In What Do We Know About the State of Heaven?, we reminded ourselves of how reasoning, spiritualism and religion all establish our knowledge Jesus Christ was God Incarnate. Armed with that certain knowledge, we explored what Jesus taught us about what heaven is like and how we can experience it on Earth. Is it now time to explore what Jesus taught us about the preparation required of us in order to experience heaven beyond earth?
Jesus taught the first required step is to prepare yourself to achieve a full understanding of what He taught us of the Word of God. He used His explanation of the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13: 1-9) to teach us what we need to do to prepare ourselves. “The seed is the Word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard. Then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the Word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8: 11-15) What does this say to you? For me, I must prepare by becoming the rich soil so as to fully internalize the Word of God. I need to scare away from my path the birds (worldly ideas) that fly into my mind, snatching away the Word of God. I need to clear away from my path the rocks (TV, movies, texting, surfing, cell phone alerts and so on) that black out the Word of God. I need to clear away the thorn bushes (family pressures, social pressures, financial concerns, medical concerns, career
pressures) that choke off the Word of God.
Jesus taught that we can't adequately prepare without God’s help. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a
serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11: 9-13) What does ask, seek and knock mean to you? For me, God will give us the help we need when we ask but He won’t seek for us.
Jesus taught we need to persevere in our preparation. “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mark 4: 24-25) How do you read this? For me, the more we internalize of the Word of God, the more of it He will enable us to internalize. Those who ignore the Word of God will lose everything when they die.