Herewith the third Advent address about Heaven. This was preached by Jane Smart, on of our Readers, on 17th December 2008.
“Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you, in my Fathers house there are many rooms, do not let your hearts be troubled believe in God and also in me.”
Jesus goes to prepare a place for us, by dying on the cross. He makes the way back to God possible, because God always wanted us to have a relationship with him, he loves us and wants us to love him, but we were given free will to choose, he did not want us to be like puppets without life. We were made in Gods image and he wants us to freely choose to live Gods way, just as Jesus did. Jesus glorified God by doing his will.
But people ever since Adam and Eve have thought they could do better and have followed their own will instead, hence the fall and sin making it impossible for God to continue his relationship with us.
So Jesus came to show us what God is like and just how much he truly loves us.
Heaven is where God is and where Gods will is done, where there is no sin or rebellion, where there is a relationship with God and also with others. Heaven is a community. Also it is a place of power don’t forget God is so powerful that he spoke and the universe was created. It is a place not of this world, but it is near by. However it is not several billion light years away, with angels in nightdresses, fluffy clouds, and Philadelphia cheese!!!
Jesus met peoples needs with real answers, he healed the sick, gave the blind sight, made the dumb speak, the deaf hear and the paralysed walk.
Jesus showed them the love that God has for everyone; they had never encountered such love before. Jesus reached out to those shunned by society, teaching us to love our neighbours and our enemies and helping others as we would like to be helped, turning this worlds values upside down.
Now for a story…
A man had a dream where an angel showed him the difference between Heaven and Hell.
The Angel took him to Heaven first to see what it was like. He saw a large room with a big long table laden with a banquet of all sorts of delicious foods imaginable and everyone present was happy laughing and enjoying themselves.
Next the Angel took him to see Hell. The man saw again a long table laden with excellent food in a large room; the only difference he could see was that everyone there was miserable and unhappy. The man could not understand it at all. So he spoke to the Angel and asked why he could not see any difference between the two except everyone in hell was miserable and not enjoying the feast.
The Angel replied that the guests are given chopsticks to eat the food but the chopsticks are two feet long. The difference being that in Heaven everyone feeds their neighbour!
Love changes things; everything is viewed in a new way. Just as a lake looks threatening dark and dangerous under a cloudy grey sky, but suddenly the sun breaks through the cloud and the lake becomes breathtakingly beautiful as the suns rays glisten on the water.
Heaven is where Gods will is done in love, thinking of others before ourselves, it is being in the right relationship with God, with ourselves and others. Which means to accept trust and obey God, just as Jesus did.
Realizing that Jesus died in our place on the cross. Only God can save us, the king’s job is to save his people and that is what Jesus did. By accepting Jesus as our saviour we become citizens of the kingdom of Heaven now!
We are then called to go and share the Good news with others. We cannot just sit back and do nothing like in the parable of the talents, where the man buried his talent in the ground. We are to share our gifts showing by the way we live Gods love for us all, to make a stand against the world, which is only concerned with survival not Peace and Love. Amen