John and Paul are the only two persons mentioned in the Bible that were given actual glimpses of our Heavenly Home (Revelation; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10). After this, they had to stay on this earth until they passed away. Elijah and Enoch were both “raptured” to Heaven, and both have been there ever since (2 Kings 2:9-14; Genesis 5:24). Jesus told the repentant thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus before that day was over (Luke 23:40-43). (all ESV; emphasis mine)
Even though we have been given some descriptions of the splendor of our eternal Home, I firmly believe we cannot ever fully imagine just how awesome and beautiful it will really be. Anything that we might take as being beautiful on this earth will pale in comparison to Heaven. Consider a city with twelve gates, and each gate is made up of a single pearl. Only the true Lord God Jehovah, Creator of the heavens and the earth could accomplish this with just a thought in His mind, and this is only one of the wonders of what awaits us (Revelation 21-22).
While we are told that the Godhead is a “Trinity,” or three distinct entities that are also “One,” we will not be able to fully understand how this can be until we are Home forever. Jesus, while on this earth as fully human, stated in John 10:30, “I and the Father are One.” In 2 Corinthians, Paul gives us all three entities with, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
The Father is being merciful to us by not showing exactly what Heaven is like. If I were able to actually see the sights John spoke of, I believe I could not bear being here another minute.
Also, we are given the opportunity to choose eternity with Jesus or eternity separated from Him with the devil and all his demons. Some may say this is a “no-brainer,” but God will never force His will on anyone. He reserves a place for every soul that will receive and accept the free gift His Son gave us at Calvary. He allows those who will to develop a relationship with Jesus that will only get stronger as each day passes and then continues when we enter our Heavenly Home. This offer is available to every soul on this earth.
He also allows people to choose this earth and all its so-called pleasures and treasures rather than force compliance. He knows Satan and his evil forces are constantly at work, trying to pull as many souls away from the Shepherd as possible. The fate of Satan and the fallen angels is already set, as given in Matthew 25:41, and they have no pathway for forgiveness. If the Father would force humans to worship Jesus, that would not be a true love, and our God is all about Love.
In every so-called man-made religion, there are so many rules to follow that require many works and donations before any member can attain their deity’s paradise. Sadly, almost all of the followers never really know if they have done enough or not. Our Father, the absolute true God of the Universe, has made it as simple as ABC for us to be “assured” that we are part of the Holy Shepherd’s flock.
We admit that we know we are sinners and cannot save ourselves. That’s Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23.
Second, and probably the absolute most important part, is to believe and have faith that Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:16; John 14:6) who willingly came to this earth to be our only perfect sacrifice that the Father could accept (John 10:18). While here, He became fully human yet was still fully God. He was the only human in the history of this world that would ever live a sinless life.
Finally, as Romans 10:13 states, “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
For the best explanation of this, Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the Gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.”
For anyone who believes they can impress the Father through “works,” please consider Isaiah 64:6; “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” Our “acceptance” is based on receiving and accepting the Gift that the Father’s Son provided at Calvary. God knows that no one is righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10), so He has provided a pathway to true forgiveness in 1 John 1:8-10. We are saved by the “Grace” of the Savior’s gift and the “Mercy” of the Father’s forgiveness.
Please know, I am eagerly looking forward to actually seeing My Jesus in person for the first time. Patience is not one of my strongest “virtues,” and I look forward to the Trumpet of God sounding and hearing the shout of the archangel. I can only imagine just how wonderful it will be.
Speaking of this, Mercy Me released a song in 1999 called “I Can Only Imagine.” There was even a movie made of this. The part of “will I be able to speak at all” is definitely on my mind. I just know that after having called out to Him to be My Savior about 35 years ago, I feel I have a true relationship with Him, and I look forward to finally getting to thank Him personally for saving a sinner such as I. In the past, I have included a line or two in a message but have not given the full song lyrics. Please consider the following words:
1.) I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by Your side. I can only imagine what my eyes would see when Your face is before me; I can only imagine.
(ref) Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of You be still”? Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing Hallelujah; will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine; I can only imagine.
2.) I can only imagine when that day comes, and I find myself standing in the Son. I can only imagine when all I will do is forever, forever worship You; I can only imagine, yeah; I can only imagine.
(refx2) I can only imagine when all I will do is forever, forever worship you; I can only imagine.
I know I’m special, but so is every person on this earth who would receive and accept Our Savior. No one has sinned so greatly that His shed blood cannot cover them. A-B-C applies to everyone. The unforgivable sin is to take your last breath on this earth without having Jesus as your Savior. At that point, it will be too late to call out for forgiveness, and Revelation 20:11-15 will be your judgment.
The end of this age is rapidly approaching, and all true believers will be removed prior to the Tribulation/Wrath (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). Some may say they have the exact time and day that we will be leaving, and their arguments sound accurate, but Jesus Himself said no one knows the exact day or hour. He told of the signs that would be taking place just before He comes, and every one of them is present right now.
Taking the time to call on Jesus today will save a lot of misery later. He could be calling at any moment. This is the absolute most important decision you could ever make. As stated, He will force no one to receive and accept Him; and likewise, He will turn no one away who truly calls on Him to be their Savior.
Maranatha! Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!