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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Heaven is a Happy Place

You know the promises. So does everyone else. Heaven will be a place with baby shampoo, right? You know ... "no more tears". (Sorry -- bad joke.) But, seriously, Scripture is clear that "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Rev 21:4) Heaven, we all know, will be a place of eternal bliss. Sure, we may not fully grasp "pearly gates" or streets of gold that are transparent (Rev 21:18), but we're absolutely clear on this joy-in-heaven thing.

So, let me ask you. If you were to find out that heaven would be a place of happiness ... but Jesus would not be there, would you want to go?

I heard that question some years ago and it stunned me. First, it was "Well, who wouldn't?" But it started to sink in and I had to shift almost immediately. Is our goal joy and peace away from this mess we're in now, or is it Him? Are we aiming for comfort or relationship with Him? Is it even possible to have joy where Jesus is not?

The psalmist wrote, "Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright." (Psa 33:1) Nehemiah said, "The joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh 8:10) Paul wrote that the fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace ..." (Gal 5:22-23) Now, we can look all sorts of places for happiness, but true joy is found in the Lord. The abundant life is found in Christ (John 10:10). We were built to be with Him. Heaven is a happy place, but that happiness is found in His unmitigated presence. There is no joy in Heaven if He isn't there. And if He isn't there, I don't want to be, either. I want to be where He is.


Eternity Matters said...

Yep. My favorite verse on that theme: Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the question is just an exercise to separate one idea from another. and see which idea gets the greater appeal, then use the appeal for heaven to shame. "see you want heaven more than Christ"
it is just a false question; just a philosophical exercise.
the reality is that Heaven has been Created By Christ, so that we may dwell with Him in Glory.
they are inseparable. i acknowledge that some want to go to heaven but don't want Christ.
but please don't hit us over the head for wanting what Christ in heaven provides. i am sure that when we get there, we will have the right attitude; because we will all be changed and conformed to the image of Christ.
ok now its your turn... LOL

Stan said...

Well, in truth, you're partially right, Anonymous. The aim was to separate the two ideas. Having separated "happy" from "Christ" and recognized the superior joy of Christ, I think you'll find that "happy" has improved as well.

Conversely, if someone can indeed be happy without Christ, they may get neither.