I know many will say "there they go again," But let us all cast our minds away from stereotypes, embossed concepts and doubt-it-and-perish religious beliefs. Let's think like the rational beings God made us to be and you just might agree with me when I say that except God has some heavenly itinerary hidden from us, heaven might be boring.
In many religions, heaven is a realm, physical or transcendental in which people who have died continue to exist in an afterlife for a period spanning eternity. Heaven is often described as the holiest place and the pinnacle of architectural edification that is accessible by people according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith or other virtues. Apart from acceptance or rejection of blood transfusion, appropriateness or otherwise of tithing in the Twenty-First Century Testament, Sunday as Sabbath, Isaac or Ishmaelâ€¦ heaven is a strong issue of debate among religious leaders and theology scholars, theists and atheists.
In Biblical forms of Christianity, concepts about the future "Kingdom of Heaven" are professed in several scriptural prophecies of the new (or renewed) Earth said to follow the resurrection of the dead - particularly the books of Isaiah and Revelation. Not only will the believers spend eternity with God, they will also spend it with each other. John's vision recorded in Revelation describes a New Jerusalem which comes from Heaven to the New Earth, which is generally seen to be a symbolic reference to the people of God living in community with one another; in a number of sects this is taken as more literal than symbolic. Heaven will be the place where life will be lived to the full, in the way that the designer planned, each believer "loving the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind" and "loving their neighbour as themselves" (Matthew 22:37-40) - a place of great joy, without the negative aspects of present earthly life.
In Hindu cosmology, above the earthly plane are six heavenly planes: Bhuva Loka, Swarga Loka, meaning Good Kingdom, is the general name for heaven in Hinduism, a heavenly paradise of pleasure, where most of the Hindu gods (Deva) reside along with the king of gods, Indra, and beatified mortals.The remaining planes are Mahar Loka,Jana Loka, Tapa Loka and Satya Loka.
The Qur'an contains many references to an afterlife in Eden for those who do good deeds. Regarding the concept of heaven (Jannah) in the Qu'ran, verse 35 of Surah Al-Ra'd says, "The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised! Beneath it flow rivers. Perpetual is the fruits thereof and the shade therein. Such is the End of the Righteous; and the end of the unbelievers is the Fire."[Qur'an 13:35] Islam rejects the concept of original sin, and Muslims believe that all human beings are born pure. Children automatically go to heaven when they die, regardless of the religion of their parents. The highest level of heaven is Firdaus (?????)- Paradise (?????), to which the prophets, martyrs and other pious people will go at the time of their death.
Heaven is described primarily in physical terms as a place where every wish is immediately fulfilled when asked. Most religious texts describe immortal life in heaven as happy, without negative emotions. Those who dwell in heaven are said to wear costly apparel, partake in exquisite banquets, and recline on couches inlaid with gold and other miners' delights. Inhabitants will rejoice in the company of their parents, wives, and children.
In Islam, if one's good deeds weigh out one's sins then one may gain entrance to heaven. Conversely, if one's sins outweigh their good deeds they are sent to hell. The more good deeds one has performed the higher the level of heaven one is directed to. It has been said that the lowest level of heaven is one-hundred times better than the greatest life on earth. The highest level is the seventh heaven, in which God can be seen and where anything is possible. Palaces are built by angels for the occupants using solid gold.
In Christianity, you can be doing good all your life â€“ you can even have your name written in the Book of Life â€“ but a silly mistake can send you from heaven straight to hell. Even within various Christian denominations, there are numerous variations to the heavenly story.
Considering the wide array of religious heavenly perspectives on celestial dimensions, attempting to find a midpoint description of heaven will be impossible. But it is quite safe to say that in every religion that believes in heaven, heaven is a great vacation destination after death.
But have you ever considered whether you would love to be in heaven after death if there is no eternal damnation in a lake of fire that is burning with sulfur - otherwise known as hell? I can vividly recollect an encounter I had with a self-professed end-time minister of the Gospel. The message he preached was more of a threat and issuance of ultimatums; not the glad tidings Jesus promised in the Bible. Threat of hell is what most preachers preach today in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world. But with the current trend of science, scientists might soon discover the antidotes to the attending woes of being in hell. Because without the heat, pain and gnashing of teeth, hell isn't that bad a place to be.
Imagine living life to the fullest on this planet â€“ riding the fast Bugatti limited edition luxury cars, dating Victoria Secret models; owning Bishop Oyedepo's Gulfstream private jet, Dangote's business empire, Otedola's yacht; and having breakfast on the Great Walls of China, lunch at the Coliseum in Rome and dinner with the Obamas â€“ simply the best way to live. Now consider dying and finding yourself in Christians' heaven where the only thing you do all day for eternity is to bow down, shout hallelujah and praise the Holy One that is seated on the throne. No first class flights. No exotic vacation. No fashion shows. And for the ladies, there will be no shopping sprees, Mary Kay range of products and African Magic.
Lack of privacy is another issue that can make heaven hell for many especially the few nouveau riches who might make it to heaven via the Biblical needle's eye experience. According to the Bible (John 14:2), Jesus says "In my Father's house are many mansionsâ€¦ I go to prepare a place for you." This popular verse contains a straightforward yet unpopular insight into what the accommodation arrangement in heaven will be. According to Jesus, we'll all be in a house! Hence there will be neighbors which becomes an issue if the persons staying next doors worshipped at MFM. Imagine trying to catch a nap before the early morning praise and worship session only to be awakened by someone shouting "fall down and die at high decibels." You'd feel like banging on the persons' mansions.
You might say Paul is crazy and has gone AWOL. I think so too. But our God works and speaks in mysterious ways. I've come to realize that the evangelism approach of most early morning Gospel criers is very wrong. Threatening all with hell rarely make them born again but hardened. Even in the Bible, Quran and other holy Books, believers are not coerced into pursuing heaven because of the fear of hell but as a resting place â€“ a rendezvous for those who lived and acted well on earth. According to Pastor Olubi Johnson, getting to heaven should not be difficult for people living uprightly. I believe it's better to go to heaven because you lived uprightly according to your faith, and not belong to a faith because you want to go to heaven because if you pursue the latter, sooner or later you'll be bored of waiting for transfiguration, end-time, the end, and the trumpet sound.
Every now and then, we hear one desperate folk after another try to coerce Jesus into coming back by predicting â€“ or let me say forecasting â€“ the date the world will end, yet we are here. These failed predictions often make atheists laugh hysterically at the travails of believers who daily look up to the skies expecting the clouds to part and for the Son of Man to come down to take them home. If I am Jesus, I won't come now since many are obsessed with heaven to the extent that they are dead though alive.
I have a friend who joked that even if it entails bribing angel Gabriel, he'll be in heaven and no one should threaten him with hell. I'm beginning to lean towards his school of thought.
I've concluded that there will be two sets of people in heaven â€“ those religious folks who ostracized themselves and only pursued heaven, and we that daily live to be better persons, making positive impacts on people around us and though expecting heaven, we're not obsessed with it. To us, heaven will not be boring because we are the ones that will rock heaven since we rocked here on earth. And if there is a list, our name must be under the VIP category.
This article is dedicated to the Late superstar Sam Loco Efe. Wherever you are, I hope you are rocking the place. Rest In Peace.