John 5:24 ¶ Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Have you ever experienced the joy of the other side? I am talking about the joy of heaven. I remember a funeral we had several years ago for a lady by the name of Ginger who worked for us at the church. She died suddenly and unexpectedly at a very young age. This funeral was not like any funeral I had ever been to. You see, we were experiencing a very powerful outpouring of the Spirit characterized by supernatural joy in those days at our church. Ginger had been right in the middle of it. She would laugh and rejoice for hours in the presence of the Lord. At the funeral, waves of unspeakable joy began to be poured out. The sadness and tears were rapidly washed away by an unmistakeable sense of God’s presence. Laughter and rejoicing were absolutely filling the chapel at the funeral home. There was no hint of disrespect but quite the opposite. It was as if everyone there was tasting a little of the heavenly joy that Ginger had stepped into. We were receiving a taste of the joy in heaven at her arrival. Here is a quote about heaven from Billy Graham’s book called ‘Where I Am’.
“I cannot help but think of the powerful words widely attributed to John Newton as he lay on his deathbed. Someone asked him, “Are you still with us?” Newton whispered, “I am still in the land of the dying, but soon, I shall be in the land of the living!”
You see, death for the Christian is just the entryway to eternity, where the eternal God in the heavens welcomes us in. Think of having complete fulfillment, knowing that our homecoming brings unspeakable joy to our wonderful Lord! Only when we stand in the joyful presence of Jesus Christ will this be realized. So why do we prefer lingering here? Because we are not only earthbound in body; we are earthbound in our thinking. Our imagination is limited to the things of this earth. But when we leave this place, we will never dwell on it again. Our eyes and hearts will be fixed on Christ.”
So maybe it’s time to think about heaven. If you are prepared to go, don’t be surprised if you begin to taste a bit of heaven’s joy. It’s going to be greater than any of us could ever imagine.