Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 30, 2014

Eternal Reunion

I had the privilege yesterday to take part in a special service at Kingsland Baptist Church — the unveiling of a painting by Texas artist Ken Turner. Years ago Dr. Glen Ginter and his wife Melinda experienced a parent’s worst nightmare, the loss of a child. In the years since the death of their son, God has used Glen and Melinda to comfort and encourage many others who have suffered the loss of children and family members. Whenever you talk to this sweet couple, you sense that they hold things on this earth loosely and long for the day when they will be reunited with their son in heaven.

Glen and Melinda understand loss, but they also understand hope. God has used them to inspire hope in others by comforting those who have suffered loss. But recently, God put something into Glen’s heart that will continue to inspire others for years and perhaps generations to come. Glen and Melinda commissioned Ken Turner to create a painting depicting their son and others in heaven. That’s a tall order, even for a Texan like Ken Turner. Ken accepted the challenge and painted a beautiful scene depicting many of the Ginter’s family and friends who are now in heaven.

Eternal Reunion
Those of us who attended the unveiling last night all have a personal stake in heaven — a place that has become more real to us, more dear to us, and more anticipated by us because of the death of a loved one. We are no strangers to what it means to grieve with hope or with the expectation that one day we will join those who have preceded us in death. Heaven represents the hope that one day we will not only see Christ face to face, the culmination of our salvation, but that we will be reunited with our loved ones.

One thing is certain, we will never fully comprehend the magnificence of heaven, hard as we may try. That is a privilege reserved only for those who have crossed the veil. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). Every family member and friend represented in Ken Turner’s beautiful painting now fully know what we will never know on this side of heaven.

Paul again underscored the truth that we can never fully know what heaven is like as long as we are on this earth. In 1 Corinthians 2:9, Paul said, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Our minds cannot begin to conceive or understand God’s wonderful plan for His children and the future blessings that He has in store for them. The future blessings that we will enjoy in heaven are beyond the reach of our human understanding and imagination. Heaven will be a million times better than we can possibly imagine.

The Bible has a lot to say about heaven. Peter described heaven as a kingdom (2 Pet. 1:11) and an inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4). The writer of Hebrews described it as a country (Heb. 11:16) and a city (Heb. 11:16). But Jesus described heaven in the most tender and intimate of terms — a home. “In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Heaven is a real place — a prepared place for a prepared people.

Jesus explained to His disciples that the way to heaven is through Him (John 14:6): “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus used the definite article “the” to tell us that He alone is the way, truth, and life rather than one among many ways to get to heaven. In the words of Thomas à Kempis, “Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living.”

Receiving Jesus’ free gift of eternal life is available to all who will acknowledge these truths.

• We must acknowledge that we have sinned against God (Rom. 3:23).

• We must understand that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23a).

• We must understand that God sent His own Son to pay the penalty of our sin (Rom. 5:8). Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead, forever conquering sin and death.

• We must repent of our sin and place our faith in Jesus alone for salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).

• We must call on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13) and personally invite Jesus into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior.

The Bible assures those who have placed their faith in Christ that Jesus will prepare a room for them in His Father’s indescribable home. One day we will all know in full what today we only know in part — that heaven is a real place where there will be no more pain and no more tears, a home far beyond anything we can ever imagine. Today is the fifth anniversary of my beautiful mother’s death. I miss her still, I grieve with hope, and I look forward to the day of our eternal reunion.

PS | I encourage you to visit Ken Turner’s website to look at some of his other magnificent paintings.


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