Hope, Visions of Heaven, Words of Endurance
by Kim Jones
An embroidered “Home Sweet Home” sign hangs near the front door of our home. As much as I love my home, there are days when I am tempted to take the sign down. In fact, there are days when life on earth is anything but sweet.
Just last week I listened as a 28-year-old cancer patient wrestled with his doctor’s recommendation that he get his affairs in order. The same day a family member and close friend were each diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. I looked forward to the sweet rest of home, but a ferocious hailstorm had left my petunias looking like they’d been run through a salad shooter. To top it off, our television decided we should return to the fifties and view our entertainment in black and white! (I know it’s trivial, but it’s irritating.)
In a brief attempt to escape reality, my husband and I opted for a change of scenery. We went on a tour of homes that line one of the finest golf courses in our area. Each “castle” came with a glossy brochure highlighting the perks of ownership. As we strolled through each magnificent home, I kept thinking, No matter who buys these incredible homes, it’s just a matter of time before a hail storm or heartache knocks on the front door. It’s just a matter of time before they realize that this home will need repair, that it isn’t as sweet as they had hoped. Will they, like me, find themselves homesick, longing for a better, safer, quieter place to live?
That got me thinking about how a brochure might describe the features of heaven, God’s home. So let’s take a look at some highlights of the home God is preparing for us in heaven.
Our heavenly home will be built by no one less than Jesus, the Master Builder: “I am going there (to heaven) to prepare a place for you” (John 14:3). Imagine! The architect of the universe, the shaper of the Grand Canyon, and the crafter of a human being is building me a home! If He paves the streets of heaven with gold and carves its gates from pearls (Revelation 21:21), can you imagine what He uses for floors and walls?
No more painting, patching, or potholes! Our heavenly home will never need repairs or maintenance because nothing gets old, tired, or broke (including us). Life on earth is subject to the physical laws of the universe, the cycle of birth, growth, decay, and death (Romans 8:21). Paint peels, pipes leak, and plants need pruning. But in heaven, “the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Everything will work perfectly – forever!
Our heavenly dwelling will be mortgage-free, and because of God’s children inherit His Kingdom (Matthew 25:34), everything in heaven will be ours! We won’t need to buy or sell anything, because nothing will wear out. We will work, but it won’t be for wages and it won’t be the difficult, sweat-inducing, stressful “labor” we know on earth (Genesis 3:17-19).
Perfect Neighborhood!The crime statistics for this neighborhood is impressive! Heaven is the “home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13), so no crime can exist there. Even the thought of crime will be erased.
In his book, Escape the Coming Night, Pastor David Jeremiah invites us to imagine a city where everyone is holy, “a community where no one lied, no shady business deals were ever discussed, no unclean movies or pictures were seen.” No Neighborhood Watch or deadbolts needed!
Picture in your mind the most breathtaking scenery on earth. Multiply that beauty a hundred thousand times, and you still haven’t captured the beauty of heaven because the Bible tells us that “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Even though our world is incredibly beautiful, it is still a fallen world plagued by sin and death (Genesis 3:17). Try to imagine, then, what a perfect world must look like! A little girl who was walking with her father in the evening captured a glimpse of the wonder of heaven when she exclaimed, “O daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be?”
Never Move Again!
In heaven there are no job changes, farewell parties, evictions, or good-byes. Our search for peace, contentment, and meaning will be over. Every desire in our heart will be met because we will be with God, and in His “presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16: 11, NASB).
Our home in heaven is “not merely a place, not merely a point in time, but a way of living and away of relating that our hearts ached for but can hardly grasp, bound to this earth as we are”. In heaven, we will be “Home Sweet Home” at last!