What should we pack when we go to Heaven?

What with it being the Christian holiday season and what with the world we live in today, mariner’s mind turned to revisiting the Gospels. For his entire life he has struggled with some of the metaphors interpreted by most readers as more literal than they imply. He doesn’t take the Scriptures literally as many readers do; rather, he is prone to searching for behavioral truths.

A significant confusion is the issue of heaven. Since he was a small boy, he wondered where heaven was, given all the family reunions people were counting on.

He focused on this issue as he revisited the Gospels. Owning three versions of the Holy Bible, he even checked out the difference in nuances from different versions. What emerged was a difference in reader perception as to when we would “go to heaven”. Noting all the references to the reward that we would sit at the right hand, or be with the Father, etc., the common Biblical inference is that sitting with the Father is an instant reward: do something nice for someone and you will feel good about yourself in a special way. One doesn’t have to die to be with God. This ‘instant’ reward fits with the core theology of the Trinity, which is a constant dynamic between God, Jesus and humans.

Feeling the Heavenly Spirit in one’s self is a direct cause and effect situation. The example in action is the Good Samaritan parable offered immediately following the Beatitudes and the two great commandments. [Matthew 5] Doing good deeds can’t be put in ‘heaven’ savings accounts. The reward is immediate.

When mariner was a preacher, he often had difficulty understanding why believers chose Christianity as a self-reward responsibility. Jesus makes it very clear that it’s the proactive event that has merit; it’s about helping the other person, not scoring heaven points. In fact, a perfect Christian would never, ever think about what they wanted for themselves.

It is true that putting off the heavenly experience until later when one’s own life is finished seems easier. But Christianity is a ‘do it now then do it again and again – no personal credit allowed’

So we don’t have to worry about the logistics of Armageddon and the Second Coming; it happens all the time. Do a good deed and Jesus chooses you immediately!

Ancient Mariner

1 thought on “What should we pack when we go to Heaven?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.