How To Experience Heaven On Earth In Your Family
Have you ever wished that we could be in heaven already? All around us we see the sin, the sadness, and the unfairness of life. We long for Jesus to come and for all the problems of this world to end. But what if I told you that there is a way for you to experience heaven today?
The Bible states, “that your days may be multiplied and the days of your children in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:21). Though it appears too good to be true, the word of God cannot lie— heaven can start right here.
We might ask, what does it mean for heaven to start now and what would this look like? To understand the answers to these questions, we need to become clear on what our view of heaven is. The book of Ephesians gives us a clue into this mystery. It simply states this, “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:15). Why does it mention the “whole family in heaven and earth”? You see, heaven operates like a family.
HEAVEN OPERATES AS A FAMILY
Just stop and imagine with me what the family of heaven must look like. God is like a loving father. We are told that He delights to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11). In another place, it states that He has an innumerable amount of good thoughts towards us (Psalm 40:5; Jeremiah 29:11) and cannot forget us (Isaiah 49:15). He is patient with our mistakes (Psalm 103:8-14), and faithful to correct (Proverbs 3:12) and teach us the best ways (Isaiah 48:17; 1 Kings 8:36). The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8), and as love, it is joy to be in His presence (Psalm 16:11). He is called the God of peace (Philippians 4:9) and His words are sweet as honey (Psalm 119:103). He opens his hands and satisfies the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:16).
We have seen a glimpse of God the Father, and now let’s look at the rest of the family. We know this family to be large, composing an innumerable amount of angels as well as other beings (Revelation 5:11). Job tells us that the morning stars sing together and all the sons of God shout for joy (Job 38:7). Revelation states that heaven is full of the song, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8). From these verses we see that the family of heaven is full of rejoicing, respect, and love. Time would fail us here to speak of all the thoughtful deeds performed throughout history by members of this family. Their love for each other goes beyond words to “deeds and truth” (1 John 3:18). I think we would all agree that a family like this would be heaven indeed.
HOMES UNDER ATTACK
But what does all this talk about the heavenly family have to do with heaven starting right now? Heaven operates as a family and our homes can also be a little heaven, just located on this earth. You see,
“God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven” ~ (To be like Jesus p. 52).
However, our experiences with family have more often than not caused our view of the heavenly home to be skewed. All around us we find homes falling to shambles. The divorce rate continues to increase by the decade and those who are still married are seldom truly happy together. Children often merely exist while their parents struggle to keep bread on the table and lights on in the house. Other families that are better off seldom see their parents at all. When they do see them, it is not always the picture-perfect experience that people dream of in a home.
Let’s face it, homes are under severe attack, but this does not mean that they cannot still become a little heaven on earth. We find that Luke 18:27 gives us a most wonderful promise in the midst of these human impossibilities. It says, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” In Christ, the old things can “pass away” and all things can “become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
IF FAMILIES WERE LIKE THIS…
What a wonderful thing it would be if all the families on this earth were a little type of heaven. Prisons and law enforcement would become nearly bankrupt from lack of work. Gangs and drugs would disappear from society. Suicide would only exist in a dictionary to explain history. Wars would cease. Loneliness, anxiety, and depression would starve for recognition. Teen pregnancies and abortion would wane. Sickness and disease would become less and less. Prejudice and cultural exclusion would crumble. Homeless ministries and shelters would need to shut their doors and sell out.
At the same time that these terrible ills would be facing exile or death, personal worth and a sense of belonging would be on the rise. An era of art, culture, and science would emerge such as has never been seen. Men and women of talent and worth would be seen at every turn. Intelligence and a love of learning would mark the youth. Hardships and difficulties would develop a stronger people rather than collapsing society. And best of all, the beauty of true Christianity would blossom everywhere and take deep root in all the circles of humanity.
If even a moment of genuine thought were placed on this subject, the glorious results would overwhelm the senses and the thinker would become forever dissatisfied with anything less. The question that must then be asked is, “How can we obtain the treasures of such a home?”
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Our homes can only become the heaven on earth God designed when Jesus is known and loved, and when His sweet presence is an abiding guest. In His presence is “fullness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures forever more” (Psalm 16:11).
JESUS, THE ABIDING GUEST
Jesus tells us of Himself, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). What a precious promise! What we need is to open the door of our homes and invite Jesus in. It matters not to Him what our homes are like. They may be professedly Christian. They may be a mess. They may just need a little tune-up. Whatever they are, He tells us, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Whether we are rich or poor, of high reputation and Christian culture, or destitute of the finer things of life, we all need Jesus.
“The first work to be done in a Christian home is to see that the Spirit of Christ abides there” (The Adventist Home p. 20).
Two of Jesus’ disciples wanted Him to abide in their home. In their experience we can find the secret for our own. We are simply told, “they constrained him, saying, ‘Abide with us’” (Luke 24:29). The result was, “He went in to tarry with them” (Luke 24:29). When we apply the same methods of heartfelt invitation, Jesus will gladly “tarry” with us as well.
Praise the Lord that though we may have failed to let Jesus fully into our homes, God tells us, “to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7,8). There is still hope for us in Jesus. His creative Word that “spake and it was done” that “commanded and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6,9) can speak into our lives, and even today we can begin seeing the dawning of the promise, “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:21).
As your eyes read this promise and your heart burns within you to see your own home reflect its glory, it would be unnatural for you not to cry out, “Show me how to accomplish this!” In the upcoming blog articles, we will seek to provide you with tangible steps and practical methods from God’s Word to empower your home to become all that God intended it to be—yes, even a heaven on earth. It would be unwise for us to give any further steps though, if the simple one outlined in this article is not regarded. Our greatest need is to open the door of our homes to Jesus by praying and inviting Jesus to be a part of our family. This step lays at the foundation of success. Put it into practice and you will experience wonderful results.
By Victoria Mandigo