Saturday, October 3, 2020

Heaven or Bust - Martin Wiles

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 NLT

“When we die and go to heaven, do we come back?”

Conversations with our five-year-old grandson can tax the brain. This one had started with his mom the previous day. Obviously, her answer didn’t satisfy him. As my wife and I transported him and his brother to her workplace, he asked us. Perhaps, he thought we’d give a better answer.

“We don’t come back,” my wife answered.

This answer bothered him. He wanted to go to heaven … but not stay there. We tried to comfort him: “But this won’t happen until you get old.”

No dice. “How old are you when you die.” I didn’t want to tell him my age. That would have taxed my nerves.

“Old,” my wife said, tapping me on the knee so I could get in on the conversation she didn’t know how to handle.

We tried explaining how we needed Jesus in our hearts so we could go to heaven when we die. That didn’t work either. He’s a literal thinker.

“I don’t want Jesus in my heart.” Oh, he loves Jesus. He just didn’t want anyone literally living in his heart.

Eventually, his questions stopped. I suppose we didn’t do any better than his mom with answering his question. But at least heaven was on his mind.

Heaven occupied the mind of one of the thieves hanging beside Jesus also. As the three of them hung on rugged crosses, bleeding and fighting for air, both criminals mocked Jesus. Then one of them changed his mind and asked Jesus to remember him. That’s when Jesus assured him that he would enter heaven with Him that day.

To answer my grandson’s question, when we get to heaven we don’t come back—unless we get to after the end of time when God creates a new heaven and a new earth. But the bigger point concerns getting to heaven in the first place. This involves asking Jesus to remember us, as the thief did. Though the thief didn’t ask for forgiveness, his words revealed his repentant heart.

Going God’s way is how we get to heaven, and once we go His way through repentance we’ll never want to go back to our old ways—and heaven will be ours.

Don’t let anything keep you from making your reservations in heaven.

Prayer: Father, thank You for preparing an eternal dwelling place for those who love You.

Tweetable: Are you heading in the right direction to heaven?

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