It had been a long, slow, painful, fight with lung cancer for John. The three months since the doctor announced that nothing more could be done, seemed like an eternity to him. He hated the lack of privacy in the nursing home and longed for his own home.
“I wonder what heaven is really like,” John commented to his nurse. “The thought of sitting on a cloud playing a harp forever, seems so boring to me.”
Carol smiled at John. “That’s the impression a lot of people have, but that’s not the Biblical picture of heaven. That idea came from man.”
John raised his eyes with a look of wonder. “Really?” He leaned forward, eagerly listening to each word. “Then what does the Bible say about it?”
“It speaks of a new heaven and a new earth that we’ll live on.”
“What would a new earth be?”
“ If God speaks of it as an earth, then it must be similar to our planet with trees, rivers, plants and animals. And just as God gave Adam and Eve work to do, so He has things for us to do-- exciting, interesting work that we will relish. What God starts, He always finishes and his plan was for mankind to live on a perfect earth.”
“Also, Jesus spoke of rewarding some people who do well by giving them authority over cities. People who don’t believe that heaven is similar to earth say cities, in this passage, are symbolic. But if that’s the case, then it’s anyone’s guess what cities refers to. I believe cities refers to something similar to our cities but without the bad stuff. But even if we can’t agree on what cities means, it is obvious from this passage that we will have work to do, other than playing a harp.”
Looking intently at Carol, John trembled, “Is there a Bible around? I’d like to read those references.”
“Sure. You will find them in Revelation 21 and Luke 19. I’ll get the Bible for you shortly. Dinner is on the way. We have baked pork chops.”
“Oh, that use to be my favorite. But now everything is tasteless.”
When John went to bed, he contemplated what Carol told him and what he had read in the Bible. For the first time, he looked forward to heaven and wondered what exciting work God might have for him. He dozed off, dreaming of the here-after.
Shortly, a bright light surrounding someone grabbed his attention. “Come” Herald said. “I am here to guide you to your new home.”
John found heaven to be just as Carol told him. The scenery was gorgeous with trees, flowers, meadows, rivers and animals. The angel guided him towards a group of people. As they drew closer, John recognized faces of friends and family who had gone before him. Gleefully, he ran to greet them. After lots of hugs, kisses and laughter they guided him to a table laden with scrumptious-looking food. At the head of the table John saw a person he instantly recognized even thought he had never seen him. He motioned to those around him. “Welcome home, son, your friends and family have prepared this table in honor of you. Come and enjoy.”
The table overflowed with fruits and vegetable. There were nuts, breads, desserts and other foods. Strangely missed was any type of meat.
Everyone joined hands and Jesus prayed, thanking the Father for His wonderful gifts.
“Since you are the guest of honor, you get to fill your plate first,” his friend, Charles, tilts his head and smiles.
John loaded his plate and everyone else followed. He took his first bite of a salad. He was amazed at how delicious it was. Never had he tasted anything so scrumptious. He found that every food on his plate was mouth-watering. He savored even such common foods as peas and carrots. He never missed the meats.
Joyce commented, “I know you have always been a meat eater, but here there is no killing even of animals. No one on God’s mountain will ever suffer or die.”
Looking around, John noticed something about people. Turning to Joyce he asked, “Why isn’t anyone over-weight?”
“We have perfect bodies now, that don’t need food” she explained. We eat only for enjoyment. Or we can go without and not be hungry. This is my first meal in twenty-two days.
John marveled at all the wonders around him. What a perfect place to spend eternity.
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