There are many who have stepped from this earthly realm into the Heavenly one and returned here again. Many in the Scriptures had such experiences and many since that time have also gone back and forth. The door in Revelation chapter 4 is still open and the Lord is still saying to us, “Come up here”.
In past postings, we have looked at those in Scripture who had experiences in Heavenly realms. Today I’d like to share some things from one of my favorite books on this subject: Intra Muros, My Dream of Heaven by Rebecca Ruter Springer. She was a Methodist writer who lived from 1832 to 1904. And lest the title, “My Dream of Heaven” be misunderstood, my research tells me that the subject of Heaven was a popular one for fiction writers of the day, sometimes referred to as a ‘fanciful sketch’. But Rebecca obviously had a death experience, went to Heaven and was eventually sent back to earth. Hers is a very detailed account of the splendor of Heaven and daily life there for the Redeemed. Here are her first impressions upon arriving in Paradise, the garden of God:
“What a scene was that upon which I looked. Away, away – far beyond the limit of my vision, I well knew, stretched this wonderful sward of perfect grass and flowers. And out of it grew equally wonderful trees, whose drooping branches were laden with exquisite blossoms and fruits of many kinds. I found myself thinking of St. John’s vision in the Isle of Patmos and the “tree of life” that grew in the midst of the garden, bearing twelve manner of fruits, and whose leaves were for the healing of the nations. Beneath the trees, in many happy groups, were little children laughing and playing, running hither and thither in their joy, and catching in their tiny hands the bright-winged birds that flitted in and out among them, as though sharing in their sports, as they doubtless were. All through the grounds people were walking, sometimes in groups, sometimes by twos, sometimes alone, but all with an air of peacefulness and happiness that made itself felt by even me, a stranger. All were in spotless white, though many wore about them or carried in their hands, clusters of beautiful flowers.
Look where I would, I saw half hidden by the trees, elegant and beautiful houses of strangely attractive architecture, that I felt must be the homes of the happy inhabitants of this wonderful place. I caught glimpses of sparkling fountains in many directions and nearby flowed a river with water clear as crystal. The one thought that fastened itself upon me as I looked, breathless and speechless, upon this scene was “Purity, purity!” No shadow of dust, no taint of decay on fruit or flower, everything perfect and pure. The air was soft and balmy though invigorating, and instead of sunlight there was a golden and rosy glory everywhere, something like the afterglow of a sunset in midsummer.
The houses that we passed seemed wondrously beautiful to me. They were built of the finest marbles, encircled by broad verandas, the roofs or domes supported by massive or delicate pillars or columns, and winding steps led down to the pearl and golden walks. Flowers and vines grew luxuriantly everywhere and surpassed in beauty even those of my brightest dreams. Happy faces looked out from these columned walls and happy voices rang upon the clear air from many a celestial home.”
Rebecca also gives detailed accounts of the saints in Heaven – those she had known and loved on the earth before their death and entry into that glorious realm. And she speaks much of the links between the two realms, of how we are preparing now on earth for the Heavenly life in eternity. We will study some of these topics in future postings.
May we live each day with eternity in mind, understanding that the choices we make now are shaping our future there.