A friend, colleague, and local pastor died yesterday. Paul Grabill was the pastor of our local AOG church and while some found him too strong in his convictions for their tastes, I found him to be humble, generous, and yes, firmly convicted of the Gospel and its Truth. In June he wrote what he thought would be (and was) his last column in the local paper. I share the closing bit here.
So, let me take this opportunity to talk a bit about heaven. With “Heaven is for Real” abiding near the top of the best-seller charts for months, it seems that I’m not the only person who is interested.
Years ago I heard a Methodist pastor friend say, “You can’t scare a Christian with heaven.” I’ve been using that quote ever since.
C.S. Lewis famously wondered why eternity would be in our hearts, if it did not exist. Amen to that. With near universal belief in an afterlife, and thousands of near-death experiences that seem to contradict the flat-earth, anti-supernatural, all-I-can-process-through-my- five-senses-is-all-there-is view, I am most happy to say that belief in heaven, and more importantly, the God who lives there, has brought great joy and peace to me.
In fact, it has caused some to wonder if something is wrong with me.
I feel so sad for those who do not live with such hope and peace.
So, whether I go or stay, it means little. I am neither indispensable nor in despair. I see every day as a precious gift to love and be loved. I worry little about the outcome of world affairs, because this world is not my true home.
I want to spend my time helping others to know such peace, and to be prepared for eternity themselves.
So, if you go to a Penn State whiteout this fall, think a bit about heaven.
It’s far better. In fact, from what I understand, it’s a riot.
“May light perpetual shine upon him.” And it does, I know it does.