When I began writing this article, I sat at my desk and stared out the window for a solid ten minutes. Simply crafting the title brought joy and sadness to my heart as a dear friend (who I consider to be family) mourns and processes the death of her mother, who battled cancerous brain tumors for two years. This article is a tribute to her mother’s life, legacy, and the hope of heaven she carried to death’s door, only to pass through and see the face of her Savior.
The words on my friend’s mom’s lips when I last talked with her were, “I just want to be with Jesus and be in His presence.”
She carried this hope in her heart and routinely voiced this to her family even when her brain stopped processing information. Her hope in Christ was the core of who she was. It is now who she is in full as she stands before Christ robed in His righteousness. Her pain is gone. She is perfectly whole. She is rejoicing now with inexpressible joy.
What makes heaven so appealing for believers like my friend’s mom that they approach death with joy?
A love and desire for Christ.
Christ the Center
This is the hope of the end of Revelation:
“There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on 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” (Revelation 22:3-5).
The Lamb is the center of heaven’s worship. Earlier in Revelation, John describes the Lamb looking as if it had been slain (Revelation 5:6) in the middle of the four living creatures. Those who love Him, who have been redeemed by His blood, will desire the Christ-centered worship of heaven to give honor and glory to the Lamb. Just as the angels cry out, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12).
This will be the cry of the saints of God forever and ever.
No More Curse
Heaven takes us to a better Garden. What Adam failed to do in the first garden, the Second Adam has achieved. He now holds dominion over the Garden of God in the heavenly realms. Revelation carries this garden theme back to the language of the Garden of Eden.
“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” (Revelation 22:2).
In the New Heaven and New Earth, God completely reverses and destroys the curse invoked on humanity in Genesis 3.
This is the future hope of believers. No more curses. All things made right. Dwelling with God in the Garden of Heaven forever.
For the Christian, like my friend’s mom, heaven was a future hope and is now a present reality. There is no need to walk by faith. She does not need her Bible anymore because she now gets to gaze on the Word of Life forever and ever. Now and into all of eternity. This is our future hope as well. We await the coming of our Lord and our future with Him.
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas, TX, holds a BA in Religion, and is a student at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is passionate about Scripture and how God’s Word impacts individuals’ hearts and lives.