Saturday, March 25, 2017
I dreamed that I had participated in a pageant giving awards for character, citizenship, and service. The awards ceremonies were extensive and took place over several days at a beautiful, luxurious resort. Although I was surprised, honored and joyful over some rewards I received, I was also disappointed at first that I did not receive some rewards I thought I deserved. But overall I felt jubilant, blessed, and thankful.
My husband had been with me throughout the week, and both our mothers were supposed to meet us there on the last day. His mother arrived in the late morning and was hungry, so he offered to take her to lunch. While I waited for my mother, I decided to explore the resort, as I had been too busy to do so while participating in the final events leading up to the awards ceremonies.
As I wandered through what seemed like a palace, beyond anything I had ever seen or imagined, every vista and surrounding seemed more inviting and spectacular than the one I had just experienced. Fragrances of orange blossoms, jasmine and exotic spices wafted through the air on a warm, gentle breeze.
Birds were singing, and many instrumental and vocal melodies blended together in perfect harmony. Lotus and water lilies floated on pools, magically undisturbed by cascading fountains. Tile mosaics in the floor and walls glittered as if made from gold, silver, and precious stones.
Several people approached me and thanked me for taking part in the pageant and said they had been uplifted by my story. They seemed familiar, as if I knew them, but I couldn’t pinpoint the specifics of our meeting or relationship.
The farther I traveled through this glorious place the more I wanted to experience, and the thought of leaving became unbearable. In the deep corners of my mind I knew that I had to return to my room, pack, and go home, but the urgency of doing that became increasingly remote. It finally struck me that in all these amazing settings, some designed as common areas and some as individual guest rooms and suites, there were no doors!
I found myself in a penthouse suite where a father and his young sons were playing in a fountain. The father was telling his sons a joyful story, and I could sense the overwhelming love and unbreakable bond that family shared. They seemed aware of my presence but welcoming and not in the least disturbed by the intrusion.
As I gradually entered wakefulness I did not want to leave the dream, for I felt as if I had an imagined glimpse of Heaven. Yet my dream was limited by the bounds of my earthly experience. Even for the apostles Paul and John, whom God actually transported to Heaven during their lifetime, albeit for a very short while, words could not begin to describe what they had experienced! (2 Corinthians 12:2-4; Revelation 4:1-2).
I was refreshed and encouraged by the dream, and yet I felt that tinge of disappointment at realizing that it was still a dream and not yet reality. For now, we are still strangers passing through a foreign country, longing for our true home (Hebrews 11:13-16). But we have that blessed and living hope of Heaven (Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3), far beyond our wildest dreams!
One day, I believe and hope very soon, the Lord Jesus Christ will return for His children, for all those who have trusted Him as the Savior Who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:14; 51-53). He will call us up to meet with Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18), and we will face Him at the judgment, or bema, seat where we will give an account of all that we have done, good and bad, since we were saved (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
Our sins will not keep us from Heaven, for He has paid the price in full with His shed blood and justified us, or clothed us with His righteousness, so that we are reconciled and acceptable to the Father (Romans 3:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18). He will reward us for those deeds that we did to accomplish His purpose, provided they were motivated by our gratitude and love for Him and not to earn the praise of men or other earthly prize (Matthew 6:1-6).
The fire of judgment will identify those worthy deeds, for they will emerge unharmed and shining like gold, silver and precious stones. But for those deeds that burn up in the flames like wood, hay or stubble, we will suffer loss (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). We may have been expecting a crown for our faithful service (1 Peter 5:1-4), only to realize that we did the right thing for the wrong reason (Luke 13:30).
But thankfully, He will wipe every tear from our eye (Revelation 7:17; 21:4) and we will be filled with joyful bliss just to be in His presence!
I believe I was reluctant to awaken from my dream because I hoped I might be there long enough to catch a glimpse of His precious face (1 Corinthians 13:12), or even just to touch the hem of His garment! (Matthew 14:36). Jesus Christ Himself will be the Light of Heaven (Revelation 21:23) and the Fountain of Living Water (Revelation 7:17) giving eternal life to all of us!
As if that were not enough, Heaven will also be filled with our loved ones in Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We will break bread with them, first at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), and then whenever we desire, just as Jesus ate in His glorified body (Luke 24:30; 41-43).
And we will meet all those whom we in some way encouraged in their Christian walk (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20). Even if we were not there when they asked Christ into their heart, we may have planted the seed of faith (Luke 8:5-8) or watered it by giving them a tract, witnessing, showing them the love of Christ, supporting a missionary who led them to Christ, or just by being a Godly example (1 Corinthians 3:6-8; Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9).
What a blessing to meet them, and then have eternity to get to know them better, as well as so many new family members (Matthew 12:47-50) who are our brothers and sisters in Christ! In our Father’s house are many mansions, each specially and lovingly designed for each of us (John 14:2). The streets will be of gold, the walls and foundations of precious stones (Revelation 21:18-21), and glorious worship music and praise will fill the air (Revelation 5:8-14).
In the New Jerusalem, there will be no sea (Revelation 21:1), for there are no more barriers between nations. I believe there will be no doors in that heavenly city because we will all be one loving family, with no secrets, no facades and nothing to hide. We will have free access to all of Heaven’s amazing homes, meeting places, and even the heavenly throne!
How awesome it will be to experience that which our eyes have not seen and our ears have not heard (1 Corinthians 2:9), exceedingly abundantly (Ephesians 3:20) beyond what we could even imagine or think! Even beyond that will be our indescribable, perfect, complete joy and peace of seeing our precious Savior face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12), worshiping Him and basking forever in His light and love!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)