Levels of Heaven?

Do you ever feel like saying something you feel strongly about but have no idea how to say it?  That’s me today. Actually, it’s me just about everyday so I typically just keep my thoughts to myself.  I don’t know how to say what I know about the strength of keeping faith.  I see the benefits of having a strong relationship with God and knowing that He is always with us even when our circumstances seem to point otherwise, but I don’t know how to show it to others through words.

To me, it’s obvious, especially when I see others making decisions that take them in the wrong direction and then they wonder why didn’t God intervene before things got out of hand?  I have learned that God allows things to get out of hand because usually He has no option but to let them.  If He took control, then we would have no free will.  If we really want Him to take control then we have to choose to let Him completely lead our lives, meaning every decision we make is based on His word and His will.  But we don’t typically do that, do we?

John 14:2 says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”

My husband and I have many conversations about this scripture.  He believes there are different levels of Heaven.  Kind of like the different levels of employment, where you start off in the mail room and work your way up to executive.  He may have a point, I don’t know.  What I do know is the basis of salvation is believing with all your heart and soul that Jesus is God’s Son, Who came in human form to receive the punishment that we all deserve.  If we accept His redemption, then we are saved but if we deny Him, we must endure the punishment ourselves.  But the levels of Heaven go beyond just being saved.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

I take this to mean that we are to take our faith and live by it to the extent that it shows in our actions towards everything we do.  Every good work we perform is examined and tested.  Did we do it because we love God so much that we honor Him in what we do, or did we do it because we crave so much the praise of other people?  I believe that the more we do out of pure love for God, we will be given the reward we crave so badly when we finally meet Him face to face.  This takes faith and daily recognition of our neediness of His power and love.  It always goes back to humility, the one thing that seems to be deteriorating very quickly in the world.

The question I am left with when I contemplate this is, “If I were to die today, what works did I do just because I love Him?”  I don’t know if I can answer that honestly because I know I’ve done a lot of things just to hear praise from people around me.  I can only hope that I have changed enough to be able to say that I have done at least a few things just because I’m so grateful for what He has done for me.  Only God can change me if I let Him.  I just hope I have let Him instead of fooling myself that I have when in reality my heart is still yearning for my own glorification here on earth.  I know I am saved because I believe beyond any doubt that Jesus is truly the Son of God and He saved me, but where I am beyond that, I don’t know.  I won’t dwell on it, though.  I think it’s just better to dwell on loving Him for Who He is and be thankful.  The rest will fall into place.

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