My TRIP to Heaven
In my dream, I was privileged to travel to the Celestial World of Heaven. It was an inter-terrestrial experience that defied all human imagination. The trip itself was faster than a flash of lightning. I was traveling on the ship of Grace and was received by Gabriel in person. Gabriel had visited my world on several occasions and was familiar with what I was hoping to see in the Celestial World.
To my amazement, the questions I intended to ask were also on Gabriel’s mind and on everyone else’s mind that I was about to meet. Everything in the Celestial World was bright and clear, as if it were eternal sunlight. There were absolutely no secrets in heaven and everything that I had done on earth was completely wiped out by that enormous bright light. Before I could inquire about that source, Gabriel reminded me of my Lord, the Christ that had bleached all that I ever had done with His redeeming blood that was a bright red crimson in the Celestial World. It shone brighter than all the lights in the universe, comprising all the stars and suns put together. If Gabriel had then terminated my visit at this point, I would have been the only most eternally blessed individual in the universe. Of course he had much more for me to see, not as phenomenal as the light, nevertheless very revealing.
At that point, Gabriel became a bit hesitant and before I could ask why, he opened up another picture and began explaining that my brief and singular visit should not be presumed that this would be my eternal habitat. Then he showed me a layout of the Celestial World that was very much like Mother Earth; which was before it had been spoiled by evil and sin. “We too have subdivisions,” Gabriel said. “You shall meet different groups with different leaders very content in their serene environment, but they shall be far from the higher ups in our Celestial World. Look over there,” he pointed in one direction while he spoke.
I followed his hand and mine eyes opened wider and wider. I could look farther than a telescope and marvel in amazement at the Love of God expressed in millions of ways that has brought all these groups into the Celestial World. Again a question flashed in my mind. How could these masses end up here that did not believe the way I did? I gasped for insight. Gabriel anticipated my helplessness and reminded me of the Great Mystery of God’s Grace and the Greater Mystery of the Redeeming Blood of Christ that was shed for the world and not for just one individual or one faith. Then it hit me like a thunderbolt. They were as unworthy as I was, but they were made deserving for what they had done for others at their cost. Now, in the Celestial Word, they were free of heartache, sorrow or tears. Their habitat was not Paradise, nor the New Jerusalem, or the banquet Hall of Christ, or the inner Most Holy Place where God is seated; but it was nevertheless the outside perimeter within heaven.
I had come for an interview regarding Jesus of Nazareth and His claims. Gabriel knew in advance whom I had to see. To speed up things he let me focus on these witnesses automatically. Instantly, I could perceive their answers to my questions. My first couple was Adam and Eve. Our minds linked immediately and they informed me that Jesus was indeed their designer and creator. He knew that man would not resist the tempter and that He, Himself, shall one day assume human identity and recapture lost humanity. The couple was there out of shear mercy and with them was a large group that had joined them by the skin of their teeth. But that too, I felt was more than I deserved.
Next, we passed Abraham and his kinfolk and many like him. Gabriel reminded me that he rather than the Lord hand many encounters with Abraham before he became convinced that God had a special role for him. Abraham signaled back that the Biblical records were correct; and then we went on to Moses, the person who nearly had an intimate encounter with God alone. No human being had been used with such divine forcefulness like this man. I was overwhelmed by this man’s humility that was not allowed to be part of a nation for which he had worked so hard. His flashes of the past with the Lord God were more demonstrative and vivid. During this time, Gabriel too signaled me to take note of Israel crossing the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army. I was also interested in whether Moses forecasted the Christ and whether he had appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus and Elijah and the flash back was in the affirmative. And his law-abiding followers too surrounded Moses and they were from all over the world.
Next I met Elijah and his prototype, the Baptist. This strange man, Jesus regarded as the greatest of the prophets; yet, the smallest in the kingdom. Both men had walked in the same Spirit on earth. Both had prepared the way of the Lord on earth. John the Baptist identified the Lamb of God; and Elijah and Moses planed His exodus from the world. These two were in the company of all the other prophets and disciples of Jesus. They were like in a kingdom all by themselves. Not to distant from the prophets were an innumerable host of witnesses, some were made mentioned in the Bible.
Then my eyes were turned to a huge crowd of people that were completely different from any other group. Their garments were like any other stained in blood. It was not Christ’s blood but theirs. They were the busiest and happiest bunch in the Celestial World. Dignitaries were among them and one had the appearance of Jesus. Angels were waving fans to cool them and others wiped away their tears. One dignitary, I was not worthy to see, was also consoling and wiping away their tears. I did not have to be told who He was. And I did not have to be told who this group was. And I did not have to be told that your face or mine were not be among them because we had laid down our lives for Christ in this world.
Gabriel was still beside me and directed me to look away from the martyrs to another group; perhaps the largest crowd of all depicted as, “the believers.” These were those who had cleverly wrapped themselves in grace and love as their only chance to make it into the Celestial World. The Lord could not go back on His promise that faith would keep heaven open for them and that is how they got into the kingdom of heaven. A strange feeling came over me as I passed their compound. Most of these believers were signaling at me Biblical messages that had to do with good deeds. They were mislead by the idea that good deeds were in the way of their salvation; when in reality, they were now in the way of being rewarded. They were blessed for having believed, but not blessed for not doing what they were purposed to do by the Lord before the foundations of the world were laid.
To my surprise, I was led back to the group where Abraham, Noah, James and Paul were fully content. I understood Gabriel’s intentions. These people, unlike the believers, were being rewarded for their deeds. These people had acted out their faith and followed God against all odds. They obeyed and did what had to be done when it was the right thing to do and God accepted their decision or judgment. Faith required some evidence or some fruit. But what was Paul doing among people that had good works to show for their faith? “He is in the right place,” explained Gabriel. “You have misrepresented the Apostle and that does not make him happy. Mistakenly, you have placed grace before good deeds. Good deeds are a product of grace and not the other way around. Only one that boasts puts his deeds ahead of grace; but a humble and repenting person shall do his very best to comply with grace. You Dan are a part of my good deeds. Go and build some of your own,” Gabriel concluded and Paul nodded his head approvingly.
Gabriel knew that I had an earful and he also understood that I understood what I had to do. I had to enlighten my fellow travelers on the way to the Celestial World. “The road is narrow,” he said and then added, “You know the way, the truth and the life.” That was now more than a puzzle to me. Who am I to convince other celestial intendors to adjust their lives to the heavenward journey so they shall not forfeit their rewards. To my surprise, there were numerous voices chiming at my departure, words that are rather unpopular on earth: “Just proclaim the truth and it shall set you free from, “The No work theology of Grace.”
I returned safely, but with a heavy heart. How was I to communicate that grace expects results? Suppose some angel had come back with me and assisted me in spreading the truth, would anyone believe me? Then, I did not have to think hard to get the answer. It would have been similar to what Abraham gave to the rich man: “They have not listened to Moses and the Prophets, what makes us think we shall listen to someone from the dead.”