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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Finding Heaven

We have established, I believe, that 'Heaven', AKA the dwelling of God, is not some 'place' out there; 'Heaven' is in our hearts! Like Jesus told His disciples ( John 14:23 ), 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.' This is not to claim that our Heavenly Father is caged within the hearts of His People, just that His Promise, to dwell with His People once again is as good today as it was yesterday, better in fact!

This being true, with the Holy Spirit, in toto, dwelling in His People, 'Heaven' in essence is in our hearts! Many Christians, futurists in particular, believe & teach that 'Heaven' is a place out there, anywhere from in a different realm to being an actual physical location within our own realm. Although the teaching that 'Heaven' exists as the realm, or dwelling of the Creator God is Scriptural, we understand as well that things have changed! No longer do we wait for the Blessed Presence of our God & Father; though, as of old, He dwells in the heavens ( literally 'sky' ), no longer does He live apart from His People. He is the Creator God & thus sovereign, omnipotent & omnipresent, but He has taken up permanent residence in His Living Temple!

'Finding Heaven', you might say, 'what a strange notion; isn't that kind of inconsistent with what we've just read?' If we must find 'Heaven', does that mean that it IS a place that can be pin-pointed? Is it, after all, a reward for those who do good? Well, it is a reward, though not in the sense that most Christians seem to think! 'Heaven' is not some place where good people go when they die; it is a State of Blessedness that the People of God experience when living in right relationship with Him & His Body!

Sometimes 'Heaven' IS something we can experience with the five senses! Speaking of relationship, with a good helpmeet ( spouse ) by ones side through the ups & downs of life, one may actually feel the glories of 'Heaven'! Without going into an extensive study here about where we go when our biological body perishes, whether there actually IS a 'final destination', a final resting place for the believer in Christ or not, we can suffice to say that the people of God ARE NOW forever with the Lord; what happens to the spirit when the physical perishes, beyond what Scripture plainly says ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ) is mere speculation!

The Joys of Marriage are manifold: sad but true, not everyone that is married finds this joy, some never will; in fact, many marriages end in divorce because the partners never found their joy, or even if they had some semblance of it for a time, the selfish cares of this world quickly choke it out! Those that persevere, though, find that joy above all joys, unspeakable, sometimes & full of Glory, this is the Joy of Heaven! Marriage is a picture of Christ & His Church, between Creator & Creation; a truly blessed marriage is one that, amidst the struggles & cares of life, yet finds these joys!

 'Heaven' IS in our hearts; when we realize that the Creator of Heaven & Earth bore the sins of His People in His own Body on the cruel cross of Calvary, thus establishing us as His New & Living Temple, it is impossible not to find the 'Heaven' that resides within us! There is a corporate sense to this as, 'love is not love unless it is shared', so 'joy is not joy unless it is shared' & 'Heaven is not Heaven unless it is shared'! When we share our love & our joy with that special someone, we experience a sort of 'Heaven' that only those married in the Lord may know!

Is there a 'Heaven' beyond 'Heaven'? I believe that as our consciousness is expanded & as the ages unfold, we will indeed enter further in & higher up, but the fact that we are in 'Heaven' the Blessed Presence of the Creator God NOW is irrefutable! The Joys of 'Heaven' are ours; all we need to do is find them: Love is the greatest of those Joys & when we Love, we have found 'Heaven'! Let us Love, not just in word but in truth & in deed!

Charles Haddon Shank




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