Lucas and Mia’s dad has just returned from a great trip. – What was it like? Said Lucas – It was beautiful, replies the dad. – Tell us what you saw? Mia says impatiently. Tell me, come on! Tell us! – It’s not easy because it’s completely different from what you know but I’m going to try. It’s like… Indeed! It’s like … daddy searches for his words to describe what he has seen and heard. Finally, he says to them: – I hope one day we will all go together to this beautiful country! I’m telling you this little story because today we are going to talk about heaven, where God lives and it’s not easy to explain. Like Lucas and Mia’s daddy, we don’t have the words to talk about it. God himself said, “Heaven is like …”. But it’s like what? Now listen to Françoise and you will find out. She invited Lea and Paul.

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– Françoise: Hello Lea! – Lea: Hello Françoise! – Françoise: Hello Paul! – Paul: Hello Françoise! – Françoise: Heaven, what we are going to talk about is not the blue sky with clouds where birds and planes fly. It is not the sky of stars, and galaxies. – Paul: You mean there is another place? – Françoise: Yes, another place that we cannot see. It is the place of the presence of God, His home, His house. It is a very special place, totally different from what we know on earth. – Paul: Does the Bible talk about it? – Françoise: Yes, the prophets spoke about it, and Jesus and the apostles did too. – Paul: Has anyone ascended to heaven? – Françoise: No, nobody. Jesus descended from it and then returned there on the day of Ascension. – Lea: Have any men seen it? – Françoise: Some have had a vision of Heaven. The apostle Paul, for example, but he was unable to write down what he saw and heard: it was so glorious. He couldn’t find the right words to do it. Stephen saw Jesus standing in glory at the right hand of God. The apostle John too and God asked him to write down what he saw. It’s as if God is telling us: “Heaven is like …” – Paul: So what did John see? – Françoise: First, he saw a throne where God reigns. He didn’t see God but the manifestation of His presence, of His glory. He saw Jesus and thousands and thousands of angels. He also saw a city, the New Jerusalem – Lea: Why is it called the New Jerusalem? – Françoise: For the Jews, Jerusalem represented the dwelling place of God on earth. The New Jerusalem represents His Presence and that of Christians. It is filled with the glory of God but, how can we describe it, how can we imagine it? This is impossible! – Lea: What is this city like? – Françoise: John describes this city to us in the words he knows. He describes a golden city all In Gold so pure, that in the city the walls are shining and transparent like crystal. It stands on precious stones with red, green hues. There are several entrance doors made of sparkling pearls. He saw a great square of pure gold. Everything is luminous, dazzling; it is bathed in light. There is no pollution, no dirt, nor dust. No need for a church or a temple since God is there, and everyone can see Him, approach him, talk to him, worship him. – Lea: Is it a big city like a capital? – Françoise: Bigger still! An angel measured it. He counted over two thousand kilometers aside. – Paul: It’s impressive. Why is it so large? – Françoise: It represents people of all generations, of all centuries. It is impossible to know the number. What’s amazing is that it’s open for all peoples, without distinction. – Lea: But not everyone will go there? – Françoise: Only those who believed in Jesus, who asked Him for forgiveness and who exert themselves to do what is pleasing to Him will enter. Their name is recorded. – Paul: Is there a book Heaven? – Françoise: Yes, the Book of Life. Anyone whose name is written in this book will be welcomed and received in the presence of God. Heaven is also the house where God is waiting for us. – Paul: What shall we be like? – Françoise: You understood that in Heaven, everything is different. We won’t have the same body as the one we have now. It will be a heavenly, glorious body, like that of Jesus after His resurrection. It will never be sick; no more viruses, no more infirmity. It will not grow old and it will never die. – Lea: Will we get married and have children? – Françoise: No. There will be no men, no women, no children, no old, no young, because we will all be like angels. – Paul: But then will we recognize our parents, our friends? – Françoise: Yes, and we will love them even better than on earth. Because everything will be perfect and we too will be perfect. We will not be lost in the middle of this multitude. We will meet all these men, women and children that the Bible tells us about, all those people who loved God on earth. – Paul: You mean that we will see Abraham, Moses, Samuel, the apostles? – Françoise: Yes, there are also an infinite number of angels, celestial beings, as well as Jesus, of course. He is on a throne at the right hand of God. – Lea: What will we do in heaven? Are we going to work? – Paul: I hope we won’t be bored, eternity is long! – Françoise: You’re right, eternity has no end but it wouldn’t be heaven if it were a place of boredom, sadness, sorrow. There will be life, action. How? We don’t know but we can trust God, He has prepared everything so that His children may be in perfect joy and happiness. We‘ll be able to adore Him to admire Him to serve Him. We will sing too, even people who don’t have a beautiful voice on earth, will sing with myriads of angels accompanied by heavenly music. John saw gold music instruments. – Paul: It’s hard to imagine all this. We just understand a little. – Françoise: Yes, you’re right, just a little but enough to make us want to spend our eternity in the Presence of God. Why do you think God is talking to us from heaven in the Bible? – Lea: To encourage us to be faithful to Him even when it is difficult. – Françoise: And you, Paul, what do you think? – Paul: Maybe also because we are curious, we like to know what is going to happen after our life on earth. – Françoise: Ok. Many thanks to both of you for taking part in this talk.

1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! When Jesus went back to heaven, do you know what He said to His disciples, what He tells us: “I will prepare a place for you so that where I am, you will be there too.” There is nothing better than His presence, so I encourage you to love Him always more. Today is our last talk; but I invite you to listen, listen again, see and review, read and reread our programs on our website they are all at your disposal for free, so take advantage and let your friends know about “1, 2, 3, STORY TIME”.

4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, there are many texts that relate to upcoming events and to our heavenly homeland. We are far from having understood everything but we have tried to provide the children here with some important elements to encourage them to walk with the Lord who prepares a place for them in His presence. And for you, for us parents, let us treasure these words of Jesus: “Seek the kingdom of God first!” Luke 12/31.