Joy in Heaven!
Heaven! What mental picture do you get, when you hear that word, Heaven? What do you think heaven is like? For many people the picture they get is of little chubby angels with wings flying from cloud to cloud strumming harps. Other people get a visual picture of an endless church service where hymns are being sung 24/7. Still others get a picture of just sitting around doing nothing. As you might guess I am going to tell you that all of these pictures are wrong. Heaven is not chubby angels, clouds, harps, endless worship or boring and sitting around doing nothing.
Heaven is a place where those who have believed in Jesus as their Lord and Savior come to live. It is a beautiful, magnificent and unbelievably wonderful place that is beyond anything we have on earth. Next, you will have things to do in heaven, not strumming harps and all the other pictures. You will be busy doing things that God has planned for you in keeping with the gifts and abilities you have been given. If you are wondering how I can say this, you can look for references to heaven in the Bible or you can read Rev. Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven”. This book written a few years ago gives a view of heaven and what it is like based on biblical verses and pictures. It is definitely worth the read.
In Luke 15:1-10 Jesus tells two parables about things that were lost and then found. Most of you know these parables, the one sheep out of the 100 that was lost and then found and the one coin out of ten that was lost and then found. As Jesus concludes each parable he makes an interesting observation. For the lost sheep Jesus says, “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (vs 7) And then for the lost coin he says, “Just so, I tell you there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (vs 10)
Now if I asked any of you who are planning to go to heaven, if you would like to cause great joy in heaven, I think all of you would say, absolutely. All of us who believe in our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, would love to do something that would bring great joy to all in heaven. The good news is that you have already done this if you believe with your heart and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord. If you have done this and lived your life confessing your sins and receiving God’s forgiveness, you have been a source of joy in heaven. For you have been a sinner who repents of their sins. But you can do more. You can cause great joy in heaven by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. You can talk about the wonders of Heaven with others and help them learn the way to Heaven, through faith in Jesus. If you do that you will cause great joy to break out when another sinner repents. Go cause great joy in heaven!
O Lord God Almighty, you have given to us a source of great joy in your Son Jesus Christ. We give you thanks for this gift and for the gift of salvation, forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life that we have because we believe in Jesus as Lord. Not only does this promise of heaven bring us joy, but also we have joy while we live here on earth knowing that you provide for all of our daily needs. Strengthen us in our faith and daily walk and help us to cause joy in heaven by telling someone else about our great Savior, Jesus. In His name we pray. Amen