Episode 402 – What Does Heaven Look Like?

We all want to know. We have been asking from a young age. Without thinking, too often we think we can’t know what heaven will look like. The problem is that God has already told us what to expect, every time He was asked. “The kingdom of Heaven is like…” Heaven look the same as when we forgive each other, no matter how small or large our sin might be.

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My brothers and sisters, I get into conversations many times where one variety or other people want to know what is heaven going to be like. “Father, how do we know what heaven’s going to look like?” I’ll give you a hint. It’s not rolling green valleys because in this morning’s gospel, Christ tells us exactly what the kingdom of heaven is going to be like. He says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents.” 10,000 talents, my brothers and sisters, is so much money the man would never have lived long enough to pay it back. And they did not have Chapter 11 bankruptcy back then. He owed so much money he would never have lived long enough to pay it back.

And so what happens? The master, the king sends him, he says, “You and your children, your wife, you’re going to be sold so we can get whatever payment we sold into slavery” because of how much money he owed. It kind of sounds familiar with how many people in our recent days have become so buried in debt they don’t know where to turn. And so this man turns to the king, he says, “Please just be patient with me and I’ll pay you everything I owe.” But the king knew that was impossible. The king knew that he would never live long enough to pay it back. But the king had compassion. The king had mercy. The king says, “Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’m going to wipe the slate clean. I’m just going to eliminate what you owe to me.”

Now we have to hear this story remembering that our Lord Jesus Christ tells us this is what heaven is going to be like. The king says, “I’m going to wipe everything clean.” And just imagine the peace that this man must have felt. Just imagine knowing in that moment that the king rescued him from what they used to call the debtor’s prison, rescued him in that moment from a life of torment and hard work. But what was his response? Immediately as he leaves the king, he sees this other man who owes him a few pennies in comparison, and the man begs him, “Just be patient with me and I’ll pay you” exactly what he had said to the king. And he said, “No, you pay me now or you’re going to jail.”

This is what heaven is going to be like. We are all going to beg God for his forgiveness. And God has already promised us that he will forgive whatever we ask him. It doesn’t matter how great a sin we have committed. It doesn’t matter what we owe to God, we could never pay him back. And because we ask, God says, “You are forgiven.” And trust me when I tell you in all of the years that I’ve been listening to confessions, I see this amazing sense of relief. I have felt it myself when I go to confession. This is what God has promised us. There is nothing that we could have piled up that he is not willing to forgive. But there’s a twist because the young man angered the king because he, even though he was forgiven, refused to forgive his fellow servant.

And the king says, Christ says, “Just like this story, if you refuse to forgive in your heart, your father in heaven will not forgive you.” And immediately the burden and the anxiety and the pressure and the pain and the torment of all of our sins is going to come rushing back upon us because of our refusal to forgive someone else. Even the smallest thing. You see, my brothers and sisters, God has given us an exact plan of what to expect when we get to heaven. We have heard him over and over and over again speaking of forgiveness.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again. The Greek word συγχωρεση it means to place ourselves in the same place, συν χωρω. We want to place ourselves in the same position of somebody else. And if we have been forgiven by God, then who are we to not forgive someone else? Absolutely nothing someone has done against us. Even the most heinous actions does not pale in what we have done to God. God has given us everything. God has given us countless chances to repent and to start over and to be forgiven. Nothing anyone has ever or will ever do to us could ever be equal to that. And so my brothers and sisters, if you want to know what heaven’s going to be like, practice starting today and forgive anyone and everyone whatever they have done against you no matter how small or great. And the moment you do that, you’ll begin to experience what heaven is going to be like because you’ll in that moment experience God’s love and his grace.

You see, many Christians in our world spend their entire time trying to get into heaven. Yeah? We orthodox, we spend our time trying to get ready to be in heaven. God’s going to bring us there. If we want to experience it, we need to practice it now. We need to practice forgiveness. Because if we don’t, then he won’t. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford the chance of God not forgiving me. So it’s time to start practicing. I’ve been here now almost seven years. We all know I’m not perfect. I know you’re not perfect. We’ve learned to live together. You’ve allowed me into your lives. I have witnessed by your willingness. I see the pain and the anguish that exists in our families. Parents not talking to children. Siblings, cousins not talking to each other. Well, if we all want to be in heaven, we got to get right with each other first. So let’s practice and let’s begin to forgive because that is what heaven looks like, each of us forgiving each other and God forgiving all of us. Glory to God for all things.

Episode 402 – What Does Heaven Look Like?

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