Finally Home
avatar

You know that feeling you get when you’ve been away from home and you walk into your house for the first time in however long – that feeling that says, “Aaah, finally home”? I imagine that’s the feeling we’ll have when we first step into Heaven – only so so much better.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Lots of songs are written about it. The first three that come to my mind are “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe, the hymn, “Face to Face With Christ, My Savior,” and a song by Chris Rice that you probably haven’t heard called “Circle Up” (The title has to do with the chorus that I didn’t use here).

“Hear the hum of angel curiosity
The children of the Lord are gathering
Finally the Day we’ve all been dreaming of
Caught up forever in His love!

Hear the thunder of unfolding wings
Feel the mighty wind their beating brings
Rain your grateful tears and flood the floor
Rise up and worship like a storm!

Now hear His golden voice above it all
He’s saying, “This tear is the last to fall!”
A few simple words, another storm He calms
Invites us all into His arms!”1

I’m not sure why these particular lyrics speak so strongly to me, but I love the thought that the angels are almost as excited to welcome us Home as we are to get there. And, of course, I love the mental picture of Jesus inviting us all into His arms.

Have you ever tried to imagine what those first few moments/days/weeks in Heaven might be like? I believe it’s good that we’re going to have a thousand years, because I’m pretty sure that for the first good while, nobody’s going to be doing anything but just looking at Jesus. We’ll be trying to wrap our minds around the idea that we won’t ever be separated from Him again.

But after that, there’s going to be so much to do! We’ll have to pick up the directions to our mansions at some point, but, again, I can’t imagine we’ll be that interested in that right at first.

I know one of the very first things I want to do is meet and talk to my guardian angel. What about you? Have you ever thought about how interesting that will be – to sit down and hear about all the times your angel protected you when you didn’t even know you were in danger?

Next I’d like to find all my family and friends and do a head count and a group hug. But then I’d like to start making my way through visiting with all my Bible heroes. I don’t know, maybe they’ll each have their own meeting area and we can just move from group to group. However it works, I’d love to ask Noah how he managed to keep building the ark even when absolutely nobody else except his family believed him.

Can you imagine talking to David and hearing him tell about his life? What would you like to ask him? Who else would you like to talk to? Do you think Jonah will be there? We don’t know if he ever made peace with God over the whole Nineveh thing. I’d absolutely have to talk to Moses! How did he ever keep his sanity? Mary and Joseph would be a must, wouldn’t they? Along with Jesus’ disciples – John the Baptist, Samson, Elisha and Elijah. Oh, and Daniel! He and his three buddies would really have some amazing stories!

Is there a special person who guided you into the truth? You’ll definitely want to find that person! Maybe they don’t even know what kind of influence they had on your life. Won’t it be fun to tell them?

At some point we’re going to have a banquet and we’ll all sit down around a mile long dining table and be able to see and talk to anyone along the table as we eat the best food we have ever eaten. Do you think we’ll recognize everybody we see or will we be making introductions along the way?

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I want to do is go find the animals and spend some time petting and getting to know the big cats and all the other animals we don’t dare touch here on earth.

What do you think the first Sabbath in Heaven will be like? Can you imagine someone up front teaching/ preaching, or discussion groups? Would we even have a formal meeting place or would we just enjoy being in Heaven – walking around and visiting with everybody else?

At some point, though, Jesus will sit us down and open the books of the judgment with us. That’s going to be our primary job doing the millennium – to review God’s books so that we can understand exactly how God’s justice perfectly fits what each person did or didn’t do. We’ll also be helping the beings from other planets understand that God is truly a just and perfect God so that no one will ever again raise the question of whether or not God is fair.

Then, too, there’s going to be singing! What kind of music do you think we’ll experience? I know we’ll have a song to sing that only the redeemed can sing. There won’t be any “pitchy” singers or disagreements over which kind of praise music is appropriate.

We’ll want to experience what our new and improved bodies will do. Some people, like Joni Earickson Tada will be walking for the first time since she was a youngster.

I remember hearing a story about the hymn writer, Fannie Crosby. Someone asked her if she wanted to be healed of her blindness during her lifetime. Her answer was ‘no’. She said she would rather stay blind because she wanted the face of Jesus to be the very first thing she saw.

I’m sure we’ll all be experiencing our new bodies as though we had been crippled here on earth. We’ll have to spend time traveling the galaxies, visiting other worlds that Jesus made.

There are so many things to do in Heaven, so much more than Satan wants you to think about. He wants you to think Heaven is just sitting on a cloud, playing a harp, for eternity – how boring! Who would want that? Instead we have eternity jam-packed full of friends to visit, things to learn, music to make, animals to play with, new people to meet and, most important, Jesus. We get to spend eternity with Jesus. Wow – just wow!

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

“The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming. ‘There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.’

“‘And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me,’ saith the Lord. ‘The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.’ ‘The Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’ ‘In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people.’” (E.G. White, Heaven, p.188)

  1. Chris Rice, Run the Earth… Watch the Sky (2003)
Share Button

Comments

Finally Home — 13 Comments

  1. Dr. Lopez

    Thank you for giving me a glimpse of what God has in store for us. My heart longs to be ready for that great day when all God's children will meet to have the greatest family reunion with God our heavenly Father, Jesus His Son, the Holy Spirit, the angels, and the other worlds!!!

    Thank you
    Deborah Paige

    Like(0)
  2. You mention that "We’ll also be helping the beings from other planets understand that God is truly a just and perfect God...." is there a verse perhaps that specifies that there are other planets where there are beings.

    Reason I ask is because scientist are trying by all mean to find if there is life on any other planets.... and my belief is that there none.... based on my knowledge of creation as in Genesis 1.

    Like(0)
    • Your question is an interesting one. I am sure you know that we can't really use Heb 1:2 or Heb 11:3 because the Greek word αἰῶνας translated into "worlds" really means a very long time, all the rest of the places where it is used it is usually translated "ever", "forever", or "evermore." So yes you are right there is no verse that explicitly says there are other worlds. Because of that I really can't be dogmatic about it. However, my personal conviction is that there is life on other worlds beyond our solar system that we have no access to and the following is the reason why I believe that.

      You said that science isn't finding extraterrestrial life and I don't think they will at least minimally not in our solar system. That is not because life doesn't exist out there but because God is letting evolution hang itself. Evolution says that there is no God and that everything just happened. God is falsifying that claim little by little.

      What we need to understand is that there is a place called heaven where Jesus ascended to (Acts 1:9). It is something that the Bible treats as a real physical place. We also know that there are angels that are not of this world. So even if we go no further than that we have established the fact that there is some place outside of earth where other intelligent creatures live.

      You also mention Gen 1 and say that you believe there are no other worlds beside our own based on it. That is something that some creationist groups also believe. To them everything was created during creation week including the earth along with the rest of the universe. So let's go to Genesis and see what it says:

      In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
      2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
      3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
      4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
      5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Gen. 1:1-5 NKJV)

      Please notice that the Bible starts out by making a statement that God created the heavens and the earth. Then in verse 2 it says that the earth was without form and that it had water on it. You see the problem is that it is very difficult to account for the presence of the earth before creation if everything was made during those six days especially the fourth day. That one little bit of information opens up a whole field of questions. One of them concerns whether the earth was part of the statement in the first verse. Was it created along with the rest of the heavens before creation week? The NET bible discusses the two ways to view these texts according to the Hebrew in their notes on Gen1:1 (https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Genesis+1). For brevity I quote the second view they give here:

      If the first view is adopted, then we have a reference here to original creation; if the second view is taken, then Genesis itself does not account for the original creation of matter. To follow this view does not deny that the Bible teaches that God created everything out of nothing (cf. John 1:3) – it simply says that Genesis is not making that affirmation. This second view presupposes the existence of pre-existent matter, when God said, "Let there be light." The first view includes the description of the primordial state as part of the events of day one. The following narrative strongly favors the second view, for the "heavens/sky" did not exist prior to the second day of creation (see v. 8) and "earth/dry land" did not exist, at least as we know it, prior to the third day of creation (see v. 10).

      On top of that the statements during the fourth day state the theological purpose for the celestial bodies, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years" (Gen 1:14 NKJV). But scripture also states that three days had already pasted, but what was it based on since the sun was given for determining days and nights on the fourth day? Therefore I conclude that there was indeed preexisting matter prior to the six days of creation which concerns the setting up of the environment for life and then creating it in all its variety.

      If that view is accepted then there is no reason to exclude the creation of other intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe. That would be one reason why God tells Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? . . . Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7 NKJV)? Sons of God at the beginning of creation? Or what about the meeting that took place as described in Job 1:6. That meeting must have taken place outside of earth since it obviously happened after the fall in Eden. Such a conclusion as this is fully consistent with the narrow field the Bible takes since it doesn't discuss other major civilizations outside of the Mediterranean area but rather focuses on a small area on a rather small planet.

      On top of that there are some philosophical questions one could ask about God as a creator. From what I can understand He always has been and always will be - if not, then what was God doing during the long stretches in eternity past? Nothing?

      What we need to keep in mind is that there are more creatures involved in this mess we are in that started in Heaven (Rev 12:7-9) than merely us. So, we shouldn't allow ourselves to get into an egocentric mindset that says we are it and God loves no one else.

      Like(0)
  3. Wow!! I just I like the Joni Tada comment the first person she wants to see upon regaining sight is Christ. How special and touching is that..Let's practise neology each day so that we won't be caught off guard as did the 5 foolish virgins. Thumbs up for the good essay.

    Like(0)
  4. I think of our future life more and more often as time goes by. Love, joy, peace and longsuffering, etc., will be abundant. No more lies, selfishness and all the sin that we suffer with here on earth. And mostly to see Jesus. To be in the presence of Love. It is something I have thought about most of my life...being in a world of love. I look forward to that reality. Thanks Lillian!

    Like(0)
  5. "I’d love to ask Noah how he managed to keep building the ark even when absolutely nobody else except his family believed him."

    I think the concept of what you wrote in this article is very interesting, but we must be careful to not teach error.
    I searched Genesis 7 and there is in no way anything saying or indicating that no one believed in Noah. This stems from the other (error?) taught that Noah preached for years, when in fact, there is no indication that he said anything to anyone about the flood! Therefore, how can we surmise that no one except his family believed in him, when he didn't say anything (at least that was recorded)? Who knows? Maybe the people were asking questions.
    Maybe the people at that time were condemned like those in Sodom, and there was no need to warn them as they were going to be destroyed anyway.

    Like(0)
    • You raise a serious question concerning Noah. Did Noah stay in seclusion and say nothing while he was building the ark? If he did then I would like to suggest that Peter was wrong in calling him, “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet 2:5 NKJV). That being the case I would now like to look at a few texts and comment on them. The first one is this:

      For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Mat 24:38-39 NKJV)

      The question I pose here has to do with the end of time. Will no one know that the end is coming if it is indeed like it was in Noah’s day? If what you say is true then those at the end will go down to hell without any opportunity to repent. Is that fair? If it isn’t fair for them would it be fair for those in Noah’s day?

      By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Heb 11:7 NKJV)

      How could he condemn the world by telling them nothing? That would be like someone renting a moving van and parking it outside his house for a month and thinking that everyone who saw the truck would automatically be warned that a disaster was going to hit the area in two months and that they should move out like he was going to do.

      Now for the third and most difficult of the texts to explain because it gets into the state of the dead for which there isn’t enough space here to explain (there are several Bible studies that do, click here and go down to “Bible Studies Online”):

      For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. (1 Pet 3:18-20 NKJV)

      Who are these “spirits in prison”? I will simply state that they are not spirits of the dead and leave it at that. First of all please notice that it happened in the past (went) “when . . . in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared.” Also notice that Christ preached to them through the Spirit which was also in the prophets (1 Pet 1:10-11) as they spoke of Christ. Besides, one does not have to be in a physical prison to be in one for we imprison ourselves in slavery when we sin.

      They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say,`You will be made free ‘?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin (Jn 8:33-34 NKJV; see also Lk 4:17-21; 2 Pet 2:18-19).

      As to the question of why the preaching was done I quote the following:

      What message could He bring them? Would He offer them a second chance even after death? If so, Why single out that particular generation – why not give a second chance to all the many millions of dead? Is Peter teaching that God plays favorites? Is he teaching the doctrine of purgatory? No, Scripture makes plain that death seals our fate and there is no second chance: “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27 NKJV). Most Christians rightly reject the unscriptural teachings of purgatory and a supposed “second chance.”
      The purpose of the preaching was not to offer a second chance to disembodied spirits of dead sinners but to warn the wicked living in Noah’s day to repent.” (7 Mysteries Solved, Howard A. Peth, Hart books, p 308)

      Like(0)
  6. I was privileged to have Viola as my aunt. In her Bible was a rendition of what will take place after we are caught up in the air with those who have died in Christ. This was an original she had typed, I could tell by feeling the back of the parchment. It was not to many decades ago that there were type writers that left a braille type imprint on the back of the paper. The authorship was Ellen G. White's secretary as told to her by EGW and never published. As my memory serves me, we travel on our 7 day journey to heaven to our temporary home for a thousand years, ending some where through Orion Nebula. Before we arrive in heaven we will stop at one of the inhabited worlds. There we will spend the seventh day of the week (Sabbath) entertained to Sabbath School and Church and a most glorious music program in the afternoon. I do believe the potluck and evening meal will be super, not to mention the wonderful breakfast provided before Sabbath School. Since any inhabited world on the way to heaven is much closer to heaven then this earth, it is logical to assume that we begin our journey on Monday, arrive on the inhabited world on Friday evening before sundown, spend the Sabbath with Gods people who live on a world that has never fallen, resume our journey Sabbath evening after sundown, landing on the sea of glass some time Sunday. Now back to our earthly test where we are admonished to "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men(be brave), be strong 1 Corinthians 16:13.

    Like(0)
  7. It seems so surreal like it can never really happen like it is just a dream.
    Not trying to be a hater but I guess it is the thinking of the world.

    Like(0)
  8. What a wonderful moment to imagine how it will be, when the King of King comes. This has been pure revival in my spiritual life. May GOD bless you.

    Like(0)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.