Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 10, 2010

The White House Like Heaven?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Judy and I were browsing for old books.  I came across a historical guide to the White House.  It had a beautiful layout of the White House and the Oval Office.  I enjoyed browsing through the beautiful pages of photographs of the various rooms in the White House.  It was complete with the ground floor, the second floor, and even the Mansion (where the President and family live on the third floor).

As I studied the layout, my eye was drawn to the Library on the ground floor  Oh, did that bring back a memory. (For more on the story, see blog, entitled, The President and Prayer, www.lawsonjolly.com/2010/03/02).  That  visit to the White House was totally new territory for me.  In fact, I was surprised when I was told to go to the south entrance, rather than what I consider the front entrance facing Pennsylvania Avenue.  I was excited, of course, and attempted to absorb every sight and sound.

I was met at the entrance by a young Marine officer.  He escorted me to the Library.  His words of invitation to make myself comfortable were followed with, “It will be a few minutes, and I will return to escort you upstairs.”

As I waited, my mind was racing with all the thoughts.  “I am in the White House!”  “What am I doing here?”  “What are the correct words to address the President?”  And on and on, I went with such thoughts.  Whether I was going to see the President or not, just to be a guest in the White House was something unbelievable.  It was to be far more than a social, friendly visit.  It would have serious overtones concerning the SALT II Treaty.  But what it meant in my life was an analogy that would aid me in my ministry for years to come.

For those of you who read my blogs regularly, you understand I do not try to give you a daily devotional, not do I want to “sermonize” or be too “theological.”  I simply share memories, but let you know that God is involved in every facet of my life.  However, this blog behooves me to cross that line.  I cannot resist sharing what I learned from the analogy.  Perhaps it will help some of you.  And then, too, you will understand the title of this blog, The White House Like Heaven?  Of course, it is not, but I did get your attention!

I have often been asked  this or a similar question, “Do we go to a holding place after we die?”  It is a good question, and as Christians, we should not shy away from it.  Of course, we don’t have a total explanation, but we do have enough from Scripture to give us some understanding. And God gave me some insight through this visit to the White House.

When a believer in Christ dies, that one goes directly to be with the Lord in heaven.  The Bible teaches that when we leave this body, we are in the presence of the Lord.  Yet, we are in a state that is difficult to define with earthly terms.  Think of it as provisional or intermediate.  There is no question we are with the Lord, but we are not yet enjoying either the activity or the reign which will follow the great resurrection.  We are at peace, enjoying the presence of the Lord, and we are enjoying rest from the struggles and sufferings of this earth.  But we are not yet seated at the Great Banquet Table, or receiving their reward and all the promises of heaven that will be ours.

Now can you see the analogy from my experience?  I was in the White House.  It was magnificent.  I sat there at peace and rest.  It was beyond my imagination.  But I was there!  Those now in heaven are experiencing  so much more than we can fathom.  Yet, they are not yet in the Banquet Hall.  I was in the White House, but I had not yet been ushered into the State Dining Room for a great banquet with the President!  I would visit with him, but not yet participate in all that the White House provided in the many rooms.  It was to come, however!  This only gave me a glimpse into the answer to the question of whether those who die are in some holding place.  Hopefully, this gives you something to ponder today . . . and perhaps it aids some who have such questions.

“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’  Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'”  (Luke 23:42,42)   ” . . . as long as we are at home in the  body we are away from the Lord.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”  (2 Corinthians 5:6,8) 

Lawson

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