Heaven is better than:
Heaven is a paradise. Most of us don*t know the day when we will go to that paradise. One thief who died on the cross next to Jesus knew on his day. Knowing that made his painful death more bearable.
Luke 23:42-43: And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
It is sometimes wonderful for those of us who live in the desert to come into an air-conditioned building from the heat of summer. Likewise it is enjoyable for someone who lives in a cold climate to come into a warm building. I enjoy escaping from the problems of life onto a golf course. Hopefully each of us have special places and circumstances we love to escape to. But none of them can compare to what it will be like to go to heaven.
1 Corinthians 2:9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The lives we live here on earth are gifts from God and he means for us to enjoy them and cling to them and appreciate them.
1 Timothy 6:17: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
The good things we are given to enjoy in the lives we have here on earth are just a tiny sample of what heaven will be like.
My grandmother Helga loved me. She made the best home-made bread in the world. My mother told me once at grandma*s house to just take one slice of that bread. Grandma said He can have all he wants. Grandma was a Christian so I know I will see her in heaven. In my imagination I wonder if maybe . . . just maybe . . . God will let grandma bake some of that bread for me up there. In my mind, I know that the wonderful things in heaven will make grandma*s bread seem unimportant.
I wonder if you have favorite things here on earth that you hope will be in heaven. Praise the Lord -- because what we will have in heaven will be so-o-o-o much better.
Psalms 16:11: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
It is taught in the Bible that there are three heavens, the sky above our earth, the heavens beyond in space and the Heaven that is the abode of God.
2 Corinthians 12:2, 4: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. . . . How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
In a sense, heaven is the abode of God and the earth is the abode of man. If we do not desire and enjoy God*s presence here in our abode we will not enjoy it in His abode. His presence is what is going to make it heaven!
Psalms 115:16: The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord*s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Isaiah 66:1: Thus saith the Lord, The Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Job 22:12: Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
1 Kings 8:27: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
Henry Massoth, a friend of mine in Illinois brought a message once in which the main ideas he expressed were these: Heaven is where God is -- Hell is where God isn*t. I*ll add the thought: Heaven is where good is -- Hell is where good isn*t.
Hell is worse than:
A place of torment.
I believe heaven may be visible to those in hell. (the lake of fire) I base that belief on Luke 16:23 where the rich man in torment could see Lazarus in paradise: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
I believe the souls in the lake of fire will have clear 20/20 vision. I believe they will be unable to look away from heaven except to see where they are. If only they could close their eyes for a moment and not see heaven, that paradise that they missed. If only they could turn away from heaven for a moment. I believe that what they missed will become their obsession -- forever. They will know that God is just and they deserve it. Worse -- they will know all those people in heaven deserved hell also.
In this life, even when we have something good, we are sometimes unable to enjoy a good thing when we see that someone else has something better. I believe the contrasts between heaven and hell will torment those in hell forever. I also believe the contrasts between heaven and hell will be apparent and will cause increased joy forever for those of us who get to heaven.
The good things we have here on earth are fleeting. The good things we will have in heaven will be eternal. We have some control here on earth over how many good things we will have when we get to heaven.
Matthew 6:20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Here is the understatement of the ages: Philippians 1:21; For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.