I Want To Go To Heaven
Heaven is the eternal inheritance of all faithful children of God. “To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4) If we are children of God then we are heirs of heaven. “If children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:17) God blesses all those that live upon earth, but this inheritance is to none but His children. By regeneration we receive the promise of eternal inheritance. “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:15) Heaven is our incorruptible inheritance. This inheritance is undefined; It is reserved in heaven for you. Let us observe:
I want to go to heaven because I want to be with the Lord. Sin separates man from God both now and forever. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) The joy of the Christian is an eternity in the presence of the Lord. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) The great joy of heaven will be that we will see the Lord, enjoy His presence and be with Him forever. Paul would have been happy to put off the rags of mortality to be clothed in the glory of the Lord’s presence. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
I want to go to heaven because that means an end to all the struggles of this life. John wrote, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) Heaven will be free from all the troubles and sorrows of this life. “All tears shall be wiped away.” All the pains of past sorrow will be removed and all causes of future sorrows will be prevented. At this “living fountains of water God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17) Isaiah 25:8 says, “He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces." There is no more sorrow because sin is no more. “They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 51:11) It will be wonderful to enjoy heaven where there will be no more problems! Peace, joy and happiness will be there forever.
I want to go to heaven because I don’t want my Lord to have to died in vain. The gospel of Christ is the good news that Jesus died for sinners, was buried and was raised as Lord and Savior. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) I do not want His death to have been in vain. Paul wrote, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) The fact that Christ suffered sin’s penalty in man’s place is great motivation for going to Heaven. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-2) Heaven is man’s greatest goal to gain and greatest loss to loose!
I want to go to heaven because I surely don’t want to go to hell. Hell is described as a place of “everlasting punishment.” “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) Jesus warned us to “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28) The horrors of that lake, burning with fire and brimstone are indescribable. (Revelation 20:15) Hell is a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:42) It is a place of outer darkness inhabited by the Devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:30, Matthew 25:41) I want to go to heaven because surely I do not want to go to hell.
I want to go to heaven because it is a place of beauty and splendor. Our hope is, “laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.” (Colossians 1:5) Heaven is described as, “a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven." (Hebrews 10:34) Heaven is a “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:10) Heaven is that “Holy City” -- “New Jerusalem.” (Revelation 21:1-2) Imagine being in a place where, “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” are its temple. (Revelation 21:22) Heaven is a place of beauty, joy, comfort and delight. I want to go there!
I want to go to heaven because it is eternal - - everlasting life. Jesus said, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) Paul described heaven as an eternal place. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) Heaven is a place of eternal treasures. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
I want to go to heaven because I want to be with others who will be there. In heaven we will be in the presence of the Lord. Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3) In heaven you will also be with those that have done the will of God and those who died innocent. David knew he could be with his little child in heaven. “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23) In heaven you have the opportunity of being with the redeemed of all ages.
To be in heaven you must, (a) Hear the gospel of Christ (Acts 15:7), (b) Believe in God and in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), (c) Repent of sins (Luke 13:3), (d) Confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and (e) Be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) After baptism you must “walk in the light” to be kept clean by Jesus’ blood. (1 John 1:6-10.) I want to go to heaven! Do you? To go there we must be faithful to God. “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)
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News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: Shelby Jean Black, LeRoy Boutwell, Mary Ann Bozeman, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Camron Coleman, Arlene Coletrane, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Marietta Faulkenberry, Katlin Fuller, Patrick & Wanda Hicks, Felice Kendrick, Patricia Kennemore, Keller Kimbro (great grandson of Reese & Lydia Ann Raybon), Peggy Lassiter, Alice Little, Carolena Long, Larry Lucas, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Charlotte Miller, Jeff Miller, Ray Moore, Jeff Mustin, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Emma Peterson, Payton Pierce, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Shane Prater, Jack Queener, Amber Raines, Dan Raybon, Peggy Rice, Brenda Richburg, Billy Rodger, Timothy Rowell, Rosie Rudolph, Katie Sanders, L.D. Sessions, Chuck Shepherd, Nathan Simmons, Margaret Skipper, Debbie Stone, Bobby & Sylvia Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Arlene Thomas, Frank Thomas, Alice Thompson, Corrine Till, Jenny Trawick, Dannie Waller, Gladys Warren, Jim Watts, John Watts, Mary Ann Wilkes, and Jim Wood. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders, and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Baptized: (a) Gary Bozeman was baptized into Christ. Gray wanted to make sure that his relationship with God was like it should be. (b) Richard Clark was baptized into Christ Wednesday afternoon. Please send him a note to encourage him. His address is % Butler County Correction Facility, 800 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037.
3. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to (a) Jason Holladay and his family in the death of his brother, Josh, (b) Gary & Tony Bozeman, and Cindy Thomas and their families in the death of their stepfather, Hilton Gorum, (c) Neomia Collins and her family in the death of her nephew’s wife, Fredia Collins and (d) Donald and Ruth Davis and their families is the death of their nephew, Jimmy Townsends.
4. It’s A Boy: Congratulation to Justin and Ashley Pierce in the birth of their son, Gryffin Randolph. He was born September 12th. He weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20 ½ inches long. Congratulation also to proud grandparents Philip and Cheryl Pierce, Jeffrey and Laura Rutherford, and Jeff and Wanda Mustin. (a) There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board for ones to help with food for Justin and Ashley. (b) There is a box in the foyer to put dippers and wipes in for Gryffin Randolph.
5. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: September 16th Brittany Till, September 17th Jean Gafford, September 18th Jacob Till, September 19th Jane Owen, September 20th Mildred McCann and Sylvia Taylor and September 22nd Jewel Cauthen.
6. Thank You Notes: (a) It’s hard to find people who are quite as nice as all of you…and it’s hard to find the words to say how many thanks are yours today. Thanks, to all who helped me set another mile stone in my life. Love, Elizabeth Perdue, and (b) Dear Walnut Street Church Family, Thank you for your prayers, phone calls, visits and cards while I was in the hospital and confined at home. I consider it a great honor to be a part of this family of God’s people. Please continue to pray that I may regain my strength. With love, L.D. Sessions
7. Ambridge University Spiritual Enrichment Forum: The Spiritual Enrichment Forum will be held downtown Montgomery at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 1st – 3rd. On Tuesday night, October 2nd the Annual Appreciation Dinner will be held honoring Bobby and Mary Lou Terrell along with George and Nina Herring. Please attend if possible. See Bobby Terrell for more information. *There are forms on the table to register for the Appreciation Dinner.
9. Gospel Meeting: Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. He has authored many books and publications and is a well know speaker and defender of God’s word. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting.
A Different Way To “See”
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that when our hope is found in Jesus, as long as we live here on earth we are “away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:6-7). Like bats, we are to see things in a different way than the rest of the world. For many people around us, this world contains EVERYTHING that matters. They “walk” for motivators like money, recognition, and pleasure. But we have something far greater to hope for. Our “life is hidden with Christ in God,” because “when Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4)
Christ has left each one of us an inheritance worth far more than any estate we could imagine. And it is available to EVERYONE who will submit to Him. But those who refuse to put their hope in Christ cannot see the glorious hope that we have. They see the temporary joy of material things and assume that happiness only goes that deep. Christians, though, should have their “faith-colored glasses” on and know that REAL life is only found through Jesus. True joy can only be seen with the “eye of the heart.”
So, will you claim your inheritance? Will the matchless gift of God’s love be wasted on you? Come to Jesus and live!
Walnut Street Church of
P.O. Box 551
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, AL 36037-0551