Category Archives: Heaven

Heaven – only those qualified enter

The San Diego KAABOO offers a 3 day festival of food, music, comedy and alcohol—oh yes, don’t forget the booze; Americans have convinced themselves they function better after drinking spirits.  What they too often get is negative behavior that is blatantly spirituous, not spiritual.

That happened in September, 2016.  Naturally, it occurred around 11 PM, after the crowd had become soused with suds.  Naturally, it occurred when patrons wanted to enter a venue that had already reached capacity.  Naturally, they insisted on entering, whatever the rules were about overcrowding.  Naturally, behavior turned ugly and riotous.  And, naturally, sheriff deputies arrived, shot pepper spray, arrested ringleaders and, from a helicopter, ordered the crowd to disperse.  San Diego U-T, 9/19/16

It all resulted in arrests of a few, fear in a number of people, criticism of the security arrangements and the usual political promise to never let it happen again.

Which brings us to Heaven and what will happen when people want to enter but CAN’T and WON’T.  Not because Heaven is overflowing with people, though Jesus said God’s House will be full, but because they don’t QUALIFY to enter.  They haven’t paid the price of admission—which is nothing more or less than submission to Jesus Christ’s Saviorhood and Lordship.

A word of warning to those not qualified:  no pushing and shoving, demanding entrance or declaring you’ll get in OR ELSE, will matter.

When, on Christ’s order, angels welcome us, we enter.  When, at his direction they reject us, we vanish.  We don’t hang around in the shadows awaiting a chance to skip by a harried angel.  At the end of the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis differentiated it as the SMILE Jesus gives welcoming and FROWN he expresses rejecting in wrath.  However it happens, no one storms the gates to enter the Holy City.  Count on it.  Prepare to be welcomed by confessing Jesus Christ and being baptized.  Prepare to be cast into outer darkness without it.

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Heaven – only for the prepared

The flashy Hilton Garden Inn along Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego, gleams in the sun against blue-paned windows and white surfaces.  The registration area reflects the exterior’s appeal, its boxed lines in a checkerboard pattern across the partition.  The clerks waiting to register guests dress to match the surroundings.  An architect’s dream.  Luxury at first and continuing sight.  The kind of place patrons should enter dressed in long gowns, tuxedos and top hats.   Except…there stood the guests, dressed in slacks, sweaters, jeans, sports shoes, flip-flops and back packs, dragging wheeled-luggage.

All of which surfaces a spiritual perspective.  No matter your dress, luggage, intellect, business or morality, the Hilton Corporation will register you, take your money and open the door into luxurious rooms.  “Pay Up” and you’re welcomed.

For a moment however, see the picture as the entrance to Heaven, with the employees behind the counter as Angels checking names of people lined up for Judgment before being welcomed into the Father’s many rooms.  And think of their casual clothes and footwear as the morality and good deeds many expect to pay their price of admission into Heaven.

To be shocked that the good deeds and morality of every unredeemed human are like “filthy rags” to God Isaiah 64:6.  To discover that Jesus died to forgive the sins that no good deeds or morality could ever cancel, qualifying us to live with the holy God!  What corporations tolerate to flush its coffers full, God never accepts, to maintain his control of all who enter his presence.

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Heaven – great joy

When General Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Union Troops around the village began to cheer and to fire guns and artillery.  Not wanting to further humiliate the Confederates, General Grant ordered the celebration stopped.  In Grant’s rear, however, news of Lee’s surrender filtered, not of Grant’s prohibition.  The Army of the Potomac went berserk with joy, the usually imperturbable General Meade included.  Into the air went hats, boots, coats, shirts, blankets and canteens.  Soldiers fell on each other’s necks, kissing and hugging, laughing and crying, shouting and singing.  Grown men gamboled like kids, playing leapfrog, standing on their heads, dancing silly dances alone and in groups.  All around cannon roared and bands played, and soldiers surrendered to a transport of joy.

An officer wrote his wife, “Notwithstanding the privations and hardships I have endured, and the great suffering I have undergone, the glory of this day more than compensates me for all.”

How shall God’s people react when we see the Holy City?  When we enter the Holy City?  With no one to quiet us because “God doesn’t want the Enemy further humiliated.”  With the awareness that we HAVE OVERCOME by the blood of the Lamb.  That we ARE in the very Presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, in the eternal city.  Can we imagine any transport excessive, any shouting too loud, any display of victory too exuberant?