Of Heaven, Hell & Revelation…
In spite of the title of this post, I am determined to make this a fun and whimsical post – hopefully, it will not be sacrilegious…I’m sure somebody will let me know if it is.
So tonight, we start studying the book of Revelation in Bible Study. I’ve never been too excited about this book. All of the symbolism just goes way over my head. And the battle between Good and Evil is downright scary even though Good wins. Have you taken a look at Revelation lately? There is mention of creatures covered with eyes, a beast with horns but with the voice of a dragon, plagues, men gnawing their tongues in agony, a fiery lake of burning sulfur and I could go on…pretty scary stuff – as scary as any scary movie I’ve ever seen. Also, I have childhood memories of watching this creepy movie, Thief in the Night, in church one Sunday night. In the movie, this woman discovers her Christian husband has been raptured, and she is living in the last days of the Antichrist. Everyone must get the mark of the beast, etc. Imagine seeing that as a six year old – no wonder I have tried to avoid the book of Revelation pretty much since then. (Aside: I have heard people speculate that Barack Obama may be the Antichrist…My answer to that is - why the black man gotta be the Antichrist? I mean…)
By the end of Revelation, however, John, who wrote the book, describes his vision of heaven. He said “it shown with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” According to John, the sun or moon are obsolete in heaven as “the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” There will be no need for health or life insurance (Thank You Jesus!) as “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away.”
So when is this post going to get fun and whimsical? Keep reading! :) As the daughter of a pastor, I have heard many a gospel song over the years – one in particular comes to mind. I remember riding with my father to church one Sunday and this song came on, Walk Around Heaven, by Cassietta George. In the song, George said in Heaven, every day will be Sunday…I remember telling my father just then that if in Heaven, every day is Sunday, I just as soon not go. He laughed and asked me to explain why. Here’s the thing. I truly enjoy going to church on Sunday, and on some Sundays, I love going to church. But when it’s time to go, I leave and sometimes very happily… I just want don’t want heaven to be an eternal church service where we are reading scripture, passing the offering plate, listening to long, rambling testimonies, listening for when the pastor is going to shut down the sermon, wondering why our pantyhose is itching, etc.
I want Heaven to be like a tropical island – a place where the water is so blue that it is nearly indistinguishable from the sky. I want to be able to walk up right up to God and talk to Him as long as I want to about anything that comes to mind. Why didn’t Erik Estrada from “CHiPs” marry me when I was a little girl? Why are some really mean people rich and some really nice people poor? Why does there have to be war? And for goodness sake, who let the dogs out? (Yes, I’m being silly) I hope in heaven everyone is their best self – whatever that means. And I hope we’re not just spirits walking around in heaven. I hope that we still have our bodies – toned up though. And I hope there is male and female for reasons I won’t go into here, ha, ha…
So what is your idea of Heaven? When I listen to that song, Zoom, by the Commodores, I think of Heaven…It’s a beautiful song really. Uh, oh, I can hear you singing, “Zoom, Zoom.”