by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
I’ve always thought about Heaven as I think about my IRA. I’m glad it’s there, but it has little impact on my current life. Truth be told, I haven’t spent time thinking about Heaven because it seemed a bit dull. I envisioned it as a prolonged choir event. I’m an action person. Heaven didn’t sound like it had much action, so I didn’t give it much thought. But since Dad has passed, I find myself thinking about it often.
Here are a few things the Bible says happens right after we die. Angels carry you to Heaven (Luke 16:22). You still have memories, personality, and speech intact (Luke 16:19-31). You will recognize others who are already there (Luke 9:28-36). You enter God’s presence (2 Corinthians 5:6-8), and there is definitely a worship party going on (Revelation 4 & 5), but it sounds like one for the ages!
In fact, Heaven, in the Scriptures, sounded so awesome I wanted to learn more. So I’ve started reading stories about people who have had a near-death experience (NDE’s). Their experiences have striking similarities. They all talk about peace, warmth, and love they feel when they are there. Many report the colors and sounds of the worship party as being so exquisite they defy explanation.
Regardless of their culture or religion, most report meeting a Man full of light and love who knew everything they ever did. Sound like anyone we know? All of them come back deeply, profoundly changed because of it. As researcher Nancy Evens-Bush says, “Most near-death survivors say they don’t think there is a God. They know!” Not even the die-hard skeptics doubt the powerful personal effects of NDEs. “This is a profound emotional experience,” explains one scientist. “People are convinced that they’ve seen heaven.”
But not everyone who goes and comes back sees Heaven. Some report an NDE that was anything but pleasant. Those stories are the stuff nightmares are made of. Considering my checkered past, I would be worried about my eternal destination if I didn’t know Jesus has a 100% track record of forgiving the sins and saving the souls of anyone who asks.
And while I can’t tell you I’ve had an NDE, I have had an encounter on this side of life with a Man full of light and love. And even though I deserve death and damnation, I’ve been given forgiveness and a future. I think The Passion Translations version of 1 Timothy 1:13-16 describes me perfectly:
“Mercy kissed me, even though I used to be a blasphemer, persecutor of believers, and a scorner of what turned out to be true. I was ignorant and didn’t know what I was doing. I was flooded with such incredible grace, like a river overflowing its banks, until I was full of faith and love for Jesus, the Anointed One! I can testify that the Word is true and deserves to be received by all, for Jesus Christ came into the world to bring sinners back to life — even me, the worst sinner of all! Yet I was captured by grace so that Jesus could display through me the outpouring of his Spirit as a pattern to be seen for all those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”
If you haven’t trusted Him for eternal life, all you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and come into your heart. Believe me, something happens to us after this life. My Daddy is there right now, and I can’t wait to see him again. But most of all, I can’t wait to see Jesus, and to join the party!