The Sunshine of Heaven
1: Have you ever stopped to think of how many things we could get along without in life? We sometimes feel that such things as money, houses, nice clothes, and education, important friends and a good job are the most important things of life. But even if you have millions of dollars, many houses, all the clothes you desire, the best job, the most important friends, the highest education, and the greatest world success:they are all without meaning if you do not have good health.
2: If you have to go to the hospital because of illness, your education is of little use. Your job may be lost. The old saying that health is wealth is very true. Yet, strange to say, we often forget, or take for granted some of the most important means of promoting good health.
3: Have you ever thought about what a wonderful aid to health, life and happiness God placed in the sky when He sent the sun spinning through space? Without the sun there would be no life at all in our world. Our planet was placed at exactly the right distance from the sun for abundant life and health when all is in order with God's laws.
4: Why is one plant bright green and sturdy-looking? Why is another pale and sickly? The difference is found in the fact that the one had the advantage of sunshine, while the other did not. It makes me think of some of the pale, sickly people who could be healthy and well if they only realized the value of this natural remedy God has given to keep us healthy.
5: Every bite of food you eat is the result of the sun's energy which combined with plant life to produce carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Even meat is indirectly produced by the sun, since the animals lived and grew by eating the food produced by the sun. Your tissue cells get their fuel from the food you eat. So you can see, we are actually sun-powered beings.
6: We really ought to learn about sunshine and its value to our lives besides making plants grow. If we could take a ray of sunlight and break it up into its many parts by putting it through a prism, we would find that a light ray is composed of many rays of different colors. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and indigo. These are the colors we see in the beautiful rainbow. The drops of water in the air, act as a prism to form a rainbow. By the way, all these rays showing color are of different lengths.
7: Can you tell which color has the longest ray? It would be the red, which is at one end. The red rays are longer than the others. That is why red rays are the last you see in a beautiful sunset. When we know that the red rays are the longest, we can easily figure that the indigo rays, the color at the opposite end of the rainbow, are the shortest. Now, most people think that it is the sunshine we see that warms us.
8: However, there are rays which the human eye cannot see. These are longer than the red rays. We call them infrared rays ("Infra" means below so these are below the red rays). Although we cannot see them, these are the rays that warm the earth. If it were not for them, our earth would be a cold, frozen mass.
9: For example, consider a young lady who may carry a parasol to shade her. If we could ask her why she is carrying the parasol, she would say, "Oh, I don't like to get in the sunshine. I like to keep my skin fair." However, the suntan this young lady is trying to avoid does not come from the infrared rays, but from ultraviolet rays ("ultra" means beyond, so these are beyond the violet rays). These are rays that are shorter than the indigo rays. They are also invisible to the human eye. Your skin really needs these rays.
10: You see, your skin is actually a chemical factory that helps to keep you healthy. In your skin is a fatty substance that is powerful enough to combine with some of the calcium and your phosphorus from the food you eat, and help to place it in your bone cells to make them strong. But these little fellows WILL NOT D0 THIS unless they first have a good sun bath. Then they change their name and are called Vitamin D. And it is the ultraviolet light in the sunrays that they need to cause them to do this.
11: If you will let it, sunshine helps to give you that handsome, beautiful look everyone admires. It causes pale, anemic, toneless skin to become smooth, soft, healthy. It actually raises the resistance of the skin against disease germs. It builds up the blood by helping to increase the number of red and white blood cells. It even improves your heart tone! It brings rest and relaxation to your nerves as it increases the blood circulation of your skin.
12: Sunshine is a wonderful healer of wounds. It is also a powerful germ-killer. We should remember that germs grow fastest in warm, damp, dark places. But two hours of direct sunlight will destroy even tuberculosis germs! So for this reason your home should be open to sunlight and fresh air. Even the poorest person has the same advantages as the rich when it comes to the matter of receiving the benefits of this wonderful health-promoter, the sun!
13: Friends, I have mentioned only a very few of the many facts about the sun which helps to give you that handsome, beautiful look. Now let me also mention here a caution. If you have not been getting sunshine everyday, you should START NOW! But remember, you should do this gradually so that you do not get a sunburn. These invisible rays we have talked about can pass right through clouds. This is one explanation of why it is possible to get a sunburn even on a cloudy day, especially if you are at the seashore where the rays are reflected effectively by the water!
14: Mothers, your babies will be more healthy if they get a sunbath every day. If your child is also getting a good diet, this is one of the greatest insurances against rickets. However, be sure that as you give your baby a sunbath, you keep his head covered and start out with just three minutes on the front, and then three minutes on the back. This time can be increased three minutes every day until the baby is taking one hour. The sunbath should be given before ten in the morning, or after three in the afternoon. Do not give a sunbath when the rays are most direct and hot.
15: Friends, we can get along without many things, but we can not live without this great health-promoter God set in our sky. Upon it we depend for food, and for all plant, animal, and human life.
16: I am sure this wonderful life-giving power was what inspired the prophet Malachi to speak of our Lord as the Sun of righteousness who would arise with healing in His wings. Malachi 4:2. At present, we are earthbound as our world rotates around the sun which is about 93,000,000 miles from the earth. Some day soon I plan to take a space trip that will take me from this earth and carry me out past the moon, the sun, and the unnumbered stars of outer space. This is not just a dream. Friends, I would be happy for you to join me.
17: "The heavens, even the heavens are the Lord's: but the earth hath He given to the children of men! Psalm 115:16. Heaven is God's dwelling place, which is so far away that we cannot even understand the distance. According to the Bible, when Christ comes back to this Earth the second time to take His elect, they will be His honoured guests in heaven for 1000 years. We shall learn more about this in our next study.
18: Heaven is a real place, where there are real things and real people. It is the dwelling place of the God-head and of the angels. There is a record of some people from this world who also live there at present. Elijah was taken alive to heaven, to assure us that the righteous living upon the earth at the time of Jesus' second coming will go to heaven without dying. If we are faithful, we shall meet Elijah. Moses, the meekest man who ever lived, is also in heaven now. He was resurrected by Christ after he had died upon a mountain. He represents those who having died while believing in Christ, will be resurrected at Christ's second coming and will be taken to heaven with those who have never died.
19: Heaven is not the place where the saved people will live forever. They will be in heaven just a thousand years and then they will come back to live on this earth! It will be this same earth, but the condition of it will be different. We shall learn about this another time. But we must say now, that when the people come back to this earth, all things will be new and there will be no trace of sin or sorrow or suffering to trouble them.
20: At present Jesus is in heaven preparing a place to welcome His people to. It is a big city called the New Jerusalem. God's throne is there. There is a beautiful river there. It is the river of life. On either side of the river is the tree of life. This tree bears twelve different kinds of fruit. It gives its fruit every month. The leaves may also be eaten. They are for the healing of the nations.
21: "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. And His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face. And His name shall be in their foreheads." (Revelation 22:3.) What a wonderful privilege this will be. Imagine the crowds of people who gather to see the leader of our country. This helps us to understand a little of the crowds and the joy that will be there when we see King Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, face to face.
22: There shall be no night there; there will be no need of candle, neither light of sun; for the Lord God giveth the light. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. No one wants to miss being in a place like that. I am sure I want to be there; don't you?
23: It is for the purpose of taking us to heaven that Jesus is coming back the second time. His repeated assurance is, "Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." "Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14.) "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and idolators, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth neither:. whatsoever maketh abominations, or maketh a lie; but they : which are written in the Lamb's book of Life." Revelation 21:27.
24: Our loving God wants to save everybody. He has : made the provision for everyone to be saved by giving His Son, Jesus, to die for the whole world. But He will not force us. He gives us the power of choice. Let us choose to accept Jesus now, so that when He comes, He will claim us as His own and take us with Him to that wonderful city.
Here is additional information about heaven and our eternal home:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosover believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (also: John 3:14:21,36)
"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Revelation 2:7.
"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Peter 3:13.
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1.
"For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66.22:23.