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By Randy Alcorn
If I’ve ever read a book (besides the Bible) that would change the way I look at life and give me increased hope and excitement for the future it would be this book! The way Alcorn talks about heaven and what there is to look forward to, there is no way not to get excited about it! By being excited about our heavenly home gives us a different perspective about this life and what we are living for.
Now don’t get me wrong…. Jesus Christ is the MOST important and without His saving grace there is no point to even read the book. A relationship with Him is of utmost importance and is eternally life changing. Christ is who gives me a reason to live and to Whom I’m infinitely grateful and owe my whole life.
Before reading this book I could have honestly said I wanted to go to heaven, but mainly because it was better than hell. And if I was completely honest, I would have said I really like my life here on earth, I love my family, I’m blessed with an amazing husband, children, parents, church, community and so much more. It definitely isn’t perfect and isn’t without pain, tears, hardship, trial, heartache, and difficulty, but God prevails over all and with Him I can be strengthened for all things. I also don’t really want to sing forever on a bed of clouds… that seems pretty boring…
Now that I’ve read this book, my thoughts and dreams about heaven are radically different. I yearn for my heavenly home like never before. I know that when I’m upset that things aren’t perfect here, it’s because I’ve been created for a better place, a perfect place that my loving heavenly Father has already prepared for me! I feel like the following quote is a good summary about the book and Alcorns reason for writing it (page 18).
“So look out a window. Take a walk. Talk with your friend. Use your God-given skills to paint or draw or build a shed or write a book. But imagine it – all of it – in its original condition. The happy dog with the wagging tail, not the snarling beast, beaten and starved. The flowers unwilted, the grass undying, the blue sky without pollution. People smiling and joyful, not angry, depressed, and empty. If you’re not in a particularly beautiful place, close your eyes and envision the most beautiful place you’ve ever been – complete with palm trees, raging rivers, jagged mountains, waterfalls, or snow drifts.
Think of friends or family members who loved Jesus and are with him now. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have powerful bodies, stronger than those of an Olympic decathlete. You are laughing, playing, talking and reminiscing. You reach up to a tree to pick an apple or orange. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so good. Now you see someone coming towards you. It’s Jesus, with a big smile on his face. You fall to your knees in worship. He pulls you up and embraces you.
At last, you’re with the person you were made for, in the place you were made to be. Everywhere you go there will be new people and places to enjoy, new things to discover. What’s that you smell? A feast. A party’s ahead. And you’re invited. There’s exploration and work to be done – and you can’t wait to get started.”
After reading that, don’t you want to know what else he has to say? The first part of the book is the biblical basis for heaven and what the Bible says it will be like. The last portion is a large list of questions that he addresses like: Will we learn? Will we ever be tempted? Will we be married? Will we experience time? Will we have desires? Will we have emotions? Will we be ourselves? Will we experience hunger? Will we recognize each other? Will there be reunions with infants that have died? And on and on. Each of these he answers thoroughly!
I will say the book is long (over 500 pages) and does seem to say the same things more than once, but the overall benefit of the book is well worth the read.
If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think about it. And if you don’t know this Jesus Christ that I’m talking about and would like to know more, PLEASE contact me and provide me with your email address and I’d be happy to talk with you some more about Him!