What If There Is a Heaven? Part II
"Now we know that if the earthly tent [our human body] we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."1
In continuing our series on heaven we have the evidence from the testimonials of famous people who shared their last words. For example, it is reported that Professor J.H. Huxley, the famous agnostic, as he lay dying suddenly looked up at some sight invisible to mortal eyes, and staring awhile, whispered at last, "So it is true."
Sir Francis Newport, head of the English Infidel Club, said to those gathered around his death bed, "Do not tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and that I am in his angry presence! You need not tell me there is no hell, for I already feel my soul slipping into its fires! Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know that I am lost forever."
Dwight L. Moody, the famous Christian preacher, awakening from sleep shortly before he died had just the opposite to say: "Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go."
"No, no, Father," said Moody's son, "you are dreaming." "I am not dreaming," replied Moody. "I have been within the gates. I have seen the children's faces." His last words were, "This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious!"
Thomas Edison, the great scientific genius who was not given to idle words, in his dying moments, said to his wife and doctor, "It is beautiful over there."
Third, we have evidence from the experience of someone close to us. One of my best friends had cancer and passed away at age forty-four. As his end neared, with arms outstretched and lifted heavenward, he graphically described to me how he longed to meet God.
The day before my friend died, he went into a coma. His wife was with him. She reported to me that while still in the coma, though gravely weakened in body, without any warning her husband seemed strangely energized as he suddenly sat bolt upright in bed and, turning his face heavenward, reached up with open arms as if being greeted by someone only he could see. A moment later his body slumped back lifeless. He was gone. She also said, "Immediately following, a great sense of peace and divine presence filled the entire house."
My friend was a committed Christian. He had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He knew where he was going after this life, and died triumphantly.
How different compared to the experience I had with a woman who also died of cancer. I was asked to visit her in the hospital. As far as I know she was not a Christian and was terrified of dying. She sat in a chair night and day, refusing to lie down for fear she would go to sleep and never wake up again.
It was difficult to communicate with her because she kept going in and out of consciousness. We just held her hand and repeated, "God loves you, God loves you."
"When she brightens a little," I said to her friend, "send for me and I'll come right back."
But she never brightened. Two days later she died terrified. I can't think of anything more tragic than to leave earth to go into a lost eternity when there is absolutely no need to. To make sure you don't do this, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian (without having to be religious)" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
To be concluded …
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have made it possible through the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus, for all my sins to be forgiven so I can spend eternity with you in heaven. Help me to make sure that I am prepared to meet you face to face when I die. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.