Facing Death Without Fear (1)
Ask 20 people to describe Heaven, and chances are you’ll get 20 different answers. But there’s one thing that’s not open to speculation: ‘To leave this life and be with Christ… is much better’ (Philippians 1:23 NCV) than anything we can imagine.
Recalling a conversation with her mum before she went to Heaven, Billy Graham’s daughter Anne writes: ‘I told her about my recent visit to Westminster Abbey, where kings and queens are crowned and royalty are married. The door for tourists that leads to the cathedral entrance is a dark, cramped space. Opposite is another door that opens into the magnificent, glorious, cavernous sanctuary of Westminster Abbey. The dimly lit narthex [hallway] is just a place to purchase your ticket and guidebook before transitioning to the cathedral. I can’t imagine anyone clutching a ticket or leafing through a guidebook being satisfied with staying in the [entrance hall]… We pick our ticket to Heaven when we’re born again through faith in Jesus. And we familiarise ourselves with the “guidebook” to Heaven—the Bible… My mother left the narthex and moved into the sanctuary on June 14, 2007… It’s unimaginable that I can no longer see the sparkle in her eyes, or hear the wisdom of her words. Yet despite my aching heart, I know her whole purpose for being—and ours—is to transition into Heaven. The psalmist said, “In Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” One day I too will move, to live forever in the sanctuary. In the meantime, I want to show others a glimpse of our Father’s house, so they’ll look forward with hope to moving there.’