Japan. Korea. China. Turkey. Heaven.
What do those places have in common?
- They are all real locations that can be traveled to.
- They are all places I have never been.
- They are all places inhabited with people that I love.
When talking to the unsaved who have had loved ones die, I sometimes get the impression that, even if they believe the deceased went to heaven, they still act like the person is gone forever. They immediately begin speaking of him or her in the past tense, as if they don’t exist. I am currently reading Divergent, and a line struck me. Someone in the book died, and the main character thinks to herself,
“He is (spolier description of character). No, was. That is death–shifting from ‘is’ to ‘was.'”
I disagree. Heaven IS a real place. Hell IS a real place too. Every single human being that has ever died is in one of these two places right now. They exist. My Uncle Danny and my Uncle David still exist. My Grandpa Don still exists. These people are not gone forever. Since all three were trusting in Christ alone for forgiveness of their sins, they are in heaven. Every adult that hasn’t done that is in Hell (the kids are up for debate as to when they “get a pass” and when they are held accountable).
That is why I determined some time ago to stop talking about dead people as if they don’t exist anymore. Sure, I will use the past tense when I say things like, “My grandpa was a really cool guy, especially when he took us kids fishing.” Because he was. Now that I am an adult, I know how much fun it is to take a few kids under 8 years old fishing.
But he did that. And so I say he IS a great guy, and I can’t wait until my departure date arrives so that I can travel to where he is and get to know him better. I can’t wait until I get to meet all the believers who have traveled to Heaven before me. I can’t wait until I get to meet my Lord and Savior Jesus, my Messiah.
Sunday we celebrate Resurrection Day. Today is Good Thursday (I know, but I disagree). 2000 years ago this week God the Son paid the just penalty for MY sin, and for your sin. And if you trust in Him, you too will go to Heaven after your life here on earth is over.
So I challenge you, stop using the terminology of the lost. I heard a believing friend say, “I lost my mom last year.” Every time I hear my Christian friends say something like that, I want to ask, “Where have you looked?” I haven’t lost any of my loved ones that went to heaven. I know right where they are.