I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven the past few days. Death in a family does that. Do you ever think about heaven?

Did you know that all people will live forever? God created us with an eternal soul. According to the Bible, we will either spend eternity in the presence of God in His heaven or separated from Him forever in the place prepared for satan and his angels, called hell.

Entrance into heaven is free to us, but not free to God. Just as you must have the proper passport, visa, and entrance papers to travel to another country, we need the right documentation for Heaven. In a few weeks, I’m planning a trip to the Netherlands. I can’t get on the airplane without checking in. They’ll check my passport and make sure I’ve purchased my very expensive ticket. After that, I must go through security before I’m allowed on the plane. When I land at my destination, I’ll go through passport control, and present a valid passport and any supporting documentation the Netherlands requires for entry.

If I tried to enter the Netherlands any other way, I’d be an interloper, a thief. And I’d quickly be expelled. The only way I could get around these laws would be if the King of the Netherlands came to me in his private plane, picked me up, and took me back with Him. His authority over His own country would allow Him to bring someone in who, on their own, could not enter.

Heaven has some requirements for entry, too. And why not? Heaven belongs to God; it’s His home, His country, His city built without hands. We have no right to enter without following the laws He has established, just as I have no right to enter the Netherlands without following their laws.

God’s law is perfect. It’s beyond fulfilling. No matter how hard I try, I could never get all my documentation in order; there would always be something wrong. God knew this because He knows we are sinful people. We have a disease that prohibits our entrance into His perfect, holy, kingdom, and that disease is sin. He knew that the only One perfect enough to satisfy the requirements of His heavenly-entrance laws would be Himself, His only begotten Son, born of a virgin, made in the flesh.

Jesus came to our country to get us. He paid our ticket price on the cross and the only way we’re getting into heaven is if we travel with Him – in Him.

Here’s the catch. We never know when it’s our time to make the journey. We must be ready to go when He says, “It’s time!” We don’t know when the plane is leaving. There’s no published schedule, and you must have your pre-paid ticket in hand before the doors are shut. When you close your eyes on this side of eternity, you won’t have a chance to make that decision; by not deciding – by not accepting Jesus’ offer of eternal life and entrance into heaven – you will have decided your destination is hell.

It costs a lot to go to heaven – more than we can pay. I’m so grateful Jesus paid the price and I can’t wait until He calls my name. My seat is reserved. My papers are in order. And I can’t wait to go home.

John 10:1-3,7,9 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climb up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” … So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. … I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

What Jesus Took Away

I can envision Heaven where streets are paved with gold

I can imagine pearly gates with luster yet untold

And I can even think about no pain or sickness there

And my ears hear the Hosannas raised, wafting oer the air.

And think of this, no hearing aids, no glasses for the eyes

And when we don our heavenly robe, no worrying about the size.

No credit cards with bills now due, no mortgages to pay

And imagine if you can, not worrying what others say.

And then as all my dreams unfold the best promise made of all

For when I step on streets of gold, I heard the sweetest call

I heard my mother call my name, first time in many years

And she hugged me in her arms surrounded by family dear.

And I imagine we would walk. As family, hand in hand

To gather at the golden throne and join the heavenly band.

And we’ll praise Him for eons long with the songs only for redeemed

And then I awoke from my dreams, it was all real it seemed.

But one thing I can’t imagine, a truth I can’t conceive

l know it’s real, He promised it, but ‘tis still hard to believe.

For I know sure we’ll have all the things he promised for us there

But the one thing that He took away, the gifts just can’t compare.

For gates of pearl and streets of gold are wonderful to see

But it’s what He took, not what He gave that still amazes me.

For I can imagine every gift and dream of them again and again

But I cannot fathom eternity when He takes away ALL SIN!!

There’ll be no temptation, no price to pay, caused by our sinful will

No hate, no spite, no envy or lust, no pull to satan’s thrill

So dreaming of Glory is wonderful but this I’ll have to say,

The greatest gift He promises us is what He takes away.

Poem written by my uncle, Arnold Todd 8/30/2022

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