Your First Day In Heaven
If you’re a Christian, there’s not one reason that you shouldn’t sing and be happy, today, and every day! The promise of eternal life in heaven with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, should override every care and concern that we might have in this life.
Just look at the joy, and the emotion, on the face of the young woman in the picture at the top of this page! That’s a picture of a painting, called “First Day In Heaven”, where the woman throws her arms around her Lord Jesus! That’s just one woman’s perception of what the first day in heaven, or even maybe the first few moments in heaven, might be like. I’m sure that you’ve got your own perception of what it might feel like. But whatever you’re perception is, I’m sure it’s better than words can describe!
Can you imagine your first day in heaven? Or your second day, or your third, or your fourth. Actually, there won’t be a second or third or fourth day, will there? Because it will be one endless day! Listen to this passage from Revelation 22, verses 1 thru 5..
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the broad way of it, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; And His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; And His name shall be in their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; And they will not have need of the light of a lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illuminate them; And they will reign forever and ever.” One eternal day, of joy an happiness.
That’s what awaits us. We could only imagine what the first few moments will be like.
It will be our “sabbath rest”, and it will never end. Hebrews 4, verse 9 says; “There remains therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God!” And that rest is heaven. Eternity in heaven, with God. He’s already entered His rest, and He’s waiting for us. He entered it long, long ago. We’re told in Genesis 2, verse 2; “And by the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done, and He RESTED on the seventh day, from all His work which He had done.”
Verse 3 says; “And God blessed the seventh day, and he sanctified it, because in it, He rested from all His work that he had created and made.” God “sanctified” His seventh day. That means that he has set it apart from all other days, because it’s unlike all the other days. For six days, God created all that there is. But on the seventh day, He ceased from His work of creating. The scripture says; “And by the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day..”
The word “rested” means.. “ceased, or ended”. God “ceased” from His creating, on His seventh day, and now on that eternal day, He dwells, in His eternal rest. It’s not that God was tired, and needed rest, like we would get physically tired; But His creation was finished, it was completed, and so on His seventh day, He ceased from all His creating. And He’s never created another thing since then. Listen to what the book of Ecclesiastes says, in relation to that fact:
Let me read to you from Ecclesiastes 1:4 thru 9; “A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises, and the sun sets, and then hastens to where it arose.” It’s all just a seemingly endless cycle now.
“Going to the south, and turning around to the north, going around, and around, the wind goes, and on it’s circuit, the wind comes again.”
“All the rivers flow to the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place from where the rivers come, there they return again.” A seemingly endless cycle, but nothing new.
“All things are wearisome, man cannot express it.” Man actually longs for something to change, but it doesn’t change! The creation is finished, and it remains as it is. “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.”
“What has been, is what will be. What is done, is what will be done. There is nothing at all new, under the sun.”
And so God’s work has ceased, and He dwells in His eternal day, and as it says in Hebrews 1, verse 3; (He) “..upholds all things by the word of His power..”
“Thus says the Lord.. in (Isaiah 66:1) ..Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where then, is the place of My rest?” God’s place of rest, His dwelling place, is heaven. It’s the “place” of eternal day!
And so God dwells in eternity, and he waits! And do you know what He’s waiting for? He’s waiting for you, and for me. Because as we read, in Hebrews 4, verse 9; “There remains therefore, a “sabbatismos” for the people of God.” Sab-bat-is-mos’.. that’s the Greek word, that’s used only this one time in the entire bible. And it refers to eternity. It means.. “an eternal rest from our labors”.
There will come a time when we will cease from all of our labors, and all our work, just like God ceased from His “work of creation”. Verse 10 says; “For the one who has entered his rest, has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” In other words, if we enter “God’s rest”, which is His dwelling in heaven, it will be because our work has ended, and our wait has ended. “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall, through the same example of disobedience.” (V-11)
So then God is waiting for us to enter His rest. And all of the faithful who have gone before us, are waiting for us, so that we can all enter His rest together. That’s what the scripture says in Hebrews 11:39 & 40; “And all these (all the faithful) having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised (their eternal inheritance is what was promised) because God has provided beforehand, something better for us, (that is, something much better than this life) so that apart from us, they should not be made complete.”
We’ll all be made complete, together, when we enter the eternal dwelling place of God. And THAT, is what should make us so happy, and so glad, every day of our lives! And that thought should override any and every grief that this life can bring us. It really should. Nothing can compare to the joy of entering His rest! We should sing, and be happy, every day of our lives, KNOWING what lies ahead! Lift your voice and praise Him in song! Sing and be happy today! Just like the song says.
Look again at that picture at the top of the page.. “First Day In Heaven”! Look at how that artist has painted the face of that young woman. There’s no words for that. The feeling in your spirit, when you see Jesus will be more than words can describe. I don’t know if we’ll be wrapping our arms around Jesus, or if He’ll be wrapping His arms around us; But I’m sure there’ll be an embracing. Not a physical embracing, but there is no doubt, there will surely be a “spiritual” embracing. God the Father, and Jesus Christ, embracing us, for our faith in Him, and saying to us; “Well done, good and faithful servant.. ENTER into the joy of your Lord!” (Mathew 25, verse 21) And we’ll be embracing the joy and the treasures, that God has stored up for us all.
And you can shout, and you can sing, and you can cry, and you can raise your voice, and you can praise God in song! And you can do it forever, because that day will never end. The work will have ceased, and the wait will be over, and the joy will begin.
Remember Jesus’ analogy about the woman in travail.. “Whenever a woman is in travail, she has sorrow because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore, you too now have sorrow, but I will see you again! And your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.”
It doesn’t get any better than that!
But you need to be a Christian! And the bible is clear on how to become a Christian. There’s really just a few “steps”. First, you need to hear the word of God, because “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Next, that faith which comes form God’s own word, must convince you that indeed, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mathew 16:16) And remember, “Without faith, it’s impossible to please (God).” (Hebrews 11:6) Next, you must admit that you are guilty of sin! “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
And of course, once we realize and admit that we are guilty of sin, we need to confess that sin, and repent of it! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) And we can’t just confess our sins, we must repent of them as well! “God is now declaring that all men, everywhere should repent!” (Acts 17:30) Jesus said; “..Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!” (Luke 13:3)
Repentance means that you turn from your sin, and turn again to God. “Repent therefore, and return! that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come form the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) You won’t be able to have your sins forgiven, unless you first repent. One final step.. “And now, why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” (Acts 22:16) The word “baptize” means.. “to immerse”. Baptism is an immersion in water, and it’s a “burial” of our old self, the one that was a slave to sin. And it is a “resurrection” and “new birth”, that we should now put away all sin, and follow Christ. Our baptism perfectly emulates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Listen to Romans 6, verse 3 thru 6; “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ, have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”
Once again, in order to be a Christian, and there are no “shortcuts” to this; You can’t just have “faith” and “accept” Jesus into your heart. It doesn’t work that way. There must be of course first be faith, but then there must be obedience to the rest of God’s word! So then, once again, in order to become a Christian, you MUST; Hear and believe God’s word, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. You must accept the fact that you are in sin, and you must confess that sin and repent of that sin. And then, after believing and confessing and truly repenting, you must be baptized, (immersed in water) to simulate your own death, burial, and resurrection, so that you can have your sins “washed away” by Christ, and be added to His kingdom, His congregation of the saved. “So then those who had received his word, were baptized, and there were added that day, about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41) “..And the Lord was adding to their number day by day, those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)
And now, Rejoice! You’re a Christian! “Raise your voice and praise Him in song. Sing and be happy today! Your rest awaits you, your eternal day awaits you, and your God awaits you!
Would you open your hymn books up again to # 482..
The invitation is yours to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, today, as we stand, and as we sing. And please, don’t be afraid to raise our voice to God.