I sort of hate to admit this, but I really have not thought a whole lot about heaven. I have been much too busy trying to be faithful to Jesus here on earth to worry much about that.
But recently I went through a medical procedure in which I was sedated. It was all very safe but there is always the chance that something could go wrong.
As I was preparing for this procedure, I found myself pondering, “What happens if I do not make it! What then?”
Those thoughts led me back into a prayer of recommittment to Jesus. I also reminded Him that there were a number of things that He had called me to do for His glory that I had not yet finished.
The other time that I wrestled with these kinds of sobering thoughts and wondering what was going to happen next was 6 years ago when we were detained in China. When my interrogators took me out of the building, I had one of those moments of, “Well Jesus, is this it?”
In both of these cases I found in myself a firm and certain faith and deep trust that Jesus is real and is indeed the way into eternal life and to life in heaven with Him forever.
In the China case I felt the Holy Spirit fall on me in power and during the next seven hours of interrogation, I experienced Jesus keeping His promise that He would give us the words we needed to speak.
Later that night I know that I was protected by Jesus from any harm. The next day we were released.
I pondered, “Where does that conviction in me come from?”
How do we know that this stuff that we preach is really real?
The only basis for knowing that heaven is real are Jesus’ words to us:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:1-6 NIV)
Actually this is all we really need! But for some reason in addition to this promise in the Word, Jesus has given me several remarkable experiences of heaven itself.
These vivid lived experiences have sealed Jesus’ word on my heart. At the recent Chinese Dunamis in New York a number of people begged me to tell my experience of heaven. So I did and it seems to have been a great comfort to many.
That experience is given here on video; it is the complete vision. I felt compelled to make this video right after my mother died in 2010. I guess I needed reminding that Jesus’ promise of many rooms He has prepared for us is really true because the Holy Spirit had given me a glimpse into heaven.
Well, back to the present. God just surprised me with another vision of Heaven, this time having to do with my Mom. She died last year in January. I have never had the least concern that she was with Jesus.
But I have missed her! I have missed her nearly nightly calls telling me who or what she was praying for and always ending with the words that only a mom can speak of “I love you.”
I was really missing her when all of our children and three grandchildren, two of whom were born just this year after mom died, were all visiting.
We were having a great feast and wonderful times sitting around the dinner table talking and laughing and just being a happy family. I have always felt that times such as this are a foretaste of heaven and the Great Feast of the Lamb. I found myself missing Mom and wishing that she could be there to see her two new great-grandchildren.
I guess I was mostly subconsciously praying and asking, “Is heaven real? Mom, are you really with Jesus? Jesus are you really the only way into eternal life? Or is all that just some sort of evolutionary adaptation in our minds to help humans deal with the pain of losing people we love and face the terrors of death?”
God must have heard my cry because He answered in an amazing dream that was more than just a dream but a glimpse into spiritual reality.
The dream started at the dinner table with the children and grandchildren and then started to grow. It became a great feast with lots of people eating and drinking, laughing and celebrating.
All of them were people that are presently alive and working for Jesus right now.
Then with a shock I noticed my mother sitting by the person next to me. She was just sitting there at the feast looking very happy and content. I kept looking at her thinking, “What are you doing here? You’re dead!”
In the dream I remember thinking, “This is just crazy she is not supposed to be here. This can’t be.” I was afraid to speak to her.
Finally I just could not stand it any more. So I said, ”Mom what are you doing here? You’re dead. You are not supposed to be here!”
Mom did not answer, at least not with spoken words. Instead she looked at me with such eyes of love, joy and peace that I was overwhelmed. I knew she was telling me, “Yes, I am here! I am at the great feast and it is glorious! And I love you!”
Then an amazing thing happened that stunned me even in the dream.
I went on with the feast talking to people sitting at the table, and every few moments looking back at my mother.
Each time I looked it is like she “morphed” from 82 years old and in failing health to being younger and younger and healthier and more alive.
Each time I looked at her she was more beautiful and more alive.
Each time I saw her it was like she was in the context of when she was that age. I saw her back in Korea happily painting in the countryside.
Then I had at glimpse of her in a faded blue dress, her long auburn hair blowing in the wind, hanging clothes on the clothesline on an early spring day.
In the next glance it was back in the 1940s and she was radiantly beautiful. She was young but all the phases of her life were there on her face giving an ineffable depth and beauty.
It was about that time that I realized that I was no longer, sitting in my own kitchen, but in Heaven at the great feat of the Lamb. Then I woke up, but felt that I had never really been asleep, but in another realm.
This was so amazing! I take it that God answered my unconscious prayer saying, “Yes! It is all real! And Jesus is just as who He says He is.”
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”