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Friday, August 9, 2013

The Way In

Do you believe in heaven?  My highly scientific and empirical research* shows that around 80% of the adult US population believes in an eternal home.

I don’t know what all of these people think about heaven, how they think it looks or how a person gets there, or even who they’ll see there.  I used to think that if you’re a good person you’ll get to heaven.  I defined good as not being a murderer.

It’s a pretty broad stroke, this what-do-you-believe-about-heaven business.  Everyone has their own ideas.  It’s enough to make someone who isn’t sure about heaven at all turn away, shaking their heads in disbelief.  It sounds so made up.

The skeptical part of me remembers high school English class, where the assignment was to make up our own creation myths.  Twenty 17-year-olds drew pictures and spun tales of worlds being created from an all-powerful being who built them from nothing. Most began and ended with the power of one.  Heaven is just a story, says that part of me.  But then I think of Jesus. 

“Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6 (NKJV). 

Seems pretty clear.

Jesus called himself the way.  The gateway to heaven.  God set up for us the perfect plan of getting to his eternal home: he sacrificed his only son for it.  In fact, he sent this son to us for that purpose, to bring us to him.  Can you imagine having a child for the purpose of sacrificing him to save others?  I love my kids more than I love myself.  If someone said “I can’t wait to have a baby so he can suffer and die as an adult,” I would back slowly away and consider that person abnormal, probably unfit to be a parent.

But God is fit.  He is perfect, and his plan included sacrifice, and that sacrifice is our way into heaven.

Our door to heaven is washed in the blood of Jesus.  It sounds like a horror movie, but that blood is the vehicle for us to get to that door.  The love of God, his plan for us, his home forever is built on it.  The part of me, the one that knows the truth, the one that feels at peace when all is right and sound and as it should be, knows that Jesus is who he says he is, that God says does what he says he’ll do, that there is a heaven and that I am invited.  And so are you.

*Not really.  I Googled it.

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“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (NLT)

2 comments:

  1. I find it fascinating that so many different cultures and faiths share similar stories that involve a supreme creator being as responsible for all else. Makes me go "hmm..." I love that myth story - have used it with my classes for many years. It's one of my favorites.

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    1. The creation myth lesson actually backfired on me as a teen - I took it as more a human wiring thing and went the biology-psychology route and told myself that it didn't matter what you believed, that God was the same to us all through some weird biological make-up unique to humans. I loved that unit in school, though.

      It wasn't until my late twenties that I learned and realized that God is real and we are here because of him.

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