After a busy Sunday, nine-year-old Raelyn asks her mom to read a bedtime story while she snuggles under the blankets.
“Please, mom, read me a story about heaven like the teacher did today in Sunday School,” Raelyn pleads.
“I would love to, Sweetie. Since you accepted Jesus in your heart a few months ago and turned nine last week, I believe you’re ready to hear and better understand things about heaven.”
“Gee, mom, that sounds interesting. But, what really is heaven?”
“As you may remember, the last time we had a bedtime story, all humans have three parts. The physical, the spirit, and the soul. In God’s order of life, we all must die. Those that have invited Jesus into their hearts will ascend into heaven. But mind you, not the physical, but the soul and spirit.”
“Yeah, I remember!” shouts Raelyn. “We’ll all have glorified bodies and be thirty-three years old.”
“Yes, the same age as Jesus when he was crucified on the cross, died, buried, and resurrected on the third day unto heaven,” Raelyn’s mom exclaims.
“So, mom. What is heaven really like?”
“Hopefully, you’ll understand better when I read about the three couples ascending into heaven.”
Raelyn’s mom begins,
“Once upon a time, but not too long ago, a rancher and his wife raised black-Angus cattle on their thousand-acre pasture. Sadly, one summer, Kevin had a farm machinery accident during the hay baling season and got killed instantly. His wife, Gladys, died from a heart attack upon hearing the news. As Christians, they both were brought into heaven immediately.”
“If I remember correctly, mom, heaven rejoiced when they entered, right?”
“That’s correct, daughter. Did you know that heaven has thousands and thousands of stars?”
“I think so,” Raelyn replies.
“According to science, a small star could hold thousands or millions of galaxies. When it comes to heaven, Christians believe each star is a house, and in that house are many mansions, which scientists call galaxies. To underscore the importance, Raelyn’s mom explains with a Bible verse.
“Jesus said, ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be there also.'”
“I remember the Sunday School teacher sharing that verse with us, but that’s weird, mom. How can a mansion fit into a house?” Raelyn inquires.
“In God’s universe, everything is possible.”
“So, does that mean God can get me a bicycle?” Raelyn asks, thinking she has found a new way to get her dream bike.
Her mom replies, “That answer requires a different bedtime story. But for now, let’s get back to Kevin and Gladys arriving in heaven.”
“Sure, mom, but I’m still praying for that bicycle!”
“Okay, you certainly should,” Raelyn’s mom encourages her while she continues to read the story.
“As Kevin and Gladys enter heaven, they arrive at God’s headquarters, at the star called Abraham.
“Welcome to heaven,” a loud booming voice amplified through the air.
“You’ll never see the face of God. Just hear his voice,” St. Peter informs them.
“Gladys, this is so spectacular words cannot describe the majestic splendor of heaven,” Kevin shares.
“I know what you mean,” Gladys states as she gazes at the wonder.
“You’ll both be residing at headquarters for a five-day orientation. During your stay, when Jesus visits us, you’ll witness the cherubim’s one-million-person choir during a banquet celebration worshipping God’s son, Jesus Christ, in song, music, and words,” St. Peter informs them.
“One-million voices singing in unison, that must be awesome,” Kevin states.
“Yes, it is. Actually heavenly,” St. Peter replies.
“I’m curious, what happens after orientation is completed?” Gladys inquires.
“You two were cattle ranchers, right?” St. Peter asks.
“Yes, we were. How did you know?” Kevin asks.
“This is heaven. We know everything, and soon you will also,” St. Peter answers. “By the way, to answer your question, Gladys, on completion, you and Kevin will be residing in our mansion named Jacob. This will be your permanent home, but you’ll be free to visit all the other mansions on your days off, except for Sunday church service.”
“Days off? Church service?” questions Kevin.
“Yes! You and Gladys are managers of God’s ten-million-acre cattle and horse ranch. Your days off are usually Monday and Tuesday, except when Jesus pays us a visit. And you’re in for a treat on Sunday church service!” St. Peter shouts with prayerful enthusiasm.
“How so?” inquires Gladys.
“God and his son, Jesus Christ, open heavens curtain in all its glory, and one hundred and ten billion saints attend service, all singing in unison,” St. Peter declares.
“Anyone off-key wouldn’t be noticed with that many people singing,” Gladys said.
“This is heaven. No one sings off-key,” St. Peter shares politely.
“Do I dare ask,” Kevin timidly states, “is there a choir director?”
“Yes, and he’s also the musical director, King David,” St. Peter answers.
“I can’t wait for Sunday to roll around,” Gladys shouts joyfully.
“You’ll only have three days to wait. Now follow me, please, and I’ll take you to your first orientation session,” St. Peter states.
No sooner had St. Peter returned to the front entrance of headquarters when another couple showed up.
“You must be Ralph and Lori Brentwood. I’ve been expecting you,” St. Peter shares.
“My goodness gracious, how did you know our names?” Ralph inquires.
“This is heaven. We know all things. Even in advance before they occur,” St. Peter states politely.
“This place is so majestic. I’m wonder-struck,” Lori states.
“You two were farmers, right?” St. Peter knows the answer but asks the question for their benefit.
“Yes, how did you….,” Ralph figures it out. “Of course, this is heaven, and all things are known.”
“You’re standing in headquarters, the sanctuary for Sunday Church Service. Your permanent residence mansion will be the star of Amos. But, for now, follow me, please, and I’ll walk you to your first day of orientation. You’ll be teaming up with Kevin and Gladys Smith.”
As they are walking, Lori asks, “Why the star of Amos for our home?”
“He was the farmer for all fruit, vegetable, nuts, and fig trees. You two will be managers for God’s ten-million-acre farmland producing all those eatables. We don’t eat meat in heaven and allow our livestock to roam God’s abundant pastures. So, our diet consists of all the items from the farmland,” St. Peter shares eloquently.
“How will Lori and I manage ten million acres?” Ralph questions firmly.
“In heaven, we work and travel at the speed of light whenever we want, 186,000 miles per second. Believe me, you won’t have any trouble managing God’s plentiful farmland,” St. Peter assures them.
It was a busy Thursday for St. Peter. The third couple, Henry and Robin Worth, were waiting for his return at headquarters.
“Greetings, sorry I’m late. If we hurry, you can join the others on the first day of orientation.
“What orientation?” Henry inquires.
“I’ll fill you in while we walk. By the way, your residence mansion home will be the star of Martha. You two did own a restaurant and bakery, right?”
St. Peter gives them the benefit of confirming.
“Yes, we did, but how is that relevant here in heaven,” Robin asks.
“The two of you will be cooking, baking, and preparing meals for all the residence in heaven,” St. Peter states joyously.
“How many is that?” inquires Henry.
“One hundred and ten billion!” St. Peter shares with bravado.
“That’s impossible!” Lori shouts. “The most we ever served was two hundred and twenty on Mother’s Day.”
“Nothing is impossible in heaven, you’ll see. Here we are at last. Your first day in orientation. The Smiths and Brentwoods will fill you in on the details. I’ll see you all after class at the supper table,” St. Peter shares.
As St. Peter walks out, Lori shouts, “if Henry and I aren’t cooking tonight, who is?”
“Jesus Christ himself!”
Do you know what he’s preparing?” Henry inquires.
“Yes. Grilled fish and garlic-buttered loaves of bread,” St. Peter answers.
Over supper, Lori asks St. Peter a question.
“I thought you stated we don’t eat meat in heaven, but tonight we have fish. How is this?”
“When Jesus visits us, whether he cooks or not, we always have fish. It’s his signature dish from his glory days on earth. Amen!”
Gladys also asks St. Peter a question.
“I think it was a few hundred yards out; as I walked to orientation class and off to the right, I saw a large crowd of women. They looked like they were on their knees, worshipping other saints. Am I seeing things, or is this true?”
“All things in heaven are true,” St. Peter assures Gladys. “What you witnessed was our baby section. All those women had an abortion while living on earth, and now they ask their babies for forgiveness. God and his son, Jesus Christ, have already forgiven each woman. But they want to acknowledge their love for their babies and personally ask forgiveness from them.”
“Is this a constant?” Gladys inquires.
“Over one-hundred and twenty million babies have been aborted on earth. Heaven provides a thirteen-hour forgiveness class for each group of thirty women and their aborted babies. After class, they’ll reside in the Star of Rebekah and respective mansions,” St. Peter articulates.
Following a most delightful super, Jesus invites the one-million-person Cherubin choir to come in and sing, along with the one-thousand-piece orchestra led by King David.
The orientation class on day two was most interesting for the three couples. St. Peter makes an announcement at the podium.
“Now that you’re in heaven, I’m guessing none of you noticed that you didn’t sleep last night. Instead, you were all singing for eight hours. I must admit, your voices were heavenly.”
“Come to think of it, St. Peter, you’re right. We didn’t sleep last night because it never got dark,” Ralph said.
Lori Brentwood shares with the group, “During all the activities yesterday, I noticed heaven is bright all the time, no darkness. Why is that St. Peter?”
“The radiance glowing from Jesus Christ emits light constantly throughout heaven without interruption.
Kevin jumped into the conversation, “I also noticed there aren’t any clocks or calendars here. So, St. Peter, how do we know what time or day it is?”
“There will never be a concern for knowing the time or day in heaven. You’re in the love and care of our savior, Jesus Christ,” St. Peter confirms.
“So, will we be singing every night for eight hours, St. Peter,” inquires Gladys.
“Yes and no!” declares St. Peter. “It all depends on who’s leading the cherubim choir. King David, the Apostle Paul, or Jesus Christ. But in heaven, time and day are irrelevant. You know, some days you’ll be singing and worshiping for twenty-four hours. Glory to God!” shouts St. Peter.
“I don’t know if my voice can last that long!” Lori shares.
“I guarantee your voice and everyone’s voice will be in heavenly pitch and form,” declares St. Peter.
“You may also have observed that we eat a family-style supper at six p.m. once daily. Hence, your mansions don’t have any kitchens or anything else,” St. Peter shares.
Henry states, “I’m guessing because we now have a glorified body and reside in heaven, none of our previous earthly necessities are needed here.”
“Right answer, Henry. Congrats,” St. Peter marvels.
Kevin stands to speak, “I believe I speak for all of us assembled here on day two of orientation. We all are grateful to be in heaven, St. Peter; thank you.”
“You’re most welcome, Kevin, but I don’t suppose any of you remember how you got accepted into heaven?” St. Peter looks around the class waiting for anyone to answer.
“I didn’t think so. Your ascension was in a nanosecond, yet the answer is simple. Each of you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Some of you walked the Romans Road of Salvation. Others cited The Sinners Prayer. I believe this is a good time to refresh our hearts and repeat after me out loud the words I say.”
“Dear Jesus, I need you. I am humbly calling out to you. I’m tired of doing things my way. Help me to start doing things your way. I invite you into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior. Fill the emptiness in me with your Holy Spirit and make me whole. Lord, help me to trust you. Help me to live for you. Help me to understand your grace. Help me to understand your mercy and your peace. Thank you, Lord Jesus, Amen.”
St. Peter emphasizes, “Your instructions back on earth would be that If you prayed this from your heart sincerely, you would write your name by it along with today’s date as a reminder that you have come to Jesus Christ as a New Born-Again Christian trusting Him as your Lord and Savior on this glorious day.”
“I sort of remember saying something like that,” Ralph shares. “I trusted Jesus, and in faith, I believed.”
“Your belief in Jesus was your ticket to heaven. I’m glad you’re here,” St. Peter states.
“I believed the Romans Road of Salvation words, and look! I’m in heaven with you all,” Lori shouts with joy.
Mommie, earlier in the story, you said light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Is that fast?” Raelyn asks.
“Yes, dear, it’s very fast. Only a few humans can understand the magnitude of that speed. But, in heaven, that will be the normal speed when desired.”
“So, mommy. What speed would I be traveling at if I had a bike?”
“Wow! You don’t give up. I love and admire your persistence, Raelyn. Okay, tell you what. I’ll ask your dad if you agree to feed, play, and clean the backyard after the puppy for thirty days; we’ll get you a bike then. How does that sound?”
Instantly, Raelyn jumps out of bed, runs down the stairs, jumps on dad’s lap, and gives him a hug.
“Oh, thank you, Daddy. Thank you, Daddy.”
“What’s this all about?” asks Raelyn’s dad.
“Mommy said if I take care of puppy face for a month, you will get me a bike.”
Raelyn’s dad gave a questioning glare at her mom as she came down from upstairs into the living room.
“Our daughter is a born saleslady. She won me over, Lee.”
“Well, young lady, it’s way past your bedtime. How about if mommy finishes reading you the bedtime story tomorrow night?”
“Sure, dad. That would be okay, and thanks for the bike.”
Raelyn runs up the stairs with gladness in her heart and jumps into bed.
“I understand the winning over part,” implores Lee. “Raelyn has the gift of a salesperson, all right. How could I say no?”
Hopefully, she’ll keep her end of the bargain,” Rosemary said.
“Rosemary, you know once she gets her bike, caring for the puppy will all but be forgotten. I hope you weren’t thinking she’d continue after the month.”
“Yeah, I was,” sighs Rosemary.
Kevin, Gladys, Ralph, and Lori arrived early for Sunday Church service at the star of Abraham. Henry and Robin ran late and had to implement their 186,000-travel speed to arrive on time.
As the service began, God and His Son, Jesus, pulled back the curtain of heaven, and as always, the one hundred and ten billion saints were in attendance. The one-thousand-piece orchestra led by the Apostle Paul this morning and the 1000-person Cherubim choir were in heavenly accord as the music and voices singing filled the universe.
Gladys whispers in Kevin’s ear, “I am so glad we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. This church service isn’t anything like I’ve witnessed before.”
“With over a hundred billion people singing along with the choir and accompanying music, how could it not be splendid?” Kevin joyfully replies.
Ralph whispers to Lori, “Do you recognize who’s leading the choir?”
“I don’t believe I do.”
“He looks like Timothy, St. Paul’s assistant.”
“Yes, he does, now that you mention it,” Lori replies.
Robin whispers in Henry’s ear, “The orchestra and choir are fantastic. Let’s show our appreciation and bake them some cupcakes and serve them after church.”
“Splendid idea, Robin. Do you know if there’s a fellowship Hall in this church?” Henry inquires.
“I see St. Peter standing in the back of the auditorium; I’ll ask him,” states Robin.
Robin inquires, “St. Peter, may I ask you a question?”
“Of course. What’s on your mind?”
“Henry and I would like to show our appreciation to the choir and orchestra members and bake them some cupcakes. Is there a fellowship hall here where we could host a gathering?” Robin asks.
“Yes, there is. I’ll walk you to it when the cupcakes are finished,” St. Peter politely replies.
“Should I bake two for each member, around four-thousand cupcakes?
“That sounds good. But Robin, you only have three minutes left before service ends!” St. Peter declares
“Oh my goodness, what should I do?” Robin hits the panic button.
“Implement your heavenly speed of 186,000 miles per second. With the help of Ralph and Lori, you’ll be able to plant, harvest, grind, bake, and decorate those four thousand cakes in less than three minutes. I guarantee it,” St. Peter encourages Robin.
“Where is the oven?”
“A million miles away from the face of God. His brightness and heat are more powerful than His son, Jesus Christ. Now go, make haste, Robin,” St. Peter encourages her one more time.
After service, the Fellowship Hall was filled with joyous laughter, everyone enjoying those delicious cupcakes Robin and Henry baked.
Orientation day four was filled with heavenly buzz regarding yesterday’s church service.
“Kevin and I were in heavenly bliss throughout the church service,” Gladys shares with the class.
“Anyone has an idea how long it lasted? Lori and I had to leave early to plant wheat, harvest it, and grind it into flour for the cupcakes. Ralph states
“I’m not sure. Let’s ask St. Peter,” Kevin shares.
“As I mentioned before, time is irrelevant in heaven, but if you must know, about twelve hours on earth,” St. Peter explains with love.
“Wow, it seemed like only twelve minutes,” Gladys declares.
“Well, in heaven, it was twelve seconds,” St. Peter shares.
“By the way, Kevin and Gladys, how are the both of you like being the managers of God’s ten-million-acre pasture land?” St. Peter inquires.
“This may sound redundant, but it’s heavenly. I’ve begun naming all the cattle and horses,” Gladys said.
“I’ve never seen so many hills before; usually, grazing land is fairly flat,” Kevin states.
“The cattle on a thousand hills are mine, saith the Lord,” St. Peter quotes
“You got that right. I’m sure there are at least a thousand hills in this ten-million-acre range,” Kevin shares.
“Have you noticed that the livestock doesn’t have any babies? It’s the same in heaven with humans. Babies aren’t born; they’re ascended. Any baby seven years or younger that got killed or died will automatically be brought into heaven. Once here, everyone is thirty-three years old with a new glorified body. On the other hand, all animals and creatures big and small are seven years old,” St. Peter informs the class.
“You mentioned all creatures big and small. Are there other animals here in heaven besides cattle and horses?” Robin inquires.
St. Peter answers, “Yes, the rest are all residing on the star of Pluto with many galaxies in it. One is exclusively for cats and dogs; another is for all the jungle creatures. When you visit Pluto, you’ll witness the peace that resides in heaven with the Lion and lamb lying side by side. All creatures are safe with each other in heaven.”
“How many animals and creatures in total are here?” Ralph asks.
“For every million people that ascend into heaven, we bring up one animal and creature,” St. Peter shares.
That same afternoon, orientation day four, the three couples visit the star of Pluto.
“My oh my!” exclaims Gladys. “I haven’t seen this many dogs and cats ever!
“I wonder if I call out our dog’s name if he comes to me?” Kevin questions.
“Go ahead and try it. I hope you brought some treats,” Henry cautions.
“Okay, here goes. Frisky! Frisky, come here!” Kevin shouts.
Over one thousand dogs came running to Kevin.
“This is not what I expected,” Kevin declares. “Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any treats.”
“No worries,” Henry shares. “I brought three-thousand treats, just in case.”
“You’re a savior, Henry, thanks.”
“No, not really. Glad to help, but Jesus is the true savior! I’m a thankful saint giving honor and glory to my Lord,” Henry proclaims.
When visiting the jungle side of Pluto, all three couples were astounded by seeing the Lion and lamb lying together.
“Do you see what I see?” Lori asked the group.
Surprisingly no one answered.
“All the lions are licking the lambs. Why do you suppose that is?” Lori asked again.
“I believe the lions are licking the wounds of the lambs,” states Robin.
“Yes, that could very well be. Allow me to take it a step further,” declares Kevin. “Do you suppose our singing and voices vibrating throughout heaven is like us applying healing ointment to the wounds Jesus bore for us?”
“Yes!” shouts Gladys. “That explains the billions of voices singing on Sunday, filling the universe with melodious harmony.”
“Amen, sister,” declares Ralph.
St. Peter walks up to the podium and faces the class.
“I have good news; you all have graduated from orientation class! It is my honor to bestow upon each of you the title of ambassador host at heaven’s gate,” St. Peter states with heavenly flair.
Henry asks, “Are there any responsibilities with this title?”
“Yes, of course. You’ll walk the new arrivals through the five-day orientation as I have done with you,” St. Peter states. “Each couple will greet three other couples when they arrive at heaven’s gate.”
“It may be none of my business, but are we losing you, St. Peter?” Robin asks.
“In heavens economy of scales, we need to clone thousands and thousands of ambassadors. We need to get ready for the rapture. Millions of saints will flood God’s glorious heaven on that day.”
“Do you know when that day will be, St. Peter” Kevin inquires.
“No!! But, I can assure you, God’s heaven has all the millions of rooms needed for the saints when they arrive. When the vacancy level reaches zero, that will be the end of the day of the rapture. It will take you an eternity to explore God’s vast universe, and then you still won’t fully know the depth, width, and height of its entirety,” St. Peter states.
“I am ready to accept the role of ambassador,” Kevin declares.
The rest follow in unison. After completing the five-day orientation with the new couples, Kevin and the rest of the group pass the torch of ambassadorship to the nine new teams they had just trained.
St. Peter smiles, knowing heaven will be ready for the millions and millions of saints arriving on the day of the rapture. Only God knows when, but St. Peter has been doing this for over two thousand years, preparing heaven for the day of the rapture.
“”Wow, mom! That was a good story. It sounds like the rapture will be awesome!”” Raelyn shouts with joy.
“”Yes, it will be. Now go ahead and get some sleep. Don’t forget that tomorrow is a school day, and dad will take you to school this week. Love you, sweetheart,”” Rosemary plants a soft kiss on Raelyn’s forehead and heads downstairs.
“”Lee, I think we should encourage Raelyn to enroll in Religious Studies, allowing her to seek God’s will for her life,”” Rosemary vaults the question.
“”Don’t you think she’s too young at age nine?” Lee implores.
“No, not at all. All great scholars, preachers, athletes, and composers started around age three. When I get to heaven, I would like to hear my Lord say, ‘well-done mom, you did a good job with your child.'”
“Far be it from me to stand in the way of you receiving accolades from the Lord. Don’t get me wrong, I would also like to hear those words. Rosemary, if I recall, isn’t that religion class conducted by the church on Saturday mornings?”
“Yes. Two hours in the morning every Saturday,” Rosemary confirms.
“I have an idea. Let’s swing by the church next Saturday morning and check out the class. If Raelyn is interested, on the way home, let’s get her that dream bicycle she’s always wanted,” Lee offers the surprise!
“I’m thinking Raelyn will be busy caring for the puppy, doing school work and activities, and prayerfully doing religious studies, so why not?”
No sooner had he spoken the last word when Rosemary jumped on his lap and gave him a big hug and kiss.
“You’re a wonderful dad, you know, Lee.”
“Thank you. I try my best.”
Next Saturday morning, after visiting the church and the religion class in progress, Rosemary and Lee stop at the bike shop. Raelyn leaps out of the car, jumping for joy.
“Are you guys buying me a bike today?” Raelyn’s eyes are open wide with anticipation.
“Yes, we are, sweetie,” her mom states.
“Your mom and I are proud of you, Raelyn. No matter how long or short you attend class, when we get home, we’ll lay
hands-on you while we pray and dedicate your life to the Lord. Would you like that, Raelyn?” her dad asks.
“Yes, I would, Dad. But not because you and mom are getting me the bicycle, but in my heart, I want to share Jesus with as many people as possible.”
“Those are the sweetest words I’ve heard all week,” Lee shares with the family through tears of heavenly joy.
Twenty years later, Raelyn became one of the boldest world-renowned evangelists sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His good news worldwide. Amen.
Brandon J Rosenberg is the Christian author of the Cedar Creek County Mystery and Thriller Series. He has the unique craft of combining Christianity and Worldly living into a compelling fictional story of how God can change anyone’s life. His stories are filled with intrigue, flirty romance, humor, and heartfelt miracles that will inspire you to the last page.
Enjoy reading all his books in the Cedar Creek County Mystery and Thriller Series.