Imagine the feeling of a suicide terrorist when he or she has successfully
hidden a bomb where a crowd will be gathered in a few minutes, at the time that the time bomb has been set to explode.
The terrorist thinks that the moment the explosion
goes off, that he will suddenly find himself in the virginal paradise that his religious leaders have promised him.
Then comes the blast, and what a terrible surprise!
He is suddenly in flames, worse than he had prepared for his victims. And even worse…it will be everlasting.
We know his fate, from Jesus’ story of the
rich man and Lazarus, in Luke Chapter 16. And although we know the rich man’s torture and the beggar’s bliss,
we must assume that they aren’t yet in their final places. And we don’t expect that there’ll be a gulf
between our final Heaven and the rich man’s hell, because in Heaven, we won’t experience any sort of sadness,
or of seeing hell’s misery, nor talking to those in that place.
We do know, however, that we will be in the same paradise that Jesus promised to the thief
on the cross, when He said, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43).
We also know that we reach that utopia at death because Moses and
Elijah returned and talked with Jesus at what we call the "Transfiguration" (Luke 9:28:35).
But frankly, I’ve never understood the time
that Saul had Samuel called back, in the 28th chapter of First Samuel. Saul talked with Samuel, who lectured him, saying,
"Why has thou disquieted me, to bring me up." It happened, but we are never to even give thought to such sinful
acts. There are some things the Bible withholds from us, with good reason. It’s enough for us to know that as Christians,
we’re going to a place too marvelous for words. Enough said.