in His name I am saved.

Randy Alcorn says here:

On the cross, He took upon himself the Hell we deserve, in order to purchase for us the Heaven we don't deserve."

So how do we know for sure we are going to heaven after believing in Christ? The apostle Paul says here:

 "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
                                                                 1John 5:13

So we can know.

Studying my Bible, the one thing that has really stood out to me is how many times God say...Come.

He asks us over and over and over again in Scripture to come to Him, to take His free gift of true life.

"Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."   Revelation 22:17

Don't wait to believe on him.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on Him while he is near."  Isaiah 55:6

I believe we don't fully comprehend this free gift God has given us through his son Jesus Christ. We are loved by God, so much more than our minds can conceive.

I thought I'd share this song with you. It's a beautiful song from the point of view of Adam and Eve, from the album "The Story" It's a song of longing to get back to the way it was before sin entered the world. It's a longing for Heaven.


Note: As I was writing this post I began to worry readers would think I was pushing my views of heaven and hell on them. I've often heard loved ones say, 'those are your beliefs, not mine.' So I pray that God's words will speak for themselves and pierce your soul as He asks you to come to Him. He loves you so much.





20 comments:

  1. I have that CD. wish they had this smaller booklet back when I tried to read the thick book. It was so long I did not finish it.

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    1. I haven't gotten around to reading the thick book either, but I'd like to.
      I found a bunch of these booklets at our local christian book store and they only cost me .99 cents each! :)

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  2. I think this is one of my favorite books of all time. it gave me such a perspective on eternity and standing up for my faith. I love it that it is coming back and getting popular.

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    1. I've got the full book on my TBR list. It's a long one, but sounds like its worth the time to read. Glad you loved it!

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  3. I've had the full version of Heaven sitting on my shelf for over a year and haven't had the gumption to tackle it yet (it's over 500 pages!). But I really want to soon. It sounds like a wonderful book.

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    1. Me too! I think I'll have to read it in sections and take my time. If its anything like the booklet, it should be filled with Biblical truths about Heaven and worth the read. :)

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  4. My grandkids and I have been enjoying learning many of the many encouraging Bible memory verses about heaven for children that I've bee reading in several of the Randy Alcorn books including Heaven and Heaven for Kids. I totally agree that all of his books on this topic are great resources and full of sweet encouragement! Thanks for a lovely visit via Women Living Well.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Kaye! Heaven for kids sounds like another great book. I'll have to check that one out. :)

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  5. I need to get this book. I love anything that tries to describe what heaven will be like. Last summer we read Heaven is Real, and loved it. 90 Minutes in Heaven was another good one.
    I think your right, sometimes Heaven and Hell seem like these far off places, and people need to understand that they are very real, and will be our reality one day.

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    1. To be honest, I've always been a little leery of people's 'experiences' of Heaven in books.
      The reason I love Randy Alcorn is because he teaches straight from the Bible and what it has to say about Heaven and hell.
      The booklet, as I'm sure the full-length book is as well, is filled with scripture and made me want to read and study my Bible more to hear from God through His Word.
      It's actually pretty exciting what God has waiting for us who believe!
      Thanks for stopping by Alecia!

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  6. I have Randy's book on Kindle but haven't read it yet. I didn't know there are shorter pamphlets. I will have to look at our Christian bookstore for them! Great post!

    I would much rather read from my Bible about Heaven- getting the perfect view from a perfect God- than read someone's supposed experience, especially a 4 yr old :)

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    1. ..."getting the perfect view from a perfect God" that's exactly how I feel too! :)

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  7. I love love love Randy's book Heaven (and the booklet)!!!
    And I'm gonna do a series in June on heaven... a topic I love so this gets me all fired up. Thanks!!!

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    1. That's wonderful! I'll look forward to reading your series in June. :)

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  8. Cathy:

    I have heard many good things about Randy's book Heaven, but I have never read it. I wasn't aware of the booklet. Hope to have Heaven on my reading list this summer.

    Blessings and thank you for linking at The Grace Cafe this week.

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    1. Hi Joan, I hope to get to reading Heaven soon too. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  9. I do expect to go to heaven, and actually it will be interesting when the new heaven and earth meet. Lots of questions and speculations as to the city and cities.
    I content myself with the fact that where Jesus is will be heaven there. (regardless as to how heaven actually is.)

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    1. I agree, 'where Jesus is will be heaven there.'

      Randy Alcorn talks about this in the booklet and I'm sure goes into greater detail in his full-length book.

      He talks about the present Heaven(where we go when we die) and the future Heaven(the New Earth) our eternal home when Jesus comes to set up His kingdom on Earth. All from what the Bible says about it. It's all so interesting. :)

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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