And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as a crystal, proceeding, out of the throne of God and the Lamb...And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever." Revelation 22:1, 5
Many people believe that living on the earth is some kind of a training ground for acceptance into heaven. And that if we can survive the brutality of living in a quagmire and sustain ourselves long enough, when we die there is some place magnificent and grand to enter into. They look at life as a testing ground to see if we are worthy of going to heaven. Many believe that if they join this group or that religion or if they are good enough or from the right bloodline, if they make it through this tortuous and unfair life, they will enter into heaven and receive eternal life.
I wish that you would read your Bible and unlearn all the false things that are said and taught about God. The only thing true in the statement above is that there is a place magnificent and grand to enter into. But the rest of it is false assumptions based on unsubstantiated teachings.
Here's how it really is:
Earth is not a training ground, but a very beautiful, God created place that has within it every component necessary for living a wonderful and blessed life. Earth is full of beauty and natural wonders that cannot even be fully understood, because they are also magnificent and grand. I know, in your heart there is much rebellion with this concept. If you are like most people you have seen enough unfairness and irresponsibility and ugliness and meanness and darkness that to compare heaven with earth just doesn't add up. Your right those things won't be in heaven, but the problem with earth is not earth, it's people. God made it perfect. We messed it up.
Earth is not a training ground to see if you will be faithful to God so that you can be assured that you get a ticket into heaven. First of all there is no ticket into heaven. Those who do not love God on this side, and enjoy a relationship with God while on earth, and trust that God is their Savior aren't going to trust God on the other side either. In other words, if you don't like the call to holiness on this side you aren't going to like heaven either. But more than that, heaven is a place that we dwell in,but heaven is not eternal life. Eternal life starts on this side at the moment that you accept the great sacrifice that God made for your redemption.
This eternal life has within it, on this side, a place called Rest, that can be found, understood, apprehended and lived on this side. You are living in eternal life right now. It's not something that you are going to get as you enter the pearly gates and St. Peter or Moses looks at your golden ticket and says, "ticket validated," come on in. You are in before you go, because eternal life is now. I tell you that if you can believe this you will live differently.
Even though heaven is a place, within you lives the essence of what heaven is made of. And to one degree or another you can perpetuate the thinking that nothing can be done about earths pitiful condition or you can think that you can and will, share this eternal life that is within you with others. You can think good thoughts toward others. You can pray for others. You can do something extraordinary for others and you don't even have to let them know who did it. You can look at earth and see its beauty. You can visualize living in this paradise, not to make light of the next paradise. You can enter into the Rest of God. You will yourself there, by stopping long enough to sense the presence of God. It's true, you will have to turn off the TV, radio, Blackberry, Internet, and beeper, but if you believed that you could enter into a place that was like heaven, wouldn't you maybe give it a try? If you think going to heaven is going to be great, you have got to get alone with God and experience the quiet and peace associated with finding His Rest for your soul.