You may have heard of a movie entitled “Heaven Can Wait,” released in 1978. But what happens when heaven can’t wait?
Here are a few examples of people who have passed on and left a final message on their gravestones. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield left with a laugh. His reads, “There goes the neighborhood.” The gravestone of famous talk-show host Merv Griffin says, “I will not be right back after this message.” A man named John Yeast simply put, “Pardon me for not rising.”
Have you noticed young people tend not to read the Bible very much? Older people tend to read the Bible like crazy. It’s like older people are cramming for their finals.
Many of you have entered the golden years. Some of you are getting ready, too. Some are still far and away from the golden years. Whoever coined “the golden years” was “in it to spin it.” For most people, the golden years are going to be uphill all the way. Don’t misunderstand. There’s lots of gold in the golden years. But there is also drama, hurt, frustration and death. Let me explain.
The last month has been tough on me and many others, I know. I recently went to my brother’s funeral and shared about my brother, Andy. He passed on recently, at just 66 years old. It seems surreal to our family. My 94-year-old father is living out the nightmare of every parent, living beyond one of his children.
A few weeks ago, my good friend, John Clark, who was one of the founding elders of Hosanna Christian Fellowship, passed on, too. John was incredible. He was one of the most Christ-like people I have ever known. He was 70 years old.
Now if you think that what I have written doesn’t apply to you, I have bad news for you. Someday you’re going to look like me and be as old as me. Sorry about that. Life’s not fair all the time. If life was fair, Elvis Presley would be alive, and all the impersonators would be dead.
The key to living an abundant life in any age and especially the golden years, even with all the drama, is understanding we were born for heaven. There comes a time for all of us when heaven can’t wait. The saying should really be when God can’t wait. Our time on earth is up. The end is just a beginning in disguise. We take step one to get to step two. It’s heaven time. The Apostle Paul writes, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
From the moment you were born, God has been getting you ready for what He has ready for you! We were born for this. People are born to die to be born again. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27. That’s one appointment you won’t be late for. Just think, for some of us this will be the only appointment we aren’t late for.
Just like Christ was born to die to live again…so are you and I. Christ traveled, in fleshly form, the path for a new type of spiritual being designed to live in the heavenly realm and enjoy God forever. Humans fully completed and fully conformed to Christ’s image. We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.
Here’s a metaphor on living, dying and living again for you: Remember when you could go to the gates at the airport and wave goodbye to your departing family and friends? Then when your family or friends arrive at their destination, there would be other family and friends to great them at the gates? At a funeral or homegoing, family and friends are saying goodbye to their loved one. But once that loved one arrives at heaven’s gates, those who went before them greet them. Our loss becomes heaven’s gain.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Heaven’s waiting and so are Andy, John and Jesus.
To learn more about Pastor Ed Delph, the Church-Community Connection
and Nation strategy, call 623-376-6757, e-mail email@example.com or