Heaven is a real place…

As a pastor a portion of my life involves the home-going of our people. I mean by that their entrance into heaven. From a human perspective we think of death as the end. But for the Christian (the one who has placed their faith in Christ for salvation) death is spoken of as a beginning. That is why Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21). That is also why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)

Nonetheless, death is painful. It hurts those it leaves behind. From grandchildren to grandparents – death honors no age boundaries.

In the midst of walking through this pain with a family once, it was a five-year old boy’s smile that reminded me of the reality of heaven. I’d entered his home to speak to his step-mom about the passing of her mother. Her emotion was understandable. Even when we think we are prepared for the death of a loved one, we are never quite ready. I assured her, through her tears that I would stay with her step-son until the father returned from work so that she could go see her mother a final time. She had hardly left when the father returned home, and together the two of us sat down to explain to the five-year what had happened.

From the Bible I began to share what heaven was like: that there was no pain, or death, or tears there (Rev. 21:4). The boy’s father chimed in: his grandmother wouldn’t need her cane or her glasses anymore (I Cor. 15:53-57). And for the next few minutes, we just talked about heaven. The whole deal: streets of gold and gates of pearl. The more we talked the bigger his smile grew. Heaven, you see, to this five-year old, was a very real place. It wasn’t the figment of someone’s imagination to ease the fear of death.

Sometimes as adults we say that children don’t fully understand, but I wonder if they understand better than we do. You see, Jesus said heaven is a real place (John 14:1-6). Sometimes it just takes a five-year old to remind us.

2 comments on “Heaven is a real place…

  1. Debbie Brown says:

    A friend just lost his wife, 37 years old and had a baby 11 days ago. Very difficult time. It is only in our belief and trust in the One True God that he is making it through. Would appreciate prayers for Paul. – deb b

  2. viola saylor says:

    Mr. Moser you’ve done it again for me. I know that children understand the things we teach them about God. My mother once told me ” Viola, when a child is born their mind is like a blank blackboard and what we write on it is so important. If we talk to them about corrupt things their minds will be corrupt, if we talk to them and teach them about all the good things about God and His Son their minds will hunger to know Him and they will seek Him.” I would like to share my granddaughter with you. Her name is Christie. Christie was about 6 years old when she told me “I want to give my heart back to God”. When she talked to the pastor she told him,”I want to give my heart back to God and be baptized .” One of the teachers there ask her what it meant to be baptized and Christie told her, “When you give your heart back to God you need to get baptized to bury your sins.” Now when she was talking to this lady I just sat there and let her talk, I did not coach her at all. As I was listening to her I was amazed at how much she knew about God. When she would pray at night she would end her bedtime prayer like this “Thank you God, good-night and I will see you in the morning.” Ten years ago the Lord called her home, she was 8 years old. She drowned. I still miss her but I am so thankful that she knew God and his Son. And I am so glad that I know God and Jesus and that I too will be called home to be with our Father and Jesus and I will see Christie again and all my loved ones. I am amazed at how much knowledge God gave Christie about Him. Things I did not think she could understand, but Christie knew, and she could explain the scriptures, sometimes better than I could. Christie loved God with all her heart and soul. If you write on the blank blackboard of a child’s mind the things of God you’ll be amazed at what they will retain. Sorry for this to be so long, I just had to share Christie with you. God bless you Mr. Phil Moser.

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