by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
The taste of freshly baked apple pie is heavenly. The majestic sounds of Handel’s Messiah playing in a concert hall is an amazingly heavenly sound. The smell of home baked bread is a heavenly smell. The smile of a baby up at their parents is a heavenly sight. These are all things that are heavenly.
What do you think about when you think of heaven?
My mind turns to when Jesus comes the second time. I’m sure yours does, too.
Since childhood many of us have heard through the years what heaven is going to be like. In children’s Sabbath School, there was talk of sliding down a giraffe’s neck. Or playing with the lions.
I’ve thought that scuba diving without having to worry about breathing would be an amazing thing to do in heaven. I have also had more than one discussion regarding what will be the 12 different types of fruit that the Bible says grows on the tree of life. The discussions and dreaming can go on and on.
However, when you read Matthew 11:28-30, you are reminded that heaven begins here on this earth.
Notice what it says: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Heaven is not having to worry about things that Jesus worries about for us.
Heaven is rest. It is resting in Jesus and it is letting Jesus be in complete control of your life.
Notice these words from Desire of Ages: “All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place,” (page 328).
Isn’t that heaven on earth?
Later in the same chapter we find these words: “As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness,” (page 331).
There are many things happening in our world right now—Things that can be troubling and worrisome. And most of us want Jesus to come to end this pain and suffering so that we can spend eternity with Him. I am looking forward to that as well.