Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 3, 2007

Genesis 5:21-24
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Enoch walked with God down here on earth and suddenly he was walking with God in heaven. I had always thought that the transition from life on this earth to our dwelling place in the next life, might be traumatic. But if we are part of the redeemed on earth walking with God, I am beginning to believe that this transition might be something we have been prepared for down here, and It might seem as natural as waking up on a beautiful morning after a good night’s rest.

In addition, I had always thought that heaven was a far off place. I know that heaven is where we go when we die in this day of grace. Paul says in Philippians 1:23 that if he departed or died, he would be with Christ. We know Christ is in heaven because in Acts 1:11, the Lord was taken up into heaven. In Acts 7:55, Stephen saw the Lord standing in heaven. In Acts 9:3, the Lord appeared to Paul as a light from heaven. Hebrews 9:24 says Christ has entered into heaven. Paul seems to be talking about himself when he says in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 that he was caught up into paradise which was the third heaven. The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven around earth. The second heaven is where the stars are. But where is this third heaven where God and the angels dwell, and where we go when we die?

Heaven isn’t so far away that the angels in heaven cannot see us because they observe our meetings in 1 Corinthians 11:10. Angels from heaven strengthened the Lord when He was tested in the wilderness and when he was tested in the Garden of Gethsemane. They announced His birth. Heaven was close enough when the Lord was baptized so that John the Baptist could hear the Father in heaven speak. Twelve legions of angels would have fought for the Lord if He would have called for them when He was being betrayed. Heaven was close enough so that Moses and Elijah were able to appear on the mount of transfiguration. Heaven was close enough so that a chariot of fire could carry Elijah up into heaven (2 Kings 2:11) and so that Elisha knew that chariots of fire were present protecting the city that was surrounded by the Syrians in 2 Kings 6:17. Moses was able to meet with God on an earthly mountain in the book of Exodus. So, I don’t think it seemed like a long trip to Enoch when he was taken to God’s dwelling place.

When we are born again, we receive eternal life. This is a life from heaven that fits us for heaven. It has both eternal quantity and eternal quality. This life begins here when we are saved and does not begin when we die. So why shouldn’t the transition from time to eternity be easy and comfortable? As a matter of fact, if we are walking with God already, our transition to heaven just might be somewhat like getting on an airplane in one country and one time zone and getting off in another country that speaks the same language and in another time zone. There will be differences but nothing that should alarm or surprise us.

However, since all tickets are one way and have already been paid for by the blood of Christ, we should make sure that we have a valid ticket. The ticket that I am depending on is simply this promise, “But God commendeth (demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” Either He did or He didn’t. I am depending on the fact that God says He did; and I hope that when the time comes for me to make the transition from time to eternity, it will seem like I have already been there.

Bruce Collins

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