“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Revelation 21:21
It was so hot last week… I saw a chicken lay an omelette. It was so hot last week… I started sweating like a politician on election day. It was so hot last week… Jehovah’s Witnesses started telemarketing.
Right in the middle of all this heat we have been having, our air conditioner went out. I came home and my wife, Amanda, was frowning. She was drenched in sweat. She looked at me and said, “The air-conditioner is out. I don’t care how you get it done, you just better get that air conditioning fixed, preacher boy.” Now this is not in the Bible, but I have learned a valuable lesson in life: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” From the expression on Amanda’s face, I could tell she was not happy.
I panicked and ran to the phone. I called 10 air-conditioner repairmen. Nine of the 10 did not answer. I left messages for all of them. None of them called me back. I finally got a hold of an air conditioning repairman. I said, “Our air-conditioner is out. I’ve got an emergency.” He said, “You and everybody else has an emergency. I can get someone out to you in 4 to 6 weeks.” The rest of the summer is going to be hot at my house.
When I was growing up, our church didn’t have air conditioning. Instead we used church fans. For those too young to remember, church fans were little paper fans with wooden handles. In our church, they were always available in the hymnal racks on the backs of pews. The fans in our church were provided by the local funeral home, and at election time, a politician or two would bring in a batch.
On one side of a church fan there would always be a picture of Jesus. Usually Jesus was in a garden, or sitting with children, or holding a lamb in a soft meadow near a brook. On the other side there would be the commercial message of the funeral parlor or the politician who had donated the fans.
“Downer Brothers Funeral Home. Put Them In The Ground, With No Money Down. Our Coffins Are So Nice, You’ll Want To Die Twice. We’re Dead Serious. Ask About Our Installment Payment Plan.”
Or, “Elect Hamp Baker State Senator. Family Man. Deacon. Honest. Keep Your Freedom, Guns, And Money. Vote November 7th.”
Hamp Baker wasted a bunch of money on church fans, because he never was elected. He always put his picture on his fans. He looked just like Uncle Fester from “The Adam’s Family.” He was so strange looking that nobody would vote for him.
I remember one church fan with a picture of heaven. As a seven-year-old, I would stare at the golden streets and imagine walking there.
That church fan reminds me of the story of an old miner who struck gold and carried his bag of gold with him everywhere. One day he died and went to heaven, still carrying his gold. When he arrived, an angel asked him why he was carrying asphalt.
On earth, we value gold as being the most precious of metals. In heaven, it will be what we walk on.
The point is: The things we value in this life will not be so highly valued in heaven. Money, fame, houses, and cars are nice in the here and now. What value will those things have in eternity? Earthly possessions are temporary. Our true wealth is in heaven.
Have you made your reservation for heaven? Trust Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Make you reservation today. Trust me, you would rather go to heaven than the alternative.
You think it’s hot here? There are no air conditioners in hell.
James Collins is the Pastor at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at (620) 223-2986, or through the website thepointis.net.