Preparing for Heaven

Time is speeding by and changes are constantly being made. Children are growing up and every day we all get a little older and hopefully wiser. Amazing scientific progress has been made in business, education, transportation, health resources and everyday life activities. The greatest changes seem to be in communication and travel. Many of you cannot imagine what it would be like to carry all the water you need each day into the house by bucket. Heating water, and all cooking and baking was done on wood burning stoves. Once the daylight was gone, a candle or a kerosene lamp had to be lit in the evenings. The differences in lifestyle are too many to be mentioned here. Even museums cannot accurately depict the way people used to live. It is certainly a different world in which we live today than the one in which our grandparents lived.

We have been told in the Word of God that, “Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. This prophecy is literally being fulfilled before our eyes. We are living in the closing days of this earth’s history. Are we really aware of the fact that Jesus is planning to come and gather His people to take them to a better country? Are we truly His people and are we earnestly preparing for the move, or are we planting our interests here in the present country where we are now living?

Are we too involved with the numerous modern inventions and allowing everyday responsibilities to take the lion’s share of our time? Does spending hours on our computer or Internet take precedence over studying our Bible and talking to the Lord on our knees? Are we living above our means and constantly worried about debts, or have we learned to be like Paul and can honestly say, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11.

Those planning for a future home in the New Jerusalem are seriously preparing their lives to fit into the heavenly society of that beautiful city. It is necessary to know how to get ready. The Bible and the inspired writings of the Spirit of Prophecy are the precious gifts that have been given as a guide to the eternal light.

Jesus said, “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:35–37. Are we sleeping or watching? Do we see so much wickedness and hear so much of the world’s music that we do not realize its sinfulness? Do we get so busy that we are not wide awake to do the Lord’s will and have time for prayer and Bible study?

“And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” Luke 21:8–11. Only diligent study of the inspired writings will prepare us to recognize truth from the error of every wind of doctrine that is blowing today. Jesus said to “take heed that you be not deceived.”

And Paul said, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11. Are we wide awake as to the time in which we are living? Are we ready to go home with Jesus if He should come today? Jesus also said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:44.

Knowing the attributes of the kingdom of heaven makes us aware of the necessity for a personal commitment to shape our characters so fit we may in with the heavenly environment. For instance, Jesus said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14. And again He said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3. We must be as humble and as dependent as a little child. As a little child has to look to his parents for love and acceptance and for food and clothing, so we must realize our dependence on our heavenly Father for our very existence and sustenance.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13:45, 46.

Eternal life is as a goodly pearl; it is worth everything we have. We must be like Job who said, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12. We must rather miss our breakfast or our dinner than to miss worship or the study of His word.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: “the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.” Matthew 13:47–49. Notice, only the good fish are kept. All that are in the net are not fit for the kingdom of heaven. There is a judgment coming and although our names may be on the church books and we may be in the net or profess to be Christians, that does not ensure us of a home in the kingdom of heaven.

Just as in Jesus’ parable, it takes all to buy the field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Matthew 13:44. Heaven is worth more than anything we might attain on this earth and we must be willing to give up all for it, even our mortal life itself if necessary. Jesus gave all to save us and we must be willing to deny ourselves and give all that we have to gain eternal life.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.

How do we do the will of the Father? To do His will we must first know what it is and that is found out by studying His word and talking to Him in prayer. We must daily study our Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy so that we can recognize His voice and be guided by His word. Once we know the Lord’s will, we must be like Daniel and purpose in our heart to do His will regardless of the cost.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:1, 2.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Corinthians 2:9.

A member of Steps to Life staff, she worked for many years with her husband in the mission field. She may be contacted by e-mail at, or by telephone at 316-788-5559.

Preparing for Home

I’ve been waiting for Jesus to come back again;

I’ve been longing, preparing for home;

I’ve been praying and working for fitness within;

I’ve been longing, preparing for home.

I’ve been watching the final events tell their tale;

I’ve been longing, preparing for home;

I can almost see glory from heaven’s opening vale;

I’ve been longing, preparing for home.

I must join in the final great controversy;

I’ve been longing, preparing for home;

I must follow my Master through Gethsemane;

I’ve been longing, preparing for home.

by Marshall Grosboll