On earth when we hear the word holiness we often think of something religious that we don’t really understand or feel. Before the airplane crash and my experience in Heaven, holiness certainly didn’t have any place in my life. If I’d ever heard of it, holiness was something not cool, old-fashioned… and who knows what it means? I mean, who needed holiness? And what is it, really? Before the accident, going to church was enough holiness for me.
A few minutes in Heaven is all it took for everything to change. And I do mean everything. Holiness topped the list. Holiness is as important as the air we breathe on earth—but even more necessary. You can’t have God without holiness. He is holy. Wherever He is, holiness is there. If we want His presence in our lives, it will come with holiness. It is the holiness that comes from the shed blood of Jesus.
“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
Let’s first talk about what holy means in a commonly used dictionary on earth. The dictionary defines holiness as the state of being holy… whatever that means. It goes on to say that holiness is also a title given to certain religious dignitaries. This is not only a pale description, but in light of Heaven, it is entirely and pathetically wrong.
Again, there is really nothing close to what exists in Heaven. Even the most educated people on earth seemingly have no clue as to what holiness really is. The dictionary says holy means “connected to God.” In Heaven, holiness is everywhere… everywhere God is.
Holiness radiates out from God. It is He who is the Holy One. I now can say that holy means a lot more than is found in the dictionary. Holy is separate. Holy means righteous. Holy means clean. Sinless. Blemishless. Without error. Without blind spots. The atmosphere of Heaven was filled with an intangible, yet unmistakable, awareness of pure and utter holiness. This dominating sensation came from the Source Who was sitting on the throne–God.
In Heaven, holiness stimulates a response. For me, when I was there, it created awe. Such awe that a joyful worship and devotion to God emanated from me. I don’t know how. It just did. Not only from me but from every being and everything that is a part of Heaven. With this sense of the holiness that I’m trying to describe, came total awe and devotion. And, at the same time, unspeakable joy. Yet this was not mandatory. It wasn’t forced in any way. It was just as I said a moment ago, a free response to the holiness that came from the throne.
It began to dawn on me that no mere man could ever diminish God’s holiness by refusing to worship Him. Holiness will always be in His presence. It would be easier to make the light of the sun go dark by repeatedly writing “darkness” on your computer than to remove holiness from heaven. Holy is God. Holiness is what causes God to be worthy of our trust and our praise.
I have been in thousands of church services, meetings, and spiritual events since. Never have I experienced a holy environment on earth that offers more than a sliver of a shadow of the holiness that exists in Heaven. Never have I witnessed or experienced anything even close to the atmosphere of holiness that exists in Heaven. Never before. Never since. Not even close. Still, I have a strong desire for it again.
On this side of Heaven, I crave holiness. I long for it every day. Holiness is the most awesome aspect of Heaven and it’s everywhere—because God is everywhere and in everything. We can’t earn holiness. We can’t buy it or manufacture it. A personal relationship with Jesus is the only way we can become holy in God’s eyes and then have access to God’s presence where holiness resides. Jesus is the way to holiness and fellowship with God. He is also the way to Heaven.
“Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5-6.
Whatever you need, let’s not forget that God will answer your prayer. He loves you and can be trusted. And He will give you all you need to overcome. Stay in His word. Talk to Him about everything. And remember, with God nothing is impossible.
Dale and Paula Black
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