“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, amen.” (Revelation 1:7)
I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a few predictions about Heaven.
As with every religious charlatan who ever came down the pike, there’s no way to prove me wrong for the time being. But unlike the con men, I’m just thinking out loud here. After all, who among us does not like thinking about Heaven, our abode forever and forever?
The first surprise, I have no doubt, will be to find yourself awake. “Wow,” you think. “I died. I really did. I remember everyone gathering around the hospital bed and them all crying. And I recall that last surge of pain and then everything went black. And lo and behold, I wake up. How wonderful is that?”
“As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness. I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awaken.” (Psalm 17:15)
When I awaken. A given fact. It’s going to happen. But as much as we say we believe that, I’m confident the first sensation we will have on the other side of that curtain is to find our eyes open and the new realities of our situation setting in.
The second surprise will be to see how real everything is. How bright and clear are the colors, how total your hearing, how alive you feel.
All this time, when you thought of Heaven, it was in the sense of it being ethereal, somewhat foggy, as though this earthly life is real and the celestial is something not quite as solid. Imagine your surprise when you find it to be quite the opposite.
“An eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,” is how 2 Corinthians 4:17 puts it. “For the things which are seen (i.e., the earthly) are temporal, but the things which are not seen (heavenly) are eternal.”
The third surprise? I don’t have a clue. It could be so many things…
–The Lord is there. You fall to your knees. You wonder if your heart will burst. You are amazed you can take this overpowering sensation without your heart failing you. And then you remember: You have a new body, one not subject to the old limitations and infirmities.
–How wonderful and glorious He is. You never imagined! Your eyes cannot take this in. It’s far too much. It will require a long time for you to absorb all the sights you are seeing. Fortunately, you have a long time (I Corinthians 2:9).
–At who is there. You are stunned to see people in all manner of dress, all colors and shades of racial identity, from “every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Revelation 7:9). Wow. They too are members of His family.
–How true His promises are. You knew it by faith before, but now “mine eye seeth Thee” (Job 42:5).
–You will wish you could go back and do it over, and get it right this time. Now, you have been there and you know. You know that your prayers made a great difference, that your offerings were multiplied to the ends of the earth and ended up blessing the Father in Heaven. You know that your witness was used by the Holy Spirit to change the destinies of so many. You know the lessons you taught, the sermons you preached, the encouragement you gave, were each jewels for the Savior.
And you will wish you could go back and do it better.
But you can’t. One time through (Hebrews 9:27).