Lately I have been studying more about Heaven because some people who are close to me have lost loved ones, and it has made me want to know even more about Heaven as our eternal destination. I began to study Revelation chapter 4 and saw that everything in Heaven is about the praising, worshiping, and adoration of the Father and the Son. I was so lifted up by what I read about Heaven — our real home.
In Revelation 4:8-11, the apostle John gave us a glimpse of Heaven:
The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’ Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will, they exist and were created.’
It’s overwhelming if you really think about the reality of Heaven. I began to think about these friends and loved ones who have gone on to Glory before me, and I know that is where they are right now. The Bible says in Second Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” The “building” the apostle Paul was talking about is our Heavenly body.
And to prepare us now for this future Heavenly body, Paul continued, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:5-8). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!
In searching the Bible about Heaven, I saw in these scriptures that the apostle Paul was writing about a very important part of our salvation, and that’s what I want to share with you. Notice what verse 5 of Second Corinthians 5 says: “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” Our body has been prepared for us by God, and He has given us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee.
I looked up the meaning of “guarantee” and it denotes a down payment. For example, if you are in the process of buying a house or an apartment, you often need to prepare a down payment. When you pay that down payment, it means that home is now yours as far as the seller is concerned and that you are serious about owning that home.
The way that God shows us that he is serious about purchasing us, owning us, and redeeming us is with a Down Payment — and that Down Payment is the Holy Spirit. He put the Holy Spirit in you! His very presence is the Down Payment — the Guarantee — that carries the message to all: “This property is now Mine!” Isn’t that fantastic!
Now let me ask you a few questions: Did you have anything to do with paying that Down Payment? No. Did you become so good that God said, “I will put My Spirit in that person?” No. Did you choose Him to be your Savior on your own? The answer is no because the Holy Spirit and the grace of God came upon you and you believed from your heart and received salvation. He did it and we were the recipients. At the very moment you were saved, He placed the Down Payment of His presence on the inside of you. This magnificent presence of the Holy Spirit in you is the very sign to you and to the world that you belong to Him. This was His design — His plan. All we did was say, “Yes, I believe.”
So, what about the assurance and knowing that our loved ones who knew Jesus are with Him now? Is it a guarantee that they are in Heaven? The Down Payment — the presence of the Holy Spirit in them — is the surety that if our loved ones were born again, we absolutely know that, because of that Down Payment, Heaven is their home. They are more alive today than they were on this earth. And now they know more than us, they are happier than us, and they are waiting for us.
Death for the Christian is not the end of life — it is a new beginning! And when your loved ones entered into Heaven, they had the perfect Down Payment to be accepted — the very presence of God himself, the Holy Spirit.
If you have loved ones who have passed, I hope that in reading this letter it brings comfort to your heart. You can be assured if they knew Jesus, they had exactly what they needed to enter Heaven — the Down Payment of the Holy Spirit inside them. Please let us know how we can pray for you. We are ready to join our faith with yours for whatever prayer needs you have. And if God is doing something special in your life, we want to hear about that too! Just call us at 1-800-742-5593 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here for you!
Thank you for this time together.
Moving forward together,