Devout Christians often lighten the burden for others.
I’m talking about when it comes to funeral plans and eulogies. I’ve recently been blessed to officiate another funeral for a senior citizen who was a genuine Christian. She lightened our burden by leaving some instructions for her family and funeral officiants. What follows are 3 revelational thoughts I shared about the fact that she was called and comfortable. I pray they’ll be a blessing to you.
It might seem odd, but my remarks for today originate from Revelation. This book contains a set of prophetic events given by God to His servant John. Some people fear this book, but the child of God has no need to worry about these details. God has always intended this book to bless you.
Chapter 1 declares, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (1:3). This book promises blessing and it reveals the knowledge that our time is near. It continues as John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” (1:10). That’s why he said, “when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead” (1:17). When God’s people are in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, they worship Him. Today is a good day to worship Him too.
Chapters 2 and 3 are the dictated church letters that Jesus told John to write. They are bold, brief, and brilliant (great goals for every sermon). Moving forward, chapter 4 begins with Heaven’s open door. John heard a voice like a trumpet that spoke these three powerful words, “Come up here” (4:1).
Those words were John’s call to receive more revelation than he ever could have imagined. I also believe those three words describe when Jesus Christ will call His Bride to come home (aka, the rapture). But to be transparent, I also believe individual believers often hear those same three words. For your loved one, the call to come home was one that she knew was coming, and she was at peace with this understanding. Jesus called her home.
The life of our friend is a testimony to God’s mighty DELIVERANCE. Her testimony illustrates the possibility of SALVATION for all those who have made wrong choices earlier in life. She got saved! Her life was REDEEMED by the blood of the Lamb. Satan lost control of her life, and her choices got better and better as the years progressed. She’d be glad for me to tell you, “it is what it was, and I don’t live there anymore.”
Now let’s fast forward to the comfort of Revelation 14:13. John said, “Then I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” This describes the present for our friend and your loved one. But it is the future for those of us who are in the Lord. We haven’t experienced it yet, but we look forward to its comfort.
Humanity is good at creating extra-biblical conjecture. We think we know more about death and Heaven than the Bible tells us. But anecdotes and feeble analogies do nothing to erase our uncertainty.
We can only be confident about what God’s Word positively tells us. But, based on its authoritative teaching, I believe your loved one was called and comfortable. Jesus called her home, and she is comfortable.
According to Revelation, Heaven has a voice.
John tells us he “heard a voice from Heaven.” What does this mean? It means John was not listening to the guesses of his own mind. His certainty came from Heaven alone! The word voice is found in Revelation 38 times. The voices of earth often confuse and discourage our faith. But John heard a certain voice from a certain place. He was compelled to obey that voice.
I believe the voice John heard is the same voice that called your loved one home. It was the voice of the Lord, Himself. He is none other than “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End… who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (1:8). This is the voice that told John, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hell and of Death” (1:18). Our friend heard His voice!
When He calls your name, you know it! Ask Mary Magdalene who heard Him in the garden. Ask Lazarus who came forth from the tomb. Ask Saul of Tarsus, who was blinded by His light. And when you get there, I believe your loved one will tell you too about how Jesus called, “Come up here.”
According to Revelation, Heaven has a divine record.
Suppose John’s revelation had depended on man’s ability to hear correctly and pass this record on verbally. In that case, it might have died a distorted death. To make this verse and all of Revelation a divine document, John was commanded to write them down. That makes this book and its blessings a permanent possession for all generations. Jesus says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). 14 times in Revelation, John is given the commandment to, “Write!”
Words matter, and God is into writing them down. Heaven’s records are accurate. As children of God, Jesus tells us to “rejoice because your names are written in Heaven” (Luke 10:20). Revelation 21:27 declares “only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” will enter the glories of Heaven.
Your loved one’s name was written in God’s Book. I’m certain that our friend was called and is now enjoying the comforts of Heaven.
According to Revelation, Heaven has many comforts.
The fullness of Revelation 14:13 continues, “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
Heaven holds so many comforts for those “who die in the Lord!” They are finally delivered from the sufferings of our present time (Romans 8:18). They “rest from their labors.” All strained and painful activity ceases in the comforts of Heaven. Even Job looked ahead and said, “there the weary are at rest” (3:17).
The rest of God’s saints is not described as idleness, for we are told that “their works follow them.” Perhaps they are still working in their line of Christian service. If so, it is done without labor like the work that man accomplished in the Genesis Garden before the Fall. This comfortable activity is the state of true blessedness. “Yes,” says the Spirit.”
Heaven has many comforts because of what’s missing. In that blessed existence, “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (21:4).
Based on the perspective your loved one has already achieved, she’d have you know that she has been called, she is comfortable, and she is worshipping God.
I’ll conclude with a final word about worship.
For all of the details that we don’t entirely understand about Heaven, we can be sure of this. It is a beautiful place of worship. Other activities must happen in that blessed existence, but it appears that worship trumps them all. The book of Revelation contains many scenes of worship. Indeed, your loved one and many others from the family of God have already begun worshipping our great God and Savior in that eternal state.
The words that John Newton penned describe it quite well,
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun.”