Am I in Heaven?

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There are so many growing trends in hospitals across the country.  Walking harpists, therapy dogs dressed in costume, or just simply a designated quiet time where lights are made dim and voices lowered for a few hours.  Studies show this to be quite conducive for healing the human body.  In one instance so much so that a gentleman in ICU was certain he had died and entered into heaven as he caught a glimpse of an “angelic” appearing lady toting a harp down the hallway.  He began hearing a melodious tune that he was certain would usher him into the presence of the Lord.  I still get tickled when I think about this story every single time.  By the way, this really is true!

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Being a nurse for over 20 years, I can see how this could be a very realistic thought to an ICU patient who may be on IV pain medication, coming out from under anesthesia, or “sun downing” which is basically when elderly folks go a little loco outside their usual environment.

I thought of a few scripture verses as I was pondering how this patient must have felt when he really thought he had died, or worse, how he felt when he figured out he had not.  Not everyone will end up in heaven and we can’t allow people to assume they will hear angels strumming harps as they draw their last breath on earth.

Matthew 7:21-23

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

I think about this scripture a lot.  As I travel for work, I meet people from many religious beliefs and backgrounds.  In talking with them, it becomes clear really fast that the majority of people have an idea that they will somehow end up in heaven when life is over.  They are quick to confess how they try to do good deeds as if this is the mark of one headed off exit “heaven” when life ends.  I find myself in conversations about Jesus all the time, but these same conversations often go in a direction that confirms a lack in understanding about being born again.  So many people really do think we are all headed to a place where angels strum harps when we die.  Period.

John 3:1-24

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.  14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Lord, help us all maintain urgency for spreading the gospel (in love) with everyone we come in contact with because people really don’t know what they don’t know.  Burden our hearts to be ready for sharing what it means to be born again in Jesus!

Share the good news more than you ever have girls!!!








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