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Glimpses Of Glory
Common blue damselfly Photo: © Alasdair Hodge
Waterbugs & Dragonflies
In her booklet Waterbugs & Dragonflies, written for children to explain what happens when we die, author Doris Stickney likened the transition from this earthly life to our life in heaven to the transformation of water bugs into dragonflies. When one of their number disappears and never returns, the rest are puzzled. But the dragonflies, once liberated from their watery world, cannot return to describe the wonders of winged flight and so the bugs have no idea what life as a beautiful dragonfly is like.
Pictures of Paradise
The Bible does not give us a detailed description of what heaven is like, because we couldn't comprehend it with our finite, earth-bound minds. Instead we are given one or two tantalising glimpses of the glory that awaits God's children.
• A Place In Heaven In JOHN 14:1-6 Jesus tells his disciples that he is about to leave them, but it's so he can prepare a place for them in heaven with God. He assures them there is plenty of room and he is their passport to eternal life.
• A Portrait of Paradise In LUKE 16:19-31 Jesus contrasts the life of Lazarus in heavenly bliss with Abraham, the father of the faithful, with the torment being suffered by the rich man, who had ignored the poor man's misery while he enjoyed a life of luxury on earth.
• Heavenly Celebrations: The Wedding Feast of The Bride & Bridegroom In MATTHEW 22:1-14 and in MATTHEW 25:1-13 Jesus likens heaven to a wedding banquet to celebrate the marriage of a bride and bridegroom. We see a similar picture in REVELATION 19:1-10. In each of these pictures the bride represents the Church/the people of God and the bridegroom Christ.
• Heaven as a City: the New Jerusalem In REVELATION 21:1-4 the picture of God's people as a bride is linked to a vision of heaven as a city - the New Jerusalem - where sin, suffering, sorrow and separation from God are removed for ever. In his vision John sees an indescribably beautiful city, inhabited by God and his people, freed from all earthly limitations - a place of unimaginable joy and splendour.