Heaven Is a Waiting Place. by Mthobisi.

Hebrews 4:9 (NKJV) There remains therefore A REST FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD. There has been so many debates and speculations about whether or not, the saved of God actually go to heaven after their physical deaths. Some have asserted that when a humanbeing dies, he/she enters a state of temporary rest where he doesn't remember anything from his/her life, SWITCHED OFF (if you may) until the Day of Judgment. However this claim is based ONLY on the scripture in the Book of Ecclesiastes, where Solomon says "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, FOR IN THE REALM OF THE DEAD, WHERE YOU ARE GOING, THERE IS NEITHER WORKING NOR PLANNING NOR KNOWLEDGE NOR WISDOM."(Ecclesiastes 9:10). Nonetheless we know this much that when we depart from this body in that state that the Lord wants us to be in, WE WILL BE WITH THE LORD. First of all, let us talk about what the bible calls SLEEP because I believe this is where a lot of us get the idea of a temporary sleep state in death from. There are two definitions of sleep in the bible, the first is when one is idle or in a state of body rest most probably dreaming, the second is DEATH, for instance David says in Psalm speaking to God "consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, LEST I SLEEP THE SLEEP OF DEATH,"(Psalm 13:3) - David is so specific about the kind of sleep he is referring to – THE SLEEP OF DEATH. Now that doesn't mean that when we die we SLEEP, it just describes the kind of physical state you are in – PHYSICALLY UNCONSCIOUS. Let us look also at Lazarus, Jesus' beloved friend, when he dies Jesus says to the disciples "Our friend Lazarus has FALLEN ASLEEP..."(John 11:11) but the disciples responded to Jesus' statement by saying "Lord, if he SLEEPS, he will get better."(John 11:12) and then the bible records something powerful that we should never ignore, it says "now Jesus had spoken of his DEATH, but they thought that He meant TAKING REST IN SLEEP."(John 11:13) and I actually believe that this verse was written for those of us who actually think that PEOPLE SLEEP IN DEATH. Unfortunately and fortunately, that is not the case because we are spirit beings in a body, and spirits are eternal beings. When Paul says “we shall not all SLEEP…”(1 Corinthians 15:51) – he actually means, “we shall not all die” - PHYSICALLY. We can die physically and naturally and even spiritually by result of our souls being condemned but we can NEVER stop living or existing, however in a different realm. After this whole physical life, there are two destinations that await us, HEAVEN or HELL, and we are the deciders of which ones we will reside in. These two places are merely waiting PLACES, temporary states, most of the time we say people will spend eternity in HELL or HEAVEN and the reason we say that is because when you've been for 1 second in HELL, it feels like you've been there for a lifetime because in the spirit realm TIME is in-dominant. There are permanent places after these two, those from HELL whose names will not be found in the Book of Life(we have much to say about that) after Judgment will be transferred to the Lake of Fire and those from HEAVEN will be transferred to the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM which will be in the New Earth, as Peter says "but in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and A NEW EARTH, where righteousness dwells."(2 Peter 3:13). As it is now there are saints who are in HEAVEN, such who have died in Christ and are dwelling with Him now, Paul says "I am torn between the two: I DESIRE TO DEPART AND BE WITH CHRIST, which is better by far;"(Philippians 1:23) - to depart in this context means to DIE,

and he says when he dies he will be with Christ, now the biggest question is where is Christ now? The two angels who talk to the disciples after Jesus' ascension say in the book of Acts "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into HEAVEN, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into HEAVEN."(Acts 1:11) - that means Jesus is in heaven because He went into HEAVEN and for Paul to depart and be with the Lord will mean that he will have to enter heaven as well. John also shows us in the Book of Revelation, that there are saints in heaven waiting for the fulfillment of the number of the SAVED on earth, even the twenty-four elders, which I believe to be the patriarchs and the disciples. Paul says "to be absent from the body, IS TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD"(2 Corinthians 5:8), what a mighty revelation, it is either we are absent from one or we are present with the Other. We are heaven's citizens (Philippians 3:20) bought with the precious blood of Jesus, and we eagerly await the manifestation of our heavenly body in the Spirit. I remember one man in the bible who didn't taste physical death and for some time I wondered where did he go, such a one was Enoch, who as the bible records, he "was taken from this life, so that HE DID NOT EXPERIENCE DEATH: "He could not be found, because God had taken him away."(Hebrews 11:5) but then I also read about another man who was taken and I realized where they both had went, that one is Elijah and the bible records "as they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and ELIJAH WENT UP TO HEAVEN IN A WHIRLWIND"(2 Kings 2:11) - these are some of the most glorious moments in the word of God. Now the question is why would these two enter HEAVEN and the rest SLEEP, if some were SLEEPING, it appears Elijah and Moses were not because they appeared to Jesus in the Mount of Transfiguration(Luke 9:27-36). This Moses was seen because even though dead in the body he was alive in the Spirit, he was delayed from entering the glory of heaven because of his body, as Jude records "but even the archangel Michael, WHEN HE WAS DISPUTING WITH THE DEVIL ABOUT THE BODY OF MOSES, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"(Jude 1:9). When Jesus talks about the end of all things, He makes a very interesting comment about how God will gather His ELECTS, His CHOSEN ONES, He says "And He will send out His angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather His chosen ones from all over the world--from the farthest ends of the earth and HEAVEN."(Matthew 24:31) - He tells the disciples that God will gather His chosen ones "from the farthest ends of the earth and HEAVEN." - Its extraordinary. We, who are called, have a citizenship in heaven and it should always be our aim to not fall short of the grace of making it to that blessed place, where we will eagerly await the New Jerusalem, the City with Foundations who’s Builder and Maker is God. God Bless You.

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