One phone call brought a shock to our missionary family as David & Janella Zimmerman had an accident while traveling in the Dominican Republic, and Janella didn’t survive. We are aware that God well knew this was the time for parting and He has a purpose even in this heartbreak. (May many come to Christ through her life and death.) This family was especially loved by the Haitians who shared so much of their life with them. Who can record the full impact of one life on many others? Precious memories, unseen angels!
We are heartbroken in the loss of this dear sister that we labored with in Haiti. We have a heavy heart for her husband, David, and their precious children. Please pray for them and their extended family. God’s promises are true: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart.” (Psalm 34:18) Janella was a beautiful light of Jesus to all her knew her! She was a loving, dedicated wife and mother, and a dear friend to many.
We know God’s ways are higher than our ways, and as for God, His ways are perfect. Through her sudden death, eternity comes quickly into view and an realization that anyone of us is only a heartbeat away from it. We know that Janella is with her Lord, whom she loved and served. She now sees God’s glory and her Savior, Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of the Father!
Have you ever imagined what heaven must be like? What is Janella experiencing? Let’s take a peek behind the veil –
According to research done on near-death experiences, Janella’s temporal life on earth transitioned into the most joyous, exciting, amazing, and breathtaking experience! She was immediately welcomed home with love beyond words! She was able to gaze at her Lord’s face, the One who paid such a great price to set her free from her sin. Jesus opened His arms to Janella. Beautiful eyes, that knew everything about her, were like blazing fires of consuming love that overwhelmed her.
Jesus is pure light! Jesus is brighter than the noonday sun, but Janella can look at Him in Heaven. His brightness is all around her. Janella is clothed in God’s glory! It is a brightness that she doesn’t just see, but she feels and experiences it. Janella is fully alive! Because Jesus is life!
“He who has the Son has life.” 1 John 5:11-13
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:43
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
Imagine Heaven! It is a place of absolute purity, perfection, indescribable peace, and a place where Janella is immersed in pure, unconditional love. In the presence of God, Janella experiences a love that words cannot explain, and the people of Heaven are filled with a light that is love. So if love is the greatest of all gifts on earth, why would we think God would want to tear that apart or take relationship from us in Heaven? Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything God claims to have done through the prophets and through Jesus is for love – to redeem people to a love relationship through His Son, so He can teach us to love one another as He loves us. God intends those relationships to find their fulfillment in Heaven.
Those relationships don’t die, they go deeper than ever into eternity with God and each other. The greatest love we feel for our spouse, our children, our family, our brothers and sisters, and friends on earth amounts to a teaspoon of love compared to the oceans we will experience together for eternity. God is love, prophets foretold it, Jesus demonstrated it and Heaven will be the greatest reunion ever. Janella is forever home and we look forward to that great reunion where we all will be together forever with our Lord, experiencing His perfect love and His glory.
“For now we see through a glass darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13
Heaven is a place where you realize how uniquely loved you are! But God doesn’t want you to wait until Heaven to realize this. God’s love for each one is so personal. How much does God love YOU? So much that He died for you and took your place for your sin, shame, and guilt. And He took the wrath that you deserved upon Himself. The cross is evidence of God’s love for you!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Death can come at any age. We are only a heartbeat away from eternity. Are you ready to meet God if YOU were to die today? Where would YOU spend eternity? In heaven or in hell? “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
God is holy and just. He cannot tolerate sin in His presence. This is the teaching of the Bible – that God will “by no means clear the guilty.” (Exodus 34:7) “He will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it be good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36) “The soul that sins, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
“Sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4) How many of the Ten Commandments have you broken? Have you ever lied, looked with lust, desired what others have, or taken God’s Name in vain? If God were to judge you on the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty? Would you go to heaven or hell?
Think of it – if God has seen our every thought, word, and deed, and if He is going to bring all of our sins out as evidence of our guilt on the Day of judgment, we will all be found to be guilty. God is a good Judge, He will give us justice. Hell will be the place of our eternal punishment. “For there is nothing covered, that will not be revealed; nor hidden, that will not be known. Fear Him, which after He has killed has power to cast into hell…” (Luke 12:2,5; Mark 9:44,46,48)
God is rich in mercy to all that call upon Him. (Psalm 86:5) “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” (Psalm 103:11) What is the condition that God is looking for? What is God asking of You? God looks to the man that humbles himself with a sincere repentance (sorrow for sin, confession, and abandoning of sin – Isaiah 66:2) and puts his/her faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
“Repentance towards God, and a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
God offers eternal Life through His Son, Jesus Christ. “He who hears My word and believes on Him who sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment (condemnation); but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24) “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Jesus said that He is life, and that we must come to Him to have life.
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” John 11:25,26
New Birth – its necessity for salvation. “Unless you are born again, you shall not see the Kingdom of Heaven.” (John 3:3) When you have humble, sincere repentance towards God and trust in Jesus as your Savior, you will be born again! “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (beating heart).” (Ezekiel 36:26)
According to Bob George, Classic Christianity, Man cannot enter heaven in his spiritually dead state; he must be born again to have spiritual life. Ever since Adam sinned, the earth has been the land of the walking dead – spiritually dead. What is the disease that killed man? ‘The wages of sin is death.’ So from God’s point of view, salvation involves the raising of spiritually dead men to life. So the cross was God’s method of dealing with the disease called sin, and the resurrection of Christ was and is God’s method of giving life to the dead!
Wow! What a great salvation! God calls us to experience the exchanged life. It is total transformation! It is resurrection! It is a new life! And it is expressed in terms of a total exchange of identity. Jesus Christ identified Himself with us in our death in order that we might be identified with Him in His resurrection. We give Christ all that we were – spiritually dead, guilty sinners – and Christ gives us all that He is – resurrected life, forgiveness, righteousness, acceptance.
“For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Spend time with God in prayer and read the Bible daily, and you will see what God has in store for those who love Him. When God sets you free, you are to use your unique gifts, time, and resources to bring Him glory and to advance His Kingdom – to make an impact that lasts for eternity. Not to prove you’re worth something, but because you are worth everything to God. When you are born again and your are saved by His grace, you cannot take credit for this; it is a gift from God…for we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus to do good works. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
What is your purpose? To glorify Him! “Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; And love your neighbor as yourself.” Do those two, Jesus taught, and you fulfill all the other commandments of the Bible. (Matthew 22:34-40) “Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13) Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
Life Review in Heaven – How will you score with Jesus? The moment you begin your new life, God has an agenda for you. He gives you certain amount of time, energy, money, spiritual gifts, and resources. You will meet Christ as Judge when you get to eternity. When you are a believer, you are no longer judged for your sin, because that was judged at the cross. You are justified by His blood. When you are a faithful believer, you are heaven bound. But Jesus is going to do an evaluation of your life. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
Could the question be asked… “Child, what did you do with everything I gave you to glorify Me? What did you do with your life with the gifts, time, money, and resources I gave you? Who did you tell about Me? How much have you loved with your life? Have you loved others as I am loving you? Totally? To what degree have you loved?
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15,23
Let us die to ourselves and let Christ live within us to bring forth abundant fruit to glorify His Name and to advance His Kingdom! Yes, Jesus Christ is worth giving our all for! Remember, Christ deserves glory from every human being He suffered and died for. It is not His will that any perish but all come to the knowledge of the Truth. One soul is worth more than the contents of the entire world. Share this great salvation! Let us be heavenly-minded and eternally focused! On that day, we want to hear…”Well done, good and faithful servant!”