Heaven’s Litmus Test?

Are you ready for Heaven? 

Imagine, The One who reads all hearts has called you by a new name and welcomes you home as His son or daughter.   Your new name seems to have its own unique dimension that does not simply tie you to a common name but IS you.  Our new name harmoniously dwells in the realm of the Great I AM.   It is only upon your final perfection through the redemptive capacity of God’s Son, Jesus, that your name now explains your very purpose.   Constant songs of Grace and undeserved forgiveness surround and pass into your new body, like a wind instrument playing gratefully for its Maker.  Amid the many unfamiliar faces you soon recognize one intentionally approaching you.   Although your memory of your mortality is fading to reminders of your works now visibly seen as grateful treasures, that familiar face now standing in front of you is that of the man who murdered your seven-year old daughter.   Amazingly, you both joyfully embrace in the shared reality within the ambient forgiveness of God’s Kingdom.  As you gently pull away looking deep into the now gentle eyes of a humble and pardoned man, you both join in the songs of forgiveness as if you were breathing life-giving air itself… and the little hand of your daughter finally…slips…back… into…yours.

…So are you ready for Heaven?  If you think you are ready then let your heart answer the next three questions from God: 

1) Do you love me? 

2) Do you Love me?

3) Do you LOVE me? 

…So how’d you do?  Maybe some love to proclaim His Name, speak of prophecies, and even perform miracles in His name, but some of those faces may be absent in Heaven?  Truly there is assurance in the capacity of Jesus to perfect our perjured hearts into gleaming purity before The Father, yet what is our part in this divine handshake.  Even St. Peter, an apostle “on fire” for his priest, prophet and King, still denied Him when overwhelmed with fear.   What doubtful part of St. Peter’s heart remained dry and hardened with fear?  Our part, as was St. Peter’s, is to finally and without regret ask to allow the light of Calvary’s forgiveness to drench our hearts completely.   Although we forgive and never forget, our gratitude of Calvary’s sacrifice is the humble key, our hopeful mustard seed,  that unlocks the greenhouse of God’s three questions asked of St. Peter and us.  The incorruptible seed of Christ’s assurance to eternal bliss offers us impossibilities we have yet to fathom.  While our heart’s garden awaits a new springtime we must willingly choose to offer fertile compost by mortifying our pride and lusts of our eyes and flesh.  Like toiling the cursed ground, our sweat is the proof our efforts.   Christian credibility is both doing what we say and saying what we do.  The “why” behind what we say and do cannot remain hidden but as visible as the love that held Jesus to His cross.  From the fruit of an innocent virgin’s womb to the cross, our Tree of Life which now holds our eternal fruit of forgiveness, is ours for the taking.   It is gratitude that hears the Holy Spirit’s beckoning to take and eat of this crucified fruit out of both sorrow and joy.  It is this gift of gratitude that enables us to truly believe in the person of Jesus so we may say, “Yes Lord, you know I love you.”

…So are you ready for Heaven? 

His Peace,

Chris

How important is forgiveness to you and to the Christian faith?

As fear uncovered the doubt in St. Peter’s heart, he realized he wasn’t responding like he thought he would.  Have you asked the Holy Spirit to search your heart to expose whatever doubt may still be hidden from you?

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2 thoughts on “Heaven’s Litmus Test?

  1. I think any honest Christian would admit that NONE of us ‘deserve’ entrance into the kingdom of God. Jesus makes it very clear, ‘unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Christians have different opinions about what ‘born again’ (i.e. – ‘born of water & spirit,’ ‘born of the spirit’) means. But, Jesus makes it very clear that whatever that means, unless this ‘born again’ event takes place, we cannot see the kingdom of heaven. (“You MUST be born again.”) The real question is – are we forgiven? Christians get accused of being ‘self-righteous,’ but the true follower of Christ acknowledges that he or she NEEDS a Savior, so there’s nothing to be self-righteous about, because unlike every other world view, Christians don’t believe that they can enter the kingdom of God on their own merit. They are helpless to do anything about it on their own, so we yell out to God for forgiveness with a genuine repentant heart, & being true to His word, God looks into the genuinely repentant sinner’s heart & forgives them – “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord WILL be saved.” It is this need & self-acknowledgment of helplessness that Jesus willingly went to the cross as the sacrificial Lamb on our behalf. How can we repay that? – we can’t! We can only say ‘thank you, I believe, forgive me, save me, & I have a desire to follow you!’ This is the difference between Christianity & every other world view. We don’t deserve entrance into God’s kingdom, but we can have assurance that we can get there, because of His unmerited grace. I’m undeserving…BUT, I’m ready! 🙂

    • Thanks Steve…I’m ready too! Certainly we are all saved by Grace and only through the merits won for us at Calvary. Surely, as we continue to walk towards unmerited favor and unmatched mercy, the growing realization and depth of the hidden dimension of the born again process is wondrous and breathtaking allowing us to exchange our ashes for beauty. It is your good question Steve, “Are we forgiven?” that dovetails with my question,”Do we need redemption?” Although a yes to both questions facilitates us towards salvation, they seem to operate in two needful ways. To your question, It is the condition stated in the prayer from Jesus to His apostles, “To forgive those as you would be forgiven” that at first blush unsettles me. Like St. Peter, there are things I still don’t know about my heart for I can only see myself dimly. Although St. Peter was “on fire” and apparently positive Jesus was Lord, he supprised himself by the time the cock crowed three times. If God is a reader of our hearts and I am blind to prejudice (unforgiveness) in my heart, what then? However, instead of seeing this as a contradiction, I am reminded by a truly repentent heart that says to God, “I am sorry with ALL my heart” that finds peace. Knowing with certainty that Jesus absorbs all sins (past, present, and future) because He was fully God when offered Himself as a ransom for my dereliction from God’s will, allows me assurance to exchange my ashes for His beauty. Likewise, we are also in need of redemption which still haunts our geneology from the time our ancestors were banished from the Trinity’s immediate presence. “Getting to Heaven” has found the popular (yet lukewarm) response of “being good enough” or in a “two minute emotional alter call of I’m so sorry.” Although the latter is a good start, understanding forgiveness, grasping our need for redemption, requires us to not only look deeply and honestly into our sorrow, but visibly display the fruit of our repentance.
      Steve, just maybe we’ll finally meet and share a cup of (perfect) coffee on the otherside….
      His Unmerited Peace,
      Chris

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