Knees knocking and hands shaking, I stood in front of about 50 of the most precious Christian women I have ever met. I had gone to El Salvador on a mission trip with the hope of somehow being a blessing to the people in Los Mexicanos. But instead, they blessed me during my time in that small, blazing hot, concrete room with all those beautiful, brown eyes looking in my direction.
Weeks before, the pastor of the local church asked if I would be willing to lead a Bible study for the moms of the village while the rest of the team worked with the children in a vacation-Bible-school type setting. While my brain was saying, “There’s no way,” my mouth was answering, “Absolutamente, Pastor!”
With the date set and the plane tickets purchased, I began to pray daily, asking God to show me what these ladies needed to hear from His Word. God answered me about as clearly as I’ve ever heard: “Tell them what I have planned for my people. Tell them about Heaven.”
It was at that point when the real work began. I studied for days and spent hours translating into Spanish what I wanted to say. Before I knew it, I was opening my Bible to study with these women. For three days, we pored through the end of the book of Revelation and passages in Isaiah. We also kept coming back to the promise of Jesus in John 14, “I am going to prepare a place for you.”
The excitement in that room grew with each passing hour together. We cried. We shouted! I heard a lot of hallelujahs. However, the most wonderful part was seeing ladies walk away from that Bible study with hope. We now had real, accurate knowledge of what Heaven will look like for believers in Jesus Christ — and it looked nothing like the poverty-stricken, violence-filled, gang-ridden streets they know in El Salvador.
They had hope because now they knew Heaven.
Forgive me for being blunt, but knowing Heaven must be a priority for Christians. In Colossians 3:2, Paul tells us we are to set our minds on things above and not on things that are on Earth. Truly, that is a titanic task since Heaven seems so abstract and Earth is here in front of our noses. Nevertheless, when we put in the work to know Heaven, we move from the abstract to the concrete, from the whimsy to the absolute, and from contentment with our current situation to enthusiasm for our future destination.
Solomon, the wisest king who ever lived, wrote that eternity is put into the heart of man. It’s true. So let us continue studying Heaven, asking the Lord to open the eyes of our eternity-filled hearts to begin to know the place He has prepared for those who love Him.