What can we take to Heaven?
Jacob Braude tells the story of a man who hadn't seen an old friend in years. "How is your wife?" the man asked.
"She's in heaven," replied the friend.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Quickly realizing this was not the appropriate response, he added, "I mean, I'm glad." And that was even worse. Finally, he said, "Well, I'm surprised."
Friends, I'm surprised about all the stuff you're packing for your celestial journey. Nicole, 8, says she'll pack her toothbrush and toothpaste along with her blanket and stuffed animal. Nicole, your dentist will be glad to know you intend to have the brightest smile in heaven.
The good news from Natalie, 9, is that we won't need our toothbrushes or dentist appointments: "You can take your spirit and you will leave your old body. You will get a new body in heaven."
Yes, Natalie. The Apostle Paul described this new body as incorruptible, glorious and spiritual (I Corinthians 15:35-58). Yeah, no tooth decay! The new body is patterned after the resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The mortal, fleshly body of Jesus that was nailed to the cross was transformed into an incorruptible body when he was raised from the dead.
Other items my friends plan to pack in their heaven-bound suitcases: pizza, football, dogs (cats didn't make it), snowboards (from Joey in Alaska), money, a violin, a glass angel, flowers, a dove, Mom and Dad.
Emily, 12, says to leave all that stuff behind. "We can't take anything to heaven with us because we won't need anything in heaven besides what's already there. God is there, and he is all that anyone needs. You won't need CDs or TVs or any of the things that we use every day."
Emily knows God will fill the lives of his people. We won't need toys. The Apostle Paul wrote that in Christ "dwells all the fullness of the Godhead" (Colossians 2:9).
He added that Christians are complete in Christ. God wants to fill you with his fullness now!
Most Christians don't realize all the divine resources available to them. This is not the health and wealth gospel advocated by some TV evangelists. Rather, it's the gospel of living in light of a new reality. If Jesus lives in Christians, he has all the resources to deal with all the trials and tribulations this life has to offer.
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