Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23, 2010

When I recall the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sights I have seen in my life, there are several that leap to the forefront of my memory.

Not counting the births of my children and grandchildren, the most beautiful image I have is the view of Lake Tahoe from about 1,500 feet above it in the Sierra Mountains. We had hiked up a trail to a place called Eagle's Nest and there was a serene, placid, mirror-like mountain lake with the higher snow-capped peaks reflected in it. And then, turning in the other direct about a quarter of a mile below was Lake Tahoe. Overwhelmed with the natural beauty of it all and in complete sensory overload I had to exclaim, "Oh, God, you are just showing off!"

Augmenting remarkable beauty surrounding me was an awareness of the things that were not there - nothing artificial, no pollution, no loud noise, no urban sprawl, no congested traffic - just raw natural God-created magnificence!

As John reveals his vision of Heaven in Revelation 21 and 22 he elaborates on all it splendor but also casually mentions several things that won't be there which will also add to its beauty!

In verse 4, John tells us that there will be no sadness there!

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Heaven will be a joyous happy place! God Himself will wipe away ALL tears and their will be no more tears because there will be no reason for sadness! All suffering will be banished! There will be no death, no pain, no evil - NOTHING but holiness, healthiness and happiness!

Secondly, there will be no sinfulness in Heaven!

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." 21:8

No evil or malicious or impure people will be allowed into Heaven. One of the reasons there will be no suffering or pain is because the people who cause much of those things won't be anywhere near the place! John specifically lists the types of people who will be excluded from paradise! These are the people your Momma told you to stay away from! In Heaven, they won't be there!

Third, there will be no self-righteousness there!

"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.' Rev. 21:27

Only those whose names are in the Book of Life will be allowed entrance into Heaven. And the only way to get your name written down in to confess your sinfulness and receive the righteousness of Christ! No one who makes it into Heaven will be able to say, "I deserve to be here." All who get into the Holy City are there because of the mercy of God through the grace of Jesus Christ!

Heaven is an awesome eternal place! In our human intellect and finite understanding we are incapable of conceiving its magnificence. And it is amazing because of what is there but also because of what is NOT there!

No sadness will be there!

No sinfulness will be there!

No self-righteousness will be there!

Will you be there?