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Do You Want Heaven Now?
Keywords: Death; Eternal Life; Heaven; Hope; Justice; Kingdom of God; Righteousness; Peace
Filters: Christian Culture, Weekly Updates, Stories
References: Psalm 73:25Look up Scripture; Isaiah 65:17-25Look up Scripture; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5Look up Scripture; Philippians 1:23Look up Scripture; Philippians 3:20-21Look up Scripture; 2 Peter 3:13Look up Scripture
Tone: Mixed/Neutral

Author and professor Lewis Smedes used to ask his students if they wanted to go to heaven when they died. Everyone would raise a hand. Then he'd ask, "Be honest now—who would like to go today?"

A few would raise their hands slowly, giving what they thought was the correct answer, looking around to see if they were the only ones. They were. Most people wanted a rain check. They were ready to die—just not today.

Then Professor Smedes would ask who would like to see the world set straight once and for all tomorrow: "No more common colds, no more uncommon cancers. Hungry people would have plenty; no one would lift a finger to harm another; we would be at peace with everyone, even with ourselves. Anybody interested in that?"

There would be a frenzy of hand-lifting. Then Smedes would point out that if that new world is what you really want, then heaven's where you'd like to be.

Citation: John Ortberg, "Our Secret Fears about Heaven," Today's Christian Woman (July/Aug, 2003), pp. 39-40; submitted by Rich Tatum, Romeoville, Illinois