Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Many people don’t understand What Heaven is or what it’s like to be There. They struggle with whether or not Heaven is even real. For some of us who really struggle in these ways, there are Answers right before us in this world right now – Answers that were Gifted to us from Jesus, but Answers that are being shared by Christians and non-Christians alike – even by atheists. You see, it’s estimated that there are 13 million Americans (for example) in the United States today that have had near death experiences (NDE’s) – meaning, folks that have died momentarily only to return to their bodies with the ability to share what they “experienced” while their Soul(s) left their body(s). That’s an astonishing 4% of the U.S.’s population alone! Some folks merely floated outside of their bodies; some floated all the way to the initial clouds of Heaven; and some went all the way to the Throne of God. While this is all very hard for far too many to fathom, what makes these stories most compelling is Who they all seem to meet along the way. Known to all as “the Man in white”, for those who visibly see Jesus, the description is the same – whether or not they are Christians. There are wonderful summaries of the NDE phenomena for all to enjoy in many books – including Pastor John Burke’s “Imagine Heaven”. If we find ourselves wandering from What awaits those who Believe and/or Who is waiting for us on the Other Side, it’s a great idea to spend some time learning more about Heaven from folks who are walking in this world in shoes just like ours’. Heaven is real – I, too, have met Jesus in Heaven via an NDE. Jesus is Awesome and Heaven is beautiful. So, let’s continue to read our Bibles and share our stories with others. It takes a village to raise a child and it took 12+ Apostles to “Act” to spread the Word of God to the ends of the earth.