This is the 10th and final blog in my Heaven Revealed series. This has been an eye opening series for me. It’s been exciting to look at the scriptures from a Heavenly perspective and research ideas I had never considered. We can’t rely on what humans say, but we can count on every word of the Bible. Always!
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
This week I want to close by reflecting on what the Bible says people like Lazarus experienced after they died and came back to life. Just in case you aren’t familiar with this story, I’ll give you a little background (John 11). Lazarus (who was the brother of the Mary who poured oil on Jesus’s feet and wiped it with her hair) gets very sick. Mary & Martha run to Jesus and beg Him to rush to them so He can save Lazarus, but Jesus delays and Lazarus dies.
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:38-44
Lazarus never tells us about seeing the face of God, a light, or anything. He didn’t just die for a few minutes either, he was dead for four days and not a word is mentioned in the Bible of what he experienced or saw. I have to believe that if God wanted us to know about what we saw after death he would have had Lazarus’s story (someone very close to Jesus’s heart) documented in scripture.
Lazarus wasn’t the only one brought back from the dead. Jesus also raised the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11-17) and the daughter of Jairus. (Luke 8:40-55) He healed many more, but raised 3 from the dead. Interestingly enough, we don’t hear a single word from any of them about what they saw or experienced after death. My conclusion is this (from a Biblical perspective).
The only things we truly know about Heaven are: 1) things we learn from those who received visions about Heaven from God and documented them in scripture and 2) from Jesus’s Himself when He walked this Earth. We don’t hear from anyone who died and was brought back to life by Jesus about what Heaven was like. Why???????? I wish I knew. And so we ask,
“What about all those stories from those who have had near death experiences, say they met God, saw a light and other relatives who had died before?” Again, I don’t know. Honestly, no one does. Those stories bring so many people (including me) hope and comfort, but shouldn’t the promises from God Himself (through scripture) be enough for us? Wouldn’t He document through scripture through those He brought back to life if He wanted us to know or thought it was relevant to our faith and walk with Christ? So many things to consider. That’s the beauty of scripture. Often we are left with many more questions after we read and that’s good because it will continue to grow our faith and return us to scripture to seek answers.
I’ve discovered a lot of news truths and answers through my research on Heaven, but there will always be mysteries and secrets this side of Heaven. That is where faith comes in handy!
But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7
STAY TUNED! I’ve completed the Heaven Series, but next week I will unveil thoughts about my upcoming blogs. If I haven’t said so lately, THANK YOU so much for reading this blog. You are a blessing.
On a Heaven related note: I wanted to share this:
February 8th marked 3 years since our family lost our sweet friend Ella Newmiller at the age of 8. I don’t have all the answers to our questions about Heaven, but I know with certainly this sweet girl is with our Heavenly Father dancing and singing away. I look forward to the day I can hug her once again and see her smiling face. In the meantime, we help her family and Chick-fil-A raise money for pediatric brain tumor research each year by participating in the Ellabration 5K. I’ve attached a video you can watch to learn more about Ella, the Newmillers and CFA’s efforts to help raise awareness and money so no more families have to endure what Ella did and her family does.
As stated in the Newmillers post last year, “We feel the best way to honor Ella is to try to prevent what happened to her, and all she had to endure, from happening to other children. One way we are blessed to do this is through Ella’s Race, which raises money for the Cure Starts Now and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. If you are local, please join us in walking, running or volunteering in memory of our sweet girl…”
You can register for the race by clicking here ~ Ella’s Race. I hope to see you there.