What If There Is a Heaven?
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 Graham's end neared, with arms outstretched and lifted heavenward, he graphically described how he longed to meet God.
The day before Graham died he went into a coma. While still in the coma, though gravely weakened in body, without any warning he seemed strangely energized as he suddenly sat bolt upright in bed and, turning his face heavenward, reached out his arms as if being greeted by someone only he could see. A moment later his body slumped back lifeless. Graham was gone. His wife said, "Immediately following a great sense of peace and divine presence filled the entire house."
Graham 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 Rosemary who also died of cancer. I was asked to visit her in the hospital. As far as I know Rosemary 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, Rosemary, God loves you."
"When she brightens a little," I said to her friend, "send for me and I'll come right back."
But Rosemary never brightened. Two days later she died terrified. I can't think of anything more tragic than to end this life and go into a lost eternity when there is absolutely no need to do so.
It is beautiful over there.
Fourth, and best of all, we have evidence from Jesus Christ and the whole of God's Word, the Bible. Speaking about heaven Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. In my Father's house are many mansions. I am going there to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come back to take you there to be with me forever."1
According to one Bible scholar, there are some 1,845 references to Christ's coming back to earth that are recorded in the Old Testament and 318 in the New Testament. There are many more references about heaven and hell. And as Jesus said, he is right now preparing heaven for all Christians and will, when everything is ready, return to take them to be with him forever. Furthermore, while ministering here on earth Jesus repeatedly made mention of heaven.
Nobody can prove that there is a heaven or a hell. Neither can anybody prove there isn't. The evidence, however, confirms that there are both, and I know which side I'd rather be on. If I believe, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. But if I don't believe, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain.
The choice to believe or not to believe is each individual's decision. For those who choose to believe, the key issue is to be sure that you are prepared for heaven and ready to meet God face to face. You do that first, by believing that when Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago, he died to pay the ransom price for your sins; second, by confessing your sins; and third, by responding to Christ's call to accept him into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior.
The wonderful thing is that God's invitation to heaven is open to everyone. As God's Word, the Bible, says, "Whoever will may come."2
If you haven't already done so, will you accept God's invitation to come to him by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Today? For assistance to do this click on the God's Invitation link at the bottom of the page.
1. John 14:1-3.
2. Revelation 22:17.
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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