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Monday, February 4, 2013

Spirit Universe Supplement 4– Visitors in Heaven.

I was recently watching a television program in which two people, having clinically died, went to a place in the spirit universe that they thought was heaven. Once in heaven they were contacted by a spirit being of great beauty who allowed them to experience his love for them.  When they returned to the living, they were deeply impressed by this “unconditional love” and were more or less implying that everyone is going to heaven because God loves everyone without condition!  This message flies in the face of the Christian faith which requires a commitment and relationship with Jesus Christ in order to abide in heaven with God the Father.  How can this difference be understood?  Is it possible to visit heaven even if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, or if you are a believer in a totally different religion?


The Structure of Heaven
In chapter 12 of my book, I discuss  heaven and base my understanding of heaven’s structure on the earthly structure of the tabernacle of David and of the Temple of Solomon.  The book of Hebrews clearly tells us that both these places of worship were reflections of the way heaven is structured (Hebrews 9).  Without going into the detail covered in chapter 12, part of the structure of the temple was an outer court that was open to visitors to the temple. These visitors did not have to be Hebrews,  and some certainly believed in other gods and had their own pagan temples in which they worshiped their god.  While visiting the temple in Israel, they could experience some of the meaning of Judaism and perhaps even have an experience with the holiness of God, but they were not allowed to enter either the inner court or the Holy of Holies.  They could visit but not abide. They could experience the fringes of God’s presence but not come into a deeper relationship with Him.

So it is with those who visit heaven!  They can visit the outer courts, and since they are having a spiritual experience, they can directly and intensely sense the presence of God, but they cannot  get any closer to Him because they are not in relationship with Him. They can visit the outer courts of heaven but cannot  enter  the inner court because they do not belong to Him, and they cannot  enter  an intimate relationship with Him because they have not walked the path that He set forth for those who want intimacy with Him – the path of Jesus Christ, who is the "way" to intimacy with God.

God’s Unconditional Love
It always amazes me when people have a supernatural experience with God and are shocked that His love is both comprehensive and profound.  I think this is because of the common misconception that God is some angry judge ready to punish them at the slightest violation of His will.
The Biblical perspective of God is radically different. The Old Testament portrays Him as a God of righteousness and stern judgment, but the New Testament clearly says that “God is love” (1 John 4:18).  The New Testament also declares that God has an almost indescribable love for everyone, regardless of their sin, or even if they have rejected Him and are in a miserable spiritual condition (John 3:16).

Love does not equal Intimacy
If you do not believe in Jesus Christ and have an after death visit to the outer court of heaven, you will experience the soul shaking love of God for you.  That is because God does love you without condition, nor does your spiritual state in any way diminish His love for you.
What many who have had this experience do not understand is that God’s love for them does not mean they have a relationship with Him, or will spend eternity with Him.  If God is just and righteous, then the condition of their spirit cannot  be ignored, and God will not fellowship with or become intimate with sin even though He deeply loves the sinner.  The problem has nothing to do with God placing conditions upon His love, but has everything to do with the person’s inability to love God because of the deteriorated condition of his spirit.
Take a look at this Scripture:
16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This Scripture has two messages. The first message is that God loves the world and everyone in it. There are no conditions mentioned that restrict His love. The second message describes the path to follow in order to enter into an intimate relationship with God and to have this intimacy for all eternity. You must believe and accept the work of Christ in your life, and then walk with him till you reach the end of your physical journey.
Coming to Christ changes your spirit to the extent that when you die, you will enter  the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary of God’s love. You will be able to feel fully the love of God, but most importantly you will be able to  experience totally your mutual love.  That is why, having eternal life means knowing Jesus. Eternal life is having the full Godhead dwell within, and experiencing all the love of God that you can receive from Him and all the love you can give to Him.

The Visitor
I believe that God allows people to visit the outer court of heaven for several reasons.  First, I think that He wants the visitor to experience His presence so that the visitor knows God does exist. Second, I believe that the visitor experiences the unconditional love of God so that the visitor becomes motivated to find the way back to that love. It is the first step toward God consciousness. Finally, I believe that the experience of a loving God will illuminate the sad condition of the human spirit who has the weight of sin to bear.  The self-recognition  produced by the visit to heaven can cause a desperate need to change, to find a way to be free from the destruction produced by sin.

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