Do you believe in heaven?
Polls indicate that somewhere around 90% of Americans believe in heaven. And somewhere in the range of 75%-85% of those who think there is a heaven believe they will go there when they die. Heaven holds wide appeal and is intriguing. Just consider the success of the recent sleeper bestselling book, Heaven is For Real. With over 1.5 million copies in print, this 4 year old boy’s after death experience, has been #1 on the NY Times nonfiction bestseller list for multiple weeks now.
Clearly, heaven can be a powerful evangelism passion fuel. Who doesn’t want their friends and loved ones to be in heaven with them when they die?
Heaven is a Place Where…
Scripture leaves no doubt that heaven will be an incredibly awesome place, far beyond our limited human ability to understand. Here are just a few glimpses of what it will be like (no harp-strumming, cloud-sitting anywhere to be found!). Check out these verses that describe heaven as a place where…
…God’s people dwell with Him. Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God (Revelation 21:1, 3).
…hope and transformation reign. “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
…worship is unending. …Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelations 6:8).
….paradise is indescribable. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell (2 Corinthians 12:3-4).
…our relationship with Jesus is fully complete. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:2-3).
Heaven is the ultimate expression of God’s desire to draw us into a pure and loving relationship with Him for all eternity. And one of the most amazing things is that Scripture tells us that it’s possible to know we will spend eternity with God in heaven! “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). That should pump all of us up to get the word out!
Step Up and Ignite the Passion
So unleash your teenagers for evangelism with this powerfully motivating passion fuel and challenge them to reach their friends with the Good News of the gospel. Here are a few ideas to help you:
- Study and pray through your theology of heaven and talk with your students about it.
- Make sure your teenagers understand that entrance to heaven isn’t something people can earn by living a good a life. Rather it’s a free gift attained by trusting in Jesus alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- Challenge your teenagers to initiate at least one conversation this week with a friend who needs Jesus about what happens when we die. Challenge everyone to come back to youth group next week ready to talk about what happened with their friend. Then follow through with a sharing time next week—and share your own experience.
- Check out the “Letter from Heaven CD” for help bringing urgency to your students.
- Set aside some time during youth group meetings for your students to pray specifically by name for the friend they want to have their conversation with this week.
Step out yourself this week and talk to someone about the awesomeness of heaven!