When you anticipate what heaven will be like, what do you think about? Most likely you think about reuniting with lost loved ones, white pearly gates, and angels singing. However you might not immediately think about all the amazing people you will get to meet, including notable characters from the Bible. All the stories you learned about growing up will one day come to life!
You will get to hear first-hand about the lives these amazing biblical people lived on earth. You can learn about the fears, doubts, and hope they felt as they navigated God's plan for them. We can learn so much from their stories and start applying it to our life today. Here are some people you will be excited to meet in heaven.
Mary Magdalene was the mother of Jesus Christ, making her one of the most beloved women in the Bible. She was just a humble village women who was chosen by God to birth the greatest Man the world has ever known. Mary exhibited true holiness by trusting in God’s plan for her. She not only gave birth to Jesus, but also raised Him for years to manhood. She served Christ in a way many people would be afraid to do. Mary never magnified herself, but instead gave all the glory to God. Wouldn’t it be amazing to talk to her about her experience on earth? You could hear first-hand what she went through.
Elizabeth in the Bible was the wife of a priest named Zechariah, and also a cousin of Mary. Elizabeth and Zechariah are called “righteous and blameless” people who walked in all the commandments of the Lord. Elizabeth was old and unable to have children, though. But one day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and said that Elizabeth would give birth to a baby named John that would grow to do great things. Elizabeth found herself pregnant, and was humbled by God's favor. The pregnancy was a sign of God's love! Her son grew up to be John the Baptist, who ministered the Lord. We can trust that God will follow through on His promises.
The Book of Ruth is known for being a short story with a big message. Ruth was a widow who was scared for her future, but trusted that God had a plan for her. Naomi, Ruth's late husband’s mother, took her in and offered to help her. Naomi finds a man of character, Boaz, and swears to join him and Ruth together. Ruth is blessed Boaz as her husband, because she was trusting in God and was a good servant. They all lived together in satisfaction and fullness! Ruth shows us that loyalty to God will provide us many blessings. It would be great to meet her and see how she felt in those days. Did she ever feel doubt? It is not just a love story, but one of restoration and hope.
Esther was the Jewish queen of a Persian king Ahasuerus. She was selected after his other queen, Vashiti, refused to follow his orders. The king's chief adviser, Haman, is offended by Esther's cousin and guardian, Mordecai, and gets permission from the king to have all the Jews in the kingdom killed. Esther foils the plan, and wins permission from the king for the Jews to kill their enemies, and they do so. Esther is important because it shows us that God is always in control. When events seemed spiral when the king dictated ruin for their people and evil was poised to triumph, God was at work. Life can be hard. Difficult times happen, and pain cannot be avoided. But Esther reminded us to keep trusting in God.
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Abraham's story in the Bible taught us, again, that trusting God is important. God promised Abraham that he and his wife would have many kids, but they were originally unable to do so. Nevertheless, Abraham trusted God and believed God could accomplish what He had promised. He was blessed with their son, Isaac. Abraham was honored and humbled, but God soon tested Abraham's dedication. God called on Abraham to sacrifice his son. Without hesitation, Abraham listened. God intervened by stopping Abraham from killing his son and by providing a sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the nearby brush. While Abraham’s faith had been tested, he proved his faith by his obedience to God. What a true test of faith! Many of us cannot say that we would have followed through.
Jonah committed many of the worst sins. He refused to defend God's honor, rebelled against God, and is considered the "runaway prophet". It seems he is only angry at God and does not want to repent. But Jonah's story reminds us that God is gracious, merciful, and slow to anger. Jonah was miraculously saved by a large fish, after he goes to harm himself. While in the fish, Jonah prays to God and realizes his mistakes. All of us have times in our lives where things seem hopeless and we are worried God will not be able to help. But Jonah reminds us to keep moving forward, because God is really there.
As a Christian, one of the first people you will want to meet from the Bible will be Jesus Christ! The New Testament focuses on Christ's life. Christ was sent to this earth to save us from our sins. He is the reason we have the opportunity to go to heaven! Through His life, we learn about how to be a Christian. He teaches us about love, forgiveness, inclusion, and honor. By accepting Christ in our hearts, we know we are forgiven for our transgressions and have the option for eternal life. When we eventually pass away, we can do so with peace because Jesus will be standing at the front gates of heaven with open arms. All the pain we have felt in life will vanish.
These Bible characters continue to teach us so much about the Christian way, even decades after they have left earth. We only wish we could hear their story first hand to fully experience God's Word. As a true Christian, you can be excited that one day in heaven you will be able to interact with these great characters.