Today marks 8 years since our son Jacob left us.
What is heaven like for him? What does he see? What does he hear? I’ve been thinking about these things today.
If he could return and tell us of heaven, which he will not, would it bring unbelievers to faith? No, it cannot.
Paul the apostle was taken to heaven but not allowed to speak of the things he heard and seen. But many people have profited off fanciful books about supposed heavenly experiences.
After Paul’s heavenly experience God allowed Satan to torment and weaken him. Why? To humble him into silence and to prevent pride from growing, because of the multiple heavenly revelations given to him from God.
What makes us think that the “experience” of a child would convince us that ”Heaven is for real?” If the apostle was prevented from speaking on these things why would I believe anybody else?
And what about hell? The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus back from paradise to his brothers and warn them of the coming torment.
What did Jesus teach on that?
He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
Truth is, unbelief is impenetrable apart from the gospel. All mankind’s subjective experiences are powerless to produce faith.
This was made very clear to Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration.
And what was Peters words concerning his actual, real experience?
“For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 2 Peter 1:17-19
Peters actual experience, though valid, took a back seat to the fulfilled prophecies concerning Jesus.
What am I getting at? Apart from the scriptures concerning Jesus there is no experience that can penetrate the hardened unbelieving heart.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
The continuing gospel epic in the scriptures of Jesus the Son of God is the power that God uses to save all who believe. Do you believe the following?
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-6
I have hope that I will someday meet Jesus face to face and be reunited with the ones I love.
This confident hope isn’t based on fanciful fables. It is based on actual, factual, historical, undeniable and verifiable truth.
Happy heavenly birthday Jacob. We love you and by grace through faith will see you again.