A nice place to visit

What is heaven like?

Well, I suppose we can start with our world, and start removing bad things. So, there are no natural disasters or diseases. Also, there’s no want, so everybody has everything they could imagine, we all have cars and houses and video game systems and great food and everything. We never age and we can eat all we want without getting fat.

I guess that when people think of heaven, that’s probably something of the picture that they get, a place where we get to spend all day doing what we want without any of the bad things.

But what I’ve just described isn’t heaven. In fact, other than the eating all you want part, there are some places on earth that are very similar. Think Beverly Hills, close to perfect weather, most people have a lot of stuff, and while there are of course old and sick people, but there are certainly those who are young and healthy enough that they don’t have to worry about death for quite some time. Can we say that those people are in heaven? While many of us might like to live in Beverly Hills, I don’t think that anyone thinks its perfect. And it’s not like it would be heaven except for the cloudy days or occasional earthquake. People there still have problems, they still get angry, divorced, and can become miserable, just like anyone else.

Just ask yourself the question, how rich do you need to be to be continually happy? That is, of course, a purposely bad question, it doesn’t have an answer and everyone knows it. A world like I described, it might be a nice place to visit, but its not heaven.

What then, can we say about how heaven will be like? Simple, not only is there not natural disaster and disease, all the shiny toys you could want, but something else. There would have to be no crime, no conflict, no jealousy and no hate. In heaven, we can never harm each other. In short, Heaven must have no sin.

So how to accomplish this? Well, maybe we could just make it so that our actions are incapable of harming others, a rubber room if you will. Or maybe just lobotomize everyone, make us all drooling, but happy, idiots. Again, neither of these sound like heaven to me.

What God has in store for us is totally separating us from our sins, making it so that we cannot sin. But God will not do so on his own, without our consent. Doing so would just be rubber rooming us or lobotomizing us, neither of which are God’s plans. No, in order for us to have our sins removed, we must do two things.

First, we must want our sins removed from us. It has to be our choice. (of course, when I say that its our choice, its not our work. That is, being really good, while we might be able to sin 50% less, well, it won’t make a lick of difference in eternity. Even if we sin only once every thousand years, over eternity that sin will build up enough to overwhelm us, and totally demolish heaven. And think what will come when, instead of sinning once every thousand years, we sin about as much as we do on earth, ie constantly. So even if it is our choice to have sin removed from us, it is not us doing the removing).

Secondly, we must replace that sin with something else. We sin because we think too highly of ourselves and put ourselves above others. Or we sin because we want something that won’t make us happy. Or we sin because we think we alone know what is right; and take it into our own hands. Overall, we sin because we are putting something else where Christ should be. So to remove this sin, we put Christ into where the sin was.

For those unwilling to put Christ first, well, they have no choice but to live in sin. And an eternal life plagued with sin is a horrible thing. So God doesn’t allow it. Sin over eternity would be unbearable: the wages of Sin is Death.

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