Beyond Heaven's Door

( 15 )

Overview

Thoughts of heaven can be unsettling. Life with no end? Space with no bounds? Are we supposed to feel good about these things?

Bestselling author Max Lucado assures us that we can. There is much about heaven that we don't yet understand. And while thoughts on our final destiny may stir questions, they needn't stir our fears.

InBeyond Heaven's DoorMax takes us on a journey from finding certainty in our destination to God's great promises of the ...

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Overview

Thoughts of heaven can be unsettling. Life with no end? Space with no bounds? Are we supposed to feel good about these things?

Bestselling author Max Lucado assures us that we can. There is much about heaven that we don't yet understand. And while thoughts on our final destiny may stir questions, they needn't stir our fears.

InBeyond Heaven's DoorMax takes us on a journey from finding certainty in our destination to God's great promises of the hereafter. Open the door and catch a glimpse of the joy that awaits you in heaven—and find hope for today in the process.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849948435
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Pages: 126
  • Sales rank: 224,566
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Lucado
More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings ofMax Lucado. He ministers atthe Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
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Read an Excerpt

BEYOND Heaven's DOOR


By Max Lucado

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Max Lucado
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-6429-9


Chapter One

ADMISSION at the Door

Not all those who say "You are our Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven. MATTHEW 7:21

I MAKE no claims to being a good golfer, but I readily confess to being a golf addict. If you know of a twelve-step program for the condition, sign me up. "Hi, I'm Max. I'm a golfaholic." I love to play golf, watch golf, and on good nights, I even dream golf.

Knowing this will help you appreciate the extreme joy I felt when I was invited to attend the Masters Golf Tournament. A pass to the Masters is the golfer's Holy Grail. Tickets are as scarce as birdies on my scorecard. So I was thrilled. The invitation came via pro golfer Scott Simpson. Each player is given a certain number of passes, and Scott offered Denalyn and me two of his. (If there was ever any question about Scott's place in heaven, that gesture erased the doubt.)

So off we went to Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, where golf heritage hangs like moss from the trees. There you find the green where Nicklaus sank the putt. The fringe where Mize holed the chip. The fairway where Saranson hit the approach shot. I was a kid in a candy store. And like a kid, I couldn't get enough. It wasn't enough to see the course and walk the grounds; I wanted to see the locker room. That's where the clubs of Hogan and Azinger are displayed. That's where the players hang out. And that's where I wanted to be.

But they wouldn't let me.

A guard stopped me at the entrance. I showed him my pass, but he shook his head. I told him I knew Scott, but that didn't matter. I promised to send his eldest child through college, but he didn't budge. "Only caddies and players," he explained. Well, he knew I wasn't a player or a caddie. Caddies at the Masters are required to wear white coveralls. My clothing was a dead giveaway. So I left, figuring I'd never see the clubhouse. I had made it all the way to the door but was denied entrance.

Many people fear the same will happen to them in heaven. They fear being turned away at the door. A legitimate fear, don't you think? We're talking about a pivotal moment. To be turned away from seeing golf history is one thing, but to be refused admission into heaven is quite another.

That is why some people don't want to discuss heaven. It makes them nervous. They may be God-fearing and church-attending people but still nervous. Is there a solution for this fear? Need you spend the rest of your life wondering if you will be turned away at the door?

According to the Bible, it is possible to "know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13 MSG). How? How can any of us know for sure?

Curiously, it all has to do with the clothing we wear.

Chapter Two

A STRICT Dress Code

Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not dressed for a wedding. MATTHEW 22:12

JESUS TOLD the parable of a king who planned a wedding party for his son. Invitations were given, but the people "refused to come" (Matt. 22:3). The king is patient and offers another invitation. This time the servants of the king are mistreated and killed. The king is furious. The murderers are punished, the city is destroyed, and the invitation is re-extended, this time to everyone.

The application of the parable is not complicated. God invited Israel, his chosen ones, to be his children. But they refused. Not only did they refuse, they killed his servants and crucifid his Son. The consequence was the judgment of God. Jerusalem was burned, and the people were scattered.

As the parable continues, the king offers yet another invitation. This time the wedding is opened to everyone—"good and bad" (Matt. 22:10), or Jews and Gentiles. Here is where we non-Jews appear in the parable. We are the beneficiaries of a wide invitation. And someday we will stand at the entryway to the king's castle. But the story doesn't end there. Standing at the doorway is not enough. A certain wardrobe is required. The parable ends with a chilling paragraph.

And the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed for a wedding. The king said, "Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not dressed for a wedding." But the man said nothing. So the king told some servants, "Tie this man's hands and feet. Throw him out into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain." (matt. 22:10–13)

Jesus loved surprise endings, and this one surprises ... and frightens. Here is a man who was at the right place, surrounded by the right people, but because he wore the wrong clothing, he was cast from the presence of the king.

"Wrong clothes? Max, are you telling me that Jesus cares what clothes we wear?"

Apparently so. In fact, the Bible tells us exactly the wardrobe God desires.

"But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and forget about satisfying your sinful self " (Rom. 13:14).

"You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This means that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26–27).

This clothing has nothing to do with dresses and jeans and suits. God's concern is with our spiritual garments. He offers a heavenly robe that only heaven can see and only heaven can give. Listen to the words of Isaiah: "The Lord makes me very happy; all that I am rejoices in my God. He has covered me with clothes of salvation and wrapped me with a coat of goodness" (Isa. 61:10).

Remember the words of the father when the prodigal son returned? He wanted his son to have new sandals, a new ring, and what else? New clothes. "Bring the best clothes and put them on him" (Luke 15:22). The father wanted the son to have the best clothing available.

Your Father wants you to have the same.

Chapter Three

FIX YOUR Wardrobe

Live in him so that when Christ comes back, we can be without fear and not be ashamed in his presence. 1 JOHN 2:28

MOST OF us could use some help with our wardrobes, but this discussion of clothing has nothing to do with what the store sells you. It has everything to do with what God gives you when you give your life to him. Let me explain.

When a person becomes a follower of Christ, when sins are confessed and the grace of Jesus is accepted, a wonderful miracle of the soul occurs. The person is placed "in" Christ. The apostle Paul described himself as "a man in Christ" (2 Cor. 12:2). When he described his colleagues, he called them "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 16:3 NIV). The greatest promise is extended not to the wealthy or educated but to those who are "in Christ." "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1 NIV, emphasis mine). John urges us to "live in him so that when Christ comes back, we can be without fear and not be ashamed in his presence" (1 John 2:28).

What does it mean to be "in Christ"? The clothing illustration is a good one. Why do we wear clothes? There are parts of our body we want to hide.

The same can be true with our spiritual lives. Do we want God to see everything about us? No. If he did, we would be fearful and ashamed. How could we ever hope to go to heaven with all our mistakes showing? "The true life," Paul wrote, "is a hidden one in Christ" (Col. 3:3 PHILLIPS).

Let's take this a step further.

Let's imagine how a person who isn't wearing the clothing of Christ appears in the eyes of heaven. For the sake of discussion, envision a decent human being ... we'll call him Danny Decent. Danny pays his taxes, pays his bills, pays attention to his family, and pays respect to his superiors. He is a good person. In fact, were we to dress him, we would dress him in white.

But heaven sees Danny differently. God sees what you and I miss. For every time Mr. Decent sins, a stain appears on his clothing. For example, he stretched the truth when he spoke to his boss yesterday. He was stained. He fudged, ever so slightly, on his expense report. Another stain. The other guys were gossiping about the new employee, and he chimed in. Still another. What God sees is a man clothed in mistakes.

Unless something happens, Danny will be the man in the parable, the one without the wedding garment. The wedding garment, you see, is the righteousness of Christ. And if Danny faces Christ wearing his own decency instead of Christ's goodness, he will hear what the man in the parable heard: "'You are not dressed for a wedding.' ... So the king told some servants, 'Tie this man's hands and feet. Throw him out into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain'" (Matt. 22:12–13).

What happens if Danny changes his clothes? What if he agrees with Isaiah, who said, "Our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6 NIV)? Suppose he goes to Christ and prays, "Lord, take away these rags. Clothe me in your grace." Suppose he confesses the prayer of this hymn: "Naked, come to thee for dress, helpless, look to the for grace."

If he does, here is what happens. Jesus, in an act visible only to the eyes of heaven, removes the robe of stains and replaces it with his robe of righteousness. As a result, Danny is clothed in Christ. And, as a result, Danny is dressed for the wedding.

To quote another hymn: "Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne."

Chapter Four

COLOR Matters

They will walk with me and will wear white clothes, because they are worthy. REVELATION 3:4

GOD HAS only one requirement for entrance into heaven: that we be clothed in Christ.

Listen to how Jesus described the inhabitants of heaven: "Those who win the victory will be dressed in white clothes like them. And I will not erase their names from the book of life, but I will say they belong to me before my Father and before his angels" (Rev. 3:5).

Listen to the description of the elders: "Around the throne there were twenty-four other thrones with twenty-four elders sitting on them. They were dressed in white and had golden crowns on their heads" (Rev. 4:4).

And what is the clothing of the angels? "The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses" (Rev. 19:14).

All are dressed in white. The saints. The elders. The armies. How would you suppose Jesus is dressed? In white?

You'd think so. Of all the people worthy to wear a spotless robe, Christ is. But according to the Bible he doesn't.

Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Rev. 19:11–13)

Why is Christ's robe not white? Why is his garment dipped in blood? Let me answer by reminding you what Jesus did for you and me. Paul said simply, "He changed places with us" (Gal. 3:13).

He did more than remove our coat; he put on our coat. And he wore our coat of sin to the cross. As he died, his blood fl owed over our sins. They were cleansed by his blood. And because of this, when Christ brings us to heaven, we have no fear of being turned away at the door.

Speaking of being turned away at the door, I'm sure you are dying to hear whether I made it into the locker room at the Masters Golf Tournament. Well, I did.

The day prior to the tournament, the golfers play an exhibition round on a par-three course. It is customary for the golfers to give their caddies the afternoon off and invite friends or family members to take their places. Well, Scott invited me to be his caddie. "Of course, you'll have to wear the white overalls," he explained.

And, of course, I didn't mind. Snicker.

That afternoon, I made my way to the clubhouse. And through the same door, walking past the same guard, I stepped into the golfers' inner sanctum. What made the difference?

Simple. I was wearing the right clothes.

Chapter Five

THE BRAND-NEW You

There is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:23 NLT

SUPPOSE YOU are walking past my farm one day and see me in the field crying. Concerned, you approach me and ask what is wrong. I look up and extend a palm full of seeds in your direction. "My heart breaks for the seeds."

"What?"

Between sobs I explain, "The seeds will be placed in the ground and covered with dirt. They will decay, and we will never see them again."

As I weep, you are stunned. You look around for a turnip truck, off which you are confident I tumbled. Finally, you explain to me a basic principle of farming: out of the decay of the seed comes the birth of a plant.

You kindly remind me: "Don't you know that you will soon witness a mighty miracle of God? Given time and tender care, this tiny kernel will break from its prison of soil and blossom into a plant far beyond its dreams."

Any farmer who grieves over the burial of a seed needs a reminder: a time of planting is not a time of grief. Any person who anguishes over the burial of a body may need the same. We may need the reminder Paul gave the Corinthians: "There is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back" (1 Cor. 15:23 NLT).

Between the death of the body of a Christian and the return of our Savior, Scripture assures us that the soul is living, but the body is buried. This is an intermediate period in which we are "away from this body and ... at home with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8).

Upon our physical death, our souls will journey immediately to the presence of God while we await the resurrection of our bodies. And when will this resurrection occur? You guessed it. When Christ comes. "When Christ comes again, those who belong to him will be raised to life, and then the end will come" (1 Cor. 15:23–24).

What does Paul mean, "those who belong to him will be raised to life"? What will be raised? My body? If so, why this body? I don't like my body. Why don't we start over on a new model?

Come with me back to the farm, and let's look for some answers.

If you were impressed with my seed allegory, I stole the idea from the apostle Paul. The fifteenth chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians is the definitive essay on our resurrection. He wrote:

BUT SOMEONE MAY ASK,

"How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?" Foolish person! When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. And when you sow it, it does not have the same "body" it will have later. What you sow is only a bare seed, maybe wheat or something else. But God gives it a body that he has planned for it.

1 Corinthians 15:35–38

In other words, you can't have a new body without the death of the old body. Or as Paul said, "When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow" (v. 36).

A friend told me that Paul's parallel between seeds sown and bodies buried reminded her of a remark made by her youngest son. He was a first grader, and his class was studying plants about the same time the family attended a funeral of a loved one. One day, as they were driving past a cemetery, he pointed and said, "Hey, Mom, that's where they plant people."

The apostle Paul would have liked that. In fact, he would like us to change the way we think about the burial process. The graveside service is not a burial but a planting. The grave is not a hole in the ground but a fertile furrow. The cemetery is not the resting place but the transformation place.

Chapter Six

THE ULTIMATE Triumph

No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:9

MANY PEOPLE assume that death has no purpose. It is to them what the black hole is to space—a mysterious, inexplicable, distasteful, all-consuming power. Avoid it at all costs. And so we do all we can to live and not die. God, however, says we must die in order to live. When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can grow (1 Cor. 15:36). What we see as the ultimate tragedy, he sees as the ultimate triumph.

And when a Christian dies, it's not a time to despair but a time to trust. Just as the seed is buried and the material wrapping decomposes, so the fleshly body will be buried and will decompose. But just as the buried seed sprouts new life, so the body will blossom into a new body. As Jesus said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain of wheat; but if it dies, it brings a good harvest" (John 12:24 PHILLIPS).

(Continues...)



Excerpted from BEYOND Heaven's DOOR by Max Lucado Copyright © 2013 by Max Lucado. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

1 Admission at the Door....................8
2 A Strict Dress Code....................12
3 Fix Your Wardrobe....................18
4 Color Matters....................24
5 The Brand-New You....................28
6 The Ultimate Triumph....................36
7 Groaning in the Tent....................40
8 Like Jesus....................50
9 A Day of Rewards....................58
10 The Crown of Life....................62
11 The Crown of Righteousness....................66
12 The Crown of Glory....................76
13 A Day of Sweet Surprises....................80
14 Oh Happy Day....................86
15 No Regrets....................94
16 Seeing Jesus....................98
17 The Amazing One....................102
18 The Perfect Priest....................108
19 Who Jesus Is....................112
20 While We Wait....................122
Notes....................126
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Customer Reviews

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( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Good book, bad formatting

    The book is shorter than I expected, but the content is good as usual with Max Lucado. The formatting, however, is atrocious.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'Beyond Heaven's Door' is a gift book that details what Christia

    'Beyond Heaven's Door' is a gift book that details what Christians can expect when they enter the afterlife. The book is short and easily read in under an hour. It contains beautiful images with quotes taken from the text as well as scriptures. The author focuses on several different questions that people have about Heaven and what happens when we die. The book quotes several passages of scripture that deal with the nature of Jesus, what Heaven will be like, and what our new bodies will look and be like after resurrection. The author tells anecdotes throughout the book to help the reader understand the passages of scripture and also to show the reader what is meant by the text. Overall, this was an uplifting book that Christians will enjoy reading more than once and the images and quotes throughout are beautiful and definitely add to the book's appeal. It would make a wonderful gift to those who are questioning death and Heaven as well as to those who have recently lost a loved one.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted May 16, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    This book is a peek into Heaven. It is supported by scripture and described only as Max Lucado can do. You'll find it fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Good Book

    Highly Recommende -Check it out

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    " I make no claims to being a good golfer, but I readily co

    " I make no claims to being a good golfer, but I readily confess to being a golf addict. If you know of a twelve-step program for the condition, sign me up. "Hi, I'm Max. I'm a golfaholic." I love to play golf, watch golf, and on good nights, I even dream golf.

    Knowing this will help you appreciate the extreme joy I felt when I was invited to attend the Masters Golf Tournament. A pass to the Masters is the golfer's Holy Grail. Tickets are as scarce as birdies on my scorecard. So I was thrilled. The invitation came via pro golfer Scott Simpson. Each player is given a certain number of passes and Scott offered Denalyn and me two of his. (If there was ever any question about Scott's place in heaven, that gesture erased the doubt.)

    So off we went to Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, where golf heritage hangs like moss from the trees. There you find the green where Nicklaus sank the putt. The fringe where Mize holed the chip. The fairway where Saranson hit the approach shot. I was a kid in a candy store. And like a kid, I couldn't get enough. It wasn't enough to see the course and walk the grounds; I wanted to see the locker room. That's where the clubs of Hogan and Azinger are displayed. That's where the players hang out. And that's where I wanted to be.

    A guard stopped me at the entrance. I showed him my pass, but he shook his head. I told him I knew Scott, but that didn't matter. I promised to send his eldest child through college, but he didn't budge. "Only caddies and players," he explained. Well, he knew I wasn't a player or a caddie. Caddies at the Masters are required to wear white coveralls. My clothing was a dead giveaway. So I left, figuring I'd never see the clubhouse. I made it all the way to the door but was denied entrance.

    Many people fear the same will happen to them in heaven. They fear being turned away at the door. A legitimate fear, don't you think? We're talking about a pivotal moment. To be turned away from seeing golf history is one thing, but to be refused admission into heaven is quite another.

    That is why some people don't want to discuss heaven. It makes them nervous. They may be God-fearing and church-attending people but still nervous. Is there a solution to this fear? Need you spend the rest of your life wondering if you will be turned away at the door?

    According to the Bible, it is possible to "know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13 MSG). How? How can any of us know for sure?

    Curiously, it all has to do with the clothing we wear." (pg 10-11).

    Written in a comfortable style that is uniquely Max Lucado, Beyond Heaven's Door takes the reader through an amazing way to assure you that when this life is over, if you have clothed yourself in Christ, then you will have eternal life the instant you close your eyes when this one ends. No more worry or doubt will cross your mind when you rest in the assurances that after reading this and following the simple steps Max provides, you can be assured of your final destination.

    The book not only tells us how to get to Heaven but assures us that even when our loved ones pass away here, as believers their life is only so much better than we could have ever dreamed or imagined. Taking all of his references and information directly from the Bible, Max makes the entire trip towards Heaven, a personal one. You truly feel like the words from this book are like words from a trust and close friend and I believe that is where the appeal in all of Max's books I've been honored to read comes from.

    I received Beyond Heaven's Door by Max Lucado compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This one is a must read for anyone who really wonders what lies beyond death's door and is looking for the absolute truth before it's too late to make that decision to accept Christ. This book also provides comfort for those of us left behind when a believer dies and shows us in a small way just what is on the other side waiting for all of us that accept Jesus Christ into our lives. An unforgettable book and well worthy of 5 out of 5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Yes Would Recommend

    Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors and he never disappoints me on any of his writings. Captivates and delivers a clear, profound message always.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Inspiring

    Max Lucado always sees our everyday life "thru Heaven's Door".
    This effort did not disappoint.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Disappointing

    I preordered this book and was thrilled when it appeared. I feel I missed content because of the awful formatting. Many times the pages repeated and the only way I could move on was to do a page search. If this cannot be rectified, I will find the book in another format. I finished it, but do not feel I really got the full message OR even all the content. This is the first time this has happened, and I have bought many Nook books since I got my reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Formatting awful

    The pictures cover words. Some words are missing. The formatting is awful. I really want to read this book!



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 13, 2013

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    Posted April 9, 2013

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