If you went to heaven, what would you tell us about it?

April 15, 2011

In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, Paul talks about his experience in heaven. This most likely occured after he was stoned in the book of Acts when the people supposed he was dead (Acts 14:19-20). He has an "out of body experience" and says I don't know if I was in the flesh or not (God knows), but I do know this, I was caught up into the third heaven.

The Apostle Paul was able to go to the third heaven for awhile and experience it! Let me stop real quick and say PRAISE GOD, Christians are caught up to paradise when they are out of the body! (2 Corinthians 5:1-9). We got nothing to worry about as believers!

Anyway, Paul gets up there and he sees the innumerable company of angels. He walks on the streets of Gold through those pearly gates and I am sure he is amazed. He hears the songs of praise to God throughout that place. He sees the Old Testament saints in heaven: Moses, Eliijah, Abraham and the like. They explain to him how Jesus set them free! Paul says, he set me free too!

Then he sees the Man that he met on the road to Damascus. He sees a bright light and says this looks familiar. He sees the Lord Jesus Christ in all his glory as the Lamb of God. At some point, Paul starts hearing words. From who? The Bible doesn't say. I'm sure it was God though. At some point he realizes that he must return to earth to fulfill his ministry, so he goes.

When he awakes, he continues his ministry.

Then he writes to the Corinthian church about his experience. Of all the things Paul could have talked about he did not talk about the streets of gold. Of all the things he could have talked about, he did not talk about the tree of life and the rivers of living water. Of all the things he could have talked about, he did not talk about seeing his loved ones. Of all the things he could have talked about, he did not even describe what the Lord looked like (I guess he figured its already been revealed in the Book through and through).

Of all the things he could have talked about, he emphasized to that church, I HEARD UNSPEAKABLE WORDS up there. I wish I could tell you, but it is not permitted unto me to speak. Wow. I know if that was me, I would have emphasized what I saw. If that was me, I would have emphasized how I felt. But what did Paul do? He emphasized how great the words spoken were.

There is no way of ever knowing this side of heaven, what those words were that he heard: but they meant something to Paul, and deeply affected him. I don't know what Paul heard but I do know this.

God's Holy Word (King James Bible) has affected me and touched my heart so greatly it changed my life for ever. It has had an effectual work on me since I believed it (1 Thessalonians 2:13). How consistent this is with what Peter said, who having seen the glory of God (like Paul), hearing God's audible voice (like Paul), seeing Moses and Elijah with Jesus (like Paul), said this: WE HAVE ALSO A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY (2 Peter 1:19) and you do well to take heed unto THAT WORD.

Christian, we possess the word of God in that book. This is the closest we'll get to seeing the glory of God outside of being in his physical prescence according to 2 Corinthians 3:18. But you know whats the same here and over there? We can still hear THAT SAME WORD, whether here or there.

Thanks be to God!

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