I'm always trying to impress upon them the reality of heaven and convince them/myself that there is no reason to fear death. It just means something else is waiting on the other side even more amazing than we can ever imagine.My words never seem to do Heaven any justice.
I recently read a book by Dr. Reggie Anderson titled, Appointments with Heaven. Dr. Anderson had quite the spiritual journey himself that led him to having a heavenly encounter with Jesus. Thus restoring his faith and setting his life-path.
This is the kind of book you want to read slowly to take in every detail. Every encounter. I'm excited about Heaven, but it's the process of dying that scares me, as probably most of us.
One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is I wanted to read about the fragrances and sights that Dr. Anderson felt and smelled when one passed from this life into the next. I wanted to read about the transition and what it was like and have it settled in my soul once and for all that the experience of dying is really nothing to be afraid of, but maybe even embraced.
I wanted fear of the uncertain to be replaced with peace of the inevitable.
He had patients that were on the brink of death that tasted Heaven and would come back and describe vibrant colors like nothing they had ever seen. Beautiful grassy meadows where they had picnics with their loved ones and Jesus.
Appointments with Heaven made Heaven more real than any other book I've read. It's made me have more peace about the dying process and more sure of where I want to go when I die
There was one patient however, that I can't get out of my head. Dr. Anderson described him as plain evil. A man that had spent his life hurting the ones around him with no remorse. He was dying and the good doctor tried several times to speak to him about God, but the old man would tell him to shut up about such things and just treat his cancer.
When the time came for him to die, his process wasn't peaceful like the other patients; his movements were jerky, agitated, and was full of grunts. Instead of a last peaceful breath and a slight smile on his face he fought for his last breath and grunted, then he was gone.
"The warmth I'd come to expect when heaven's door opened seemed to have been replaced by the opening of a liquid nitrogen canister. The room appeared dark and shadowy, as if it were being swallowed by a black abyss. That's when I smelled sulfur and diesel. The air felt heavy, and it got harder to breathe...Evil had entered the room." pg (190)Whew
That's a hard image to get out of your head, and made me want to pray even harder for those that I don't feel like know the Lord. We aren't promised tomorrow and at any moment our life can be taken.
Do you know for sure where you are going?
Heaven is real, my friends. Don't take it for granted one more day.
"...We don't spend life walking toward eternity; we walk alongside it."(pg299)
**I reviewed this book for Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Third picture courtesy of the amazingly awesome Mrs. Teri Lynne Underwood!
Linked with my friend Beth at Three Word Wed