The hope of heaven is a comforting hope


By Pastor Ron Branch - Contributing columnist



Branch

Branch


The winter of 1994 was hard. In January, one snow measured about three feet. The roads were declared closed by the local authorities. At that time, the Branches lived about ten miles south of St. Marys, WV, on Oak Grove Road. The people of that community were close knit.

One evening about 7 p.m., a near neighbor called. Her daughter was grievously ill. She asked if I would take them to the hospital. The daughter needed immediate medical care. Dad, a truck driver, was on a run half way across the country.

I fired up our van, and I eased down to the house. The daughter was in great pain. I carried her from the house. I placed her carefully in the van. Though the roads were heavily snow covered, we arrived in good stead.

I never considered that this vivacious child was at that moment in the grip of a deadly disease to which she would succumb. She died around 5 a.m.

Our son, Jeshua, was seven years old at the time of her death. He was very tender about it all. With tears cascading down his cheeks one evening, he climbed up in my lap, and said, “Dad, I miss her.”

The next morning during our family devotions, I asked Jeshua to pray a prayer for us. He concluded it with, “And, Lord, help my friend to have a good time in Heaven! Amen.”

Jeshua’s prayer blessed my soul. In his prayer there was underscored a comforting principle expressed in his child-like faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We cannot help but to see how needful and how comforting is the hope of Heaven. It is not hope that is based upon wishful speculations. Rather, it is hope that is based upon the sure promises of God.

The hope of Heaven clearly instilled hope in the heart of my son. Furthermore, the hope of Heaven soothes the pain of grieving Christians. The hope of Heaven helps us to see beyond the cold and dark barrier of death. The hope of Heaven effectively dilutes the poison of cynicism which embitters senses concerning the otherwise abundant qualities of life spoken of by the Savior.

According to Scripture, Heaven is a far better place than what is here on earth. Heaven is a very large place. It has jeweled walls, jeweled foundations, and jeweled gates. Heaven is a place of the purest light and unfettered liberty.

Important also to consider is the quality of life that is offered in Heaven. The Scripture is very forthcoming when it assures us that Heaven is and will be a place where there will not be any tears. What will it be like to live where there is no more sorrow? Many people, like me, live in constant pain and discomfort, but in Heaven there will be no more of it.

And, according to the Biblical info, there will be no more death. We need to remember—-point specifically—-that our loved ones who go to Heaven are still alive! When we get there ourselves, we will not be dead, but real and alive! Listen—-when our son died, what broke me so hard that day was the thought that I was not present to help Him make the necessary transition. But, God let me know that He was with Eran. God was present to lift His soul from his broken body. God stood by my boy to lead him to make that transition into eternity. According to the Psalmist, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

But, the most comforting consideration of all is that Heaven is where Jesus Christ is. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am you may be also.”

According to the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15:19, without the hope of Heaven, we would be people most miserable.”

Every day, physical death overcomes people dear and precious to us. But, the Lord provides the sure hope of Heaven — for our comfort.

Branch
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By Pastor Ron Branch

Contributing columnist

Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.

Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.