Alan Dean Artist
The Promise of God What is Heaven It   is   not   just   enough   to   believe   in   God   to   be   a   righteous   person,   you   must   also   believe   in   the   promise   of   God.   God   promise   that   those   who believe   in   Him   alone,   the   last   day   and   work   righteousness   will   be   blessed   in   the   next   life   to   live   forever   in   a   beautiful   paradise   we   know   as Heaven. The   only   reason   why   someone   would   want   to   do   what   God   commands   us   to   do   in   this   life   is,   because   this   person   wants   to   be   of   those who   will   be   blessed   to   live   forever   in   Heaven.   However,   I   don’t   believe   that   most   people   today   really   understand   what   God   is   promising   His righteous   believers,   or   have   the   correct   picture   of   Heaven.   I   have   seen   many   movies,   heard   many   stories   and   read   many   books,   but   I   have   not seen,   heard   or   read   one   beautiful   story   told   about   Heaven.   All   that   I   have   seen   are   pictures   of   white   clouds   and   people   walking   around   in   all white   wearing   bird’s   wings   on   their   backs.   However,   this   is   not   the   Heaven   that   I   understand   is   promised   to   the   believers   by   God.   I   have   no doubt   that   God   is   promising   the   righteous   people   that   they   will   be   blessed   to   live   forever   in   a   real   physical   place   that   will   be   a   paradise.   Yes,   a physical   place   where   we   will   have   physical   bodies,   a   place   that   will   have   beautiful   gardens,   and   where   rivers   will   be   flowing   beneath   our   feet.   A place where everything will be made easy and enjoyable for them, and a place where happiness will be everywhere and with everyone. I   believe   it   is   very   important   that   a   person   have   the   correct   perspective   of   the   Heaven   that   is   promised   by   God   if   this   person   is   going   to   strive   to do   good   deeds   in   this   life   to   please   God   to   go   there.   If   a   person   does   not   have   the   correct   perspective   of   Heaven,   why   should   this   person   want   to go   there?   I   don’t   believe   that   anybody   is   looking   forward   to   going   to   a   heaven   where   everyone   is   walking   around   as   spirits   without   physical bodies;   or   living   in   white   clouds   where   they   may   or   may   not   get   their   wings   one   day.   I   have   heard   great   stories   told   about   everything   except   a story   describing   the   true   heaven,   because   I   don’t   believe   that   people   really   believe   in   heaven.   Let   me   continue   to   tell   you   about   the   Heaven   I understand God is promising those who worshiped Him in this life to prove that they want to be of those who will go there. In   the   Holy   Quran   God   tells   us   that   if   all   the   oceans   were   ink   and   all   the   trees   were   pens   and   God   added   more   oceans   to   them   never   would   the words   of   God   come   to   an   end   (Q18:109).   What   I   believe   God   is   saying   to   the   believer   looking   forward   to   living   forever   in   Heaven   is   that   you will   never   see   it   all,   learn   it   all   or   do   it   all.   I   believe   God   is   promising   that   forever   will   always   be   made   interesting,   beautiful,   and   enjoyable   for those who will be blessed to be there. God promises us a physical place of beauty where we will have mates, loved ones and even servants. In   the   Holy   Quran   God   also   tells   us   to   not   to   forget   our   share   of   this   world   (Q28:77).   God   is   telling   those   who   worship   Him   that   part   of   our Heaven   is   also   here   on   this   earth.   However,   we   can’t   enjoy   this   life   to   the   loss   of   the   next   life   by   doing   things   that   are   forbidden   by   God.   Our Lord   tells   the   believer   that   charity   towards   others   must   matter   more   than   anything   that   we   can   do,   have   or   enjoy   in   this   life.   Also,   that   anything that we give to help others will expand the goodness of our Heaven in this life and the next. In   this   life,   it   may   seem   at   times   that   things   are   not   fair   for   everyone   and   that   some   people   unjustly   have   much   more   than   others.   However,   God tells   us   that   He   has   given   some   people   much   more   than   others   in   this   life   so   that   they   will   grow   in   their   evil.   God   tells   us   that   these   people   will have   no   share   of   the   happiness   in   the   next   life.   However,   this   doesn’t   mean   that   someone   is   going   to   hell   just   because   they   have   riches   in   this   life. God   tells   us   that   of   those   who   He   have   given   much   more,   much   more   is   expected   of   them.   I   believe   that   those   who   have   plenty   can   lose Heaven,   because   of   the   love   they   have   for   their   plenty.   But,   I   also   believe   that   those   with   nothing   can   lose   their   Heaven   for   the   hate   of   their nothing. I   believe   that   to   be   unhappy   for   any   reason   could   lead   a   person   to   become   ungrateful   to   God.   For   example,   some   people   make   themselves unhappy,   because   they   are   thinking   more   about   the   things   they   wished   that   they   had   instead   of   choosing   to   be   happy   for   the   things   that   they   do have.   Believe   me,   there   is   always   someone   being   worse   off   than   you.   Maybe   it   is   better   to   learn   to   appreciate   the   little   before   you   can   appreciate having   more.   Some   unhappy   people   also   want   to   burden   their   friends   and   family   with   stories   about   the   worst   things   that   has   happened   to   them in   their   lives. They   believe   that   to   be   their   friend   you   should   share   in   their   problems   and   unhappiness. The   thing   about   a   sad   story   is   that   if   you listen   to   sad   stories   you   are   going   to   become   sad.   When   someone   chooses   to   believe   in   God   and   Heaven   this   should   also   mean   that   this   person chooses   to   be   happy,   not   sad.   So   many   people   I   talk   to   have   chosen   to   be   unhappy   when   as   far   as   I   am   concerned   they   could   have   just   as   easily chosen to be happy. Some   people   are   sad   and   unhappy   and   they   want   to   make   other   people   sad   and   unhappy   like   themselves. The   question   to   you   from   me   is   that   if God   blesses   you   to   go   to   Heaven   are   you   going   to   spend   your   time   in   Heaven   crying   about   those   who   are   down   in   hell,   or   are   you   going   to   go ahead   and   enjoy   the   Heaven   that   God   has   blessed   you   with? What   I   am   saying   is   that   allowing   other   people’s   hell   to   come   into   your   life   here   on earth   to   where   your   life   has   become   a   hell   with   them   don’t   mean   that   you’re   being   a   good   friend. Work   righteousness,   give   as   much   as   you   can   in charity   to   help   others,   but   you   must   also   learn   how   to   separate   your   heaven   here   on   earth   from   other   people’s   hell.   God   tells   the   believer   not   to take   an   unrighteous   person   for   a   friend.   So,   if   any   of   your   family   members   are   unrighteous   you   must   separate   yourself   from   them   too   if   you   want to be a righteous person. In   this   life,   God   gave   us   the   freedom   of   choice   whether   to   obey   Him   or   disobey   Him,   and   no   one   can   make   anyone   else   do   what   is   right.   You must   make   that   decision   for   yourself,   and   the   other   person   must   make   that   decision   for   himself   or   herself. This   life   is   all   about   giving   everyone the   opportunity   to   make   his   or   her   own   choice   whether   to   believe   and   be   grateful   to   God   or   not   to   believe   and   become   ungrateful   to   God.   If   a person   is   forced   or   made   to   do   good   by   God   this   person   will   not   be   able   to   understand   or   see   the   value   in   doing   good.   Giving   us   the   ability   to make   that   choice   for   ourselves   means   this   is   what   we   wanted   to   do   not   what   we   were   forced   to   do.      I   believe   this   will   also   give   us   the   ability   to be   able   to   appreciate   what   has   been   given   to   us.   God   gave   us   the   freedom   of   choice   because   He   wants   to   know   who   is   best   in   good   conduct. Then,   He   will   know   to   whom   to   give   His   best   rewards   to. This   must   mean   there   will   be   different   levels   of   Heaven   according   to   our   deeds. Think about   it,   if   God   gave   us   everlasting   life   here   on   earth   before   the   free   choice   is   made   by   all   of   us   to   obey   Him;   then   look   at   how   long   you   would end   up   living   with   those   who   made   the   choice   to   disobey   God   and   became   evil.   Living   forever   with   those   who   are   evil   would   not   be   a   good   life, it would eventually just be a hell like life is becoming today on earth. The   true   believer   in   God   has   no   problem   believing   that   God   can   raise   the   dead   and   will   give   them   a   life   that   will   last   forever   in   Heaven.   The Day   of   Judgment   will   be   an   event   based   completely   on   justice,   and   everyone   will   receive   just   what   he   or   she   has   earned.   However,   those   who   will be   blessed   to   go   to   Heaven   will   receive   much   more   than   they   have   earned.   God   promises   to   bless   the   righteous   according   to   the   best   of   their good   deeds   and   to   overlook   the   worst   of   their   bad   deeds.   No   matter   what   you   have   done   wrong   in   your   life   for   which   you   may   think   that   God will   not   forgive   you,   He   promise   that   He   will.   All   you   need   to   do   is   to   believe   in   God   alone,   the   last   day,   and   work   righteousness.   If   you   do   this God promises to forgive you of everything in your past and bless you to be of those who will live forever in Heaven. Chapters 19, Paragraph 59-63 But   after   them   there   followed   a   generation   who   missed   prayer   and   followed   lusts   soon,   then   will   they   face   destruction,   except   those   who repent   and   believe,   and   work   righteousness:   for   these   will   enter   the   Garden   and   will   not   be   wronged   in   the   least,   Gardens   of   Eternity,   those which   God,   Most   Gracious   has   promised   to   His   servants   in   the   unseen:   for   His   promise,   must   necessarily   come   to   pass. They   will   not   there hear   any   vain   discourse,   but   only   salutations   of   peace:   And   they   will   have   therein   their   sustenance,   morning   and   evening.   Such   is   the Garden Which We give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who guard against evil.

The Promise of God

May God’s Peace and Blessings be with You