When I found out that my church (the awesome K2 the Church) was doing a series called “Imagine Heaven”, I was not excited. In fact, I wanted to avoid the series all together. I didn’t want to imagine heaven. I didn’t want to talk about hell and the end times. I didn’t want to understand the book of Revelation. It’s all too deep and over my head and I rather not go there.
Well, I did go there. I have heard all the messages in the series and honestly, I had it all wrong. Instead of feeling forlorn and like eternity is just too much for my head, I walked away encouraged, excited and blessed by what my future as a child of Christ holds. It is a future of endless hope, love, and no more sin. It is a future full of beauty, healing, praising, and being in the presence of Almighty God. It is a future that is available to ANYONE who chooses to believe! And for those who believe, that future starts RIGHT NOW and not when we die!
As much as I would love to intelligently write about all that our pastor shared, I can’t possibly do it justice. So instead, I HIGHLY recommend – if you are interested – to listen to the podcast series. The last two weeks (May 8 and May 15) are especially awesome.
- April 3, 2016: Imagine Heaven – Evidence of the Afterlife
- April 10, 2016: Imagine Heaven – Relationships in Heaven
- April 17, 2016: Imagine Heaven – The Most Beautiful Place
- April 24, 2016: Imagine Heaven – Ticket to Heaven
- May 1, 2016: Imagine Heaven – What About Hell?
- May 8, 2016: Imagine Heaven – The Highlight of Heaven
- May 15, 2016: Imagine Heaven – Rewards the Last
Throughout the series we were encouraged to read Imagine Heaven by John Burke. I will confess that I never did read the book, but the stories and videos shared from the book are beyond measure. Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, it is really hard to ignore the experiences of people who literally died, interacted with Christ, came back to life and were forever changed – many of them not believers at the time of their death. Their stories had similar elements and each story affirmed, again and again, how much Christ loves us. No matter what kind of crappy life we have led thus far… His arms are still and will always be open wide to us, if we just believe.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16 [ESV]
I often shy away from sharing my beliefs, for fear of offending or turning someone off. We each have a right to believe whatever we choose, and I certainly do not want anyone pushing their beliefs on me. That said, after this series I understand the significance of sharing my faith, sharing about Christ. I want to spend eternity with all the people I love and hold dearly in my heart, but if they do not know Christ and have a personal relationship with Him that will not be possible. That breaks my heart.
It also breaks my heart that in this present day people think that being a Christian is somehow a shackle on life. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I invite anyone to examine my life and see how sweet it is on every level BECAUSE of Christ – that even includes my battle with depression, food allergies, etc. I would not be where I am today without Him, period. I am who I am because of Him, and I live the way I live because of Him. I am not ashamed, I am proud to be called a child of the one, true and LIVING God!