Heaven Awaits, Part 1

Part 1 Part 2

What glorious life awaits Christians after death? Find out with guests Dr. David Reagan and Terry James along with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!

Air Date: May 25, 2024

Video References

Dr. David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Terry James, Rapture Ready
Hereafter: It’s Far Better Than You Can Imagine


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Tim Moore: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope and welcome to another episode of Christ in Prophecy. In John 14, our Lord Jesus said that He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house, meaning Heaven. The Bible provides many tantalizing glimpses of just what life in Heaven is going to be like, and it’s such a shame that the mind of man cannot fully comprehend the glories that await us. But that only means Heaven will be far more incredible than we could ever possibly imagine.

Nathan Jones: For Christians, death itself has been defeated. The Apostle Paul taught that while living in this life, we offer fruitful labor to our Lord. But once we depart this life, we will be with Christ, which as Paul said, “to die is gain.” Heaven is far better than this temporal life. And yet most people are so focused on our earthly life that they seldom give a thought to what lies beyond, or if they do think of the afterlife, it’s with the grim dread of death. Instead of longing to be with Jesus, some professing Christians cling to this life at all costs. They exhibit a fear of death that would have been foreign to the New Testament writers.

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Part 1

Tim Moore: And that’s why we’ve invited two experts on the subject of the afterlife to teach us what awaits Christians in our Heavenly home. Dr. David Reagan is the founder of Lamb & Lion Ministries and has just published a new book entitled “How to Die with a Smile on Your Face.” And Terry James of Rapture Ready is a longtime friend of the ministry, and he and his coauthor, Johnathan Brentner, have just released their new book on Heaven, entitled “Hereafter: It’s Far Better Than you can Imagine.” Well, gentlemen, thank you both for joining us today on Christ in Prophecy.

Dr. Reagan: Well, it’s good to be here always.

Tim Moore: Always. Yes, sir. It’s good to have you back always.

Terry James: So thankful to be with you guys.

Nathan Jones: In person too, it’s very nice to have you here in person, Terry.

Terry James: Thank you.

Tim Moore: It sure is we are tired of all these Zoom interviews that we had to do over the last couple of years. Well, let’s jump right into this topic, because I know it’s fascinating to all of our viewers. It has been to Nathan and I. And I’ve entitled this episode Heaven Awaits because really, our eternal home waits for us. We look forward to going to being with our Lord. But there are so many Christians that are not looking forward to that, and yet we are assured of a glorious life beyond this realm. So, is that what motivated you all to write your books?

Dr. Reagan: Well, you touched on your introduction about why I wrote this particular book, and that’s because, it says in Hebrews 2 that one of the reasons Jesus came was to deliver people from the lifelong bondage to the fear of death. And people live in that bondage. But what began to really concern me is the fact that I would say, without hesitation, that the majority of Christians continue to live in fear of the bondage of death. And the reason is very simple, they go to churches that never teach anything about Bible prophecy, anything about the future. They don’t know anything about the future. They don’t know what’s going to happen when they die. And so they cling to this world like this is all we have.

And so I decided that I would try to write a book that indicated some of the glorious promises that God has made. The moment that you take that last breath, you’re going to be ushered into something beyond anything you can imagine. And Paul mentioned that in Romans 8:18 when he said, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is yet to be revealed to us.” And let me tell you, that’s a mouthful. Every one of us know people who are suffering mightily.

Tim Moore: Oh yes.

Dr. Reagan: My wife suffered horribly for 18 years and in the last five years of her life, she could not see, she could not speak, she could not walk. And every time I went that evening, each evening to feed her, I would read to her from the Bible. And I’d always conclude the evening by reading that verse from Romans 8:18, and that’s on her tombstone, that particular verse. Paul also said that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the mind of man even conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Tim Moore: I’ve been there when you’ve read that verse, and it always was touching to me. And Terry, of course, that touches on your subtitle: It’s Far Better Than You Can Imagine.

Terry James: And it is. I want to give Johnathan Brentner a great deal of credit for this book. He wrote the balance of this book. And Dave stole some of my thunder there with using that verse. “Eye hath not seen, or ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” And we, you know, we can’t even imagine what that means. And it’s an infinite concept. And, God does say that it has, because we have His Spirit we do understand that that is coming. And so, we know that, that God has great things prepared for us. And it’s just a matter of trust and faith that, no matter what our circumstances are, Dave just mentioned, the circumstance with Ann and other things. But Dave kept the faith that he knew better things were coming, and he told her that, even though she might, I understood there at the last. And I guarantee you right now, she is enjoying glory beyond anything we can imagine.

Dr. Reagan: Amen.

Terry James: It is glorious and maybe we can get into my own personal experience later.

Tim Moore: We will do so.

Nathan Jones: It struck me interesting that both of you decided to write a book on Heaven at the same time. And I’ve run into other Bible prophecy teachers who are currently working on books on Heaven. It’s like the Holy Spirit is telling Christian teachers, now is the time. So, gentlemen, people look up in the sky and they say, I’d like to go to Heaven one day. Is Heaven up in the sky? Where is Heaven? Terry?

Terry James: Well, some people, you know, I saw that David said before, you know, it’s not dimensional, he felt, I mean, that was my understanding of it. And it isn’t dimensional in the sense of some ethereal thing that has no substance, but it dimensional in the sense that it’s another, totally different existence than this one, because it’s perfect, it’s God’s dimension. And, and so that that’s what we’re looking for. And, I believe that it’s just in the next breath you take, you could be there if you’re a Christian.

Nathan Jones: So maybe not an actual location, but a different dimension?

Terry James: It is a place, yeah. Jesus said He’s gone to prepare a place for us, in John 14:1-3 it says He’s gone to prepare a place for us, let not your heart be troubled. That’s a pretty good coming from the Lord. And He’s going to prepare a place. If He’s gone to prepare a place He’ll come again and receive us unto Himself that where He is, there we may be also. Now that’s a great promise from the Lord Himself. So, He’s preparing a place, it doesn’t sound like something that’s just ethereal or non-physical.

Dr. Reagan: My response to that is that Heaven is where God resides. Right now we have when we speak of the heavens, we have the atmosphere of this planet, we have outer space, and then we have the Heaven where God resides. And, that Heaven is going to move. It’s going to move because it says in Revelation 20–in the book of Revelation, it says that in the end times, when everything is wrapped up here after the Millennium and the new earth has been created, that God is going to come down to earth, and He is going to reside in our presence in the New Jerusalem on the new earth. And, that’s going to be a very tangible existence. And so Heaven will come to earth at that point because that’s where God’s going to reside in the New Jerusalem, on the new earth, and Heaven will move.

Tim Moore: I think some people probably think of Heaven being up in the air or the sky, because even as Jesus ascended into the air, into the heavens and the apostles watched Him go, He was going up. Now He disappeared from view, and I think He went into that other, we say dimension in our modern terms, but really just that abode of God, where the Heavenly Father awaited Him, where He is there preparing a place for us. But we called you all experts, and the expertise you have gained is from your study of God’s Word, from reading all sorts of other understandings. So what have you gleaned that we can look forward to as we transition from this life? We shuffle off this mortal coil, as Shakespeare said, and step into eternity at the Lord’s side.

Dr. Reagan: Well, I grew up in a church that taught that Heaven was an ethereal place. That when we died, we went to Heaven and we became disembodied spirits that floated around on clouds and playing harps. I’ll never forget that. I used to go home when I’d hear that, I get in the closet and die laughing, because I went to a church that believed that instrumental music was a terrible sin, and that a Baptist piano player was going to spend eternity in the deepest, darkest, hottest part of Hell.

Nathan Jones: And they’re going to give you a harp.

Dr. Reagan: Playing harps eternally, and it made no sense to me whatsoever. And it shouldn’t, because that’s not what the Bible says. My greatest discovery, when I started studying Bible prophecy was that we were going to have literal bodies, on a literal planet, in a literal New Jerusalem, and I just couldn’t get over it. I mean, that’s what the Bible says, and I accept it.

Nathan Jones: Excellent. How about you, Terry?

Terry James: Well, God has promised that we’re going to have a life after death and I have to believe that this is a thing that’s going to happen. And, so it’s a literal place, and we’re going to be there. And I again, I, could personally attest to that. And the thing I remember most of all, to tell people is that Paul has said it, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Now, I can again testify firsthand and maybe we’ll get into it, that it is instantaneous. It’s an instantaneous translation from this world to the next. It’s going to be the same with the Rapture. But it’s that way when through the portal of death also.

Nathan Jones: Because we’re ushered into Jesus’s presence by His angels, right?

Terry James: Well, yeah. I mean, maybe we’ll get into that in a minute, whenever I get a chance to talk about it.

Dr. Reagan: Let me ask you a question.

Terry James: Yes, please.

Dr. Reagan: Most churches teach soul sleep, that when you die, your soul goes to sleep, you lie in the grave comatose, waiting for the resurrection. What about it?

Terry James: No, no, it’s instantaneous here and then we’re with the Lord, and we’re at least in the Heavenly realm when we pass. And, there’s just no question about it in my mind, I’m basing it on the Scripture of course, it’s Paul who said it, and I believe it.

Dr. Reagan: But they come back with this statement that so often the Bible speaks of death as sleep.

Terry James: Yeah, but there’s not even sleep. Yeah, that’s a term they use in, in ancient terminology and so forth for death, sleep in God’s Word. And again, more general term for those who are saved–

Nathan Jones: Because the body sleeps in the ground.

Dr. Reagan: The body.

Nathan Jones: But the soul is up in Heaven.

Dr. Reagan: Because the body is going to wake one of these days.

Nathan Jones: Yes.

Tim Moore: It’s buried perishable. It is raised imperishable, but our soul, our spirit, goes to be with the Lord. And so our soul does not go to sleep, just our body, which awaits the resurrection.

Nathan Jones: But that means then we’re never disembodied. We will always have a physical, tangible, recognizable body that touches, that eats just like Jesus’ resurrected body. Correct?

Dr. Reagan: That’s correct. Yeah.

Nathan Jones: Okay.

Tim Moore: Okay, so I got a question Dave, we’re going to turn to your book about “Dying With a Smile on Your Face.” And obviously, we both touched on the fact that too many Christians don’t have that sense of assurance. They actually have a dread. And yet Paul in 1 Corinthians 5 described the worn out bodies in existence we experience in this life, and then said, as you’ve already read, therefore I think you referred to anyway, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” That instantaneous transition to being in His presence. So why are Christians afraid of this transition?

Dr. Reagan: Because they know nothing about it. How– in fact, on the very first page of my preface, I say, how can you get excited about something you know nothing about?

Tim Moore: True.

Dr. Reagan: If you don’t know anything about what’s going to happen when you die, you can’t get excited about what’s going to happen when you die.

Nathan Jones: Especially with all the misconceptions floating around out there about the afterlife that I think Satan uses to make it seem boring and tedious and even frightening.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, and it’s going to be anything but boring and tedious. For example, the Bible says that nobody’s ever seen the face of God, but Revelation says that we will see God’s face when we are in the Heavenly abode in the New Jerusalem. And I think that means we’re going to have an intimate relationship with our Creator throughout all eternity. That’s exciting. It says we’re going to serve Him. And how are we going to serve? It doesn’t say, but I can just imagine that the gifts that we have right now will be greatly multiplied, that singers will be able to sing like they never sang before. The glory of God, from the deepest voice to the highest voice. I think that poets will write poetry like they never wrote before, to the glory of God. Painters will paint like they’ve never painted before. I can imagine going to a worship service led by David.

Tim Moore: Wow.

Dr. Reagan: And him dancing and singing and all of us getting involved in that I can imagine.

Tim Moore: You mean, we’re going to dance in Heaven?

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Tim Moore: All right, I better I tell my Baptist friends.

Dr. Reagan: That college– is doing that right now.

Nathan Jones: I look forward to seeing Tim dance.

Dr. Reagan: And then in addition to that, I think it can you imagine sitting down and having a study of the book of John with John?

Nathan Jones: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: When he finished it by saying there are so many other things that Jesus did that I haven’t recorded, that if I recorded all of the books, the world would not be able to contain all the books.

Tim Moore: I want to hear everything that Jesus had to say to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus that he revealed to them. And obviously, I think we have more understanding in hindsight. There’s one other reason, I think Christians and everyone else is fearful of death is because they’re fearful of dying that process, and there’s sometimes pain. So you mentioned the 18 years of decline with Miss Ann. And so sometimes Christians, it’s like having a tooth pulled or let’s say, in our modern sense, a lot of people are afraid of the surgery to have a knee replaced. They know they’re going to be able to jump and walk and do everything else. But there’s a period of pain they dread the pain. And we have to have an eternal perspective to realize all the pain we suffer here and now.

Dr. Reagan: But even when she was suffering so greatly because of her Christian perspective, she was able, when I would say to her, Ann I am so sorry you’re suffering so much, she would always say, oh, there are people suffering for greater than I am. And she would just pray about it. And then when after she died, I picked up her Bible and I was looking through it was a Ryrie Study Bible. And I got to, she had notes all through it, and I got to the book of Job. And she had this written at the end of the book of Job. The great lesson of this book is that if we really know God, we do not need to know why He allows us to experience what we do not understand. He is in control. He loves us even when He appears not to.

Tim Moore: Wow.

Nathan Jones: Terry, you gave me some hope. People are always asking this ministry, what are we going to look like? Or how old are we going to be when we get to Heaven? Maybe you could briefly share your back from the dead kind of experience and what the people look like that you saw, because I think a lot of people are really curious about what we’re going to look like for all eternity.

Terry James: Well, this all started with a widow maker heart attack in 2011, Good Friday. And it was on Good Friday of 2011. And I came in and told my wife that I was having trouble getting clammy and so forth. You better call 911. And she knows that, you know, I don’t go to the doctor unless it’s just like pulling teeth or worse. And so, she called and pretty soon they were out there and on the way to the hospital, they are pulling me out of the back of the ambulance on the gurney, the van. And my heart stopped. I heard this blip sound like a computer blip, and I was in the presence of these young, beautiful people, young men, and young women. And they were beautiful dressed.

And here I am blind. I’ve been blind since 1994. And so here I was, seeing this beautiful experience, having this beautiful experience with these young people. And they were bidding me to come to them. Well, everything I started toward them, everything turned dark. And I heard some young men say I had to hit him with the paddles. I said, what paddles? He said the defib paddles. And he put me on down the hall toward the Cath lab. And my wife said that they told her that I was dead on arrival. And, I remembered going down and again, the same blip. And I was in a meeting instantaneously, in the presence of these young people, again, the same young people and they’re bidding me to come to them. They were smiling and laughing and having a great time. And I said, man, I love this place. I don’t leave here. Well, the third time was on the Cath lab table and, they were working on me, and I had heard the same thing and, I was in front. This time we were running together, and we were running toward something effortlessly, but it was like a victory lap. And then this young, beautiful young woman looked over at me as we were running, with her hands raised near and smiling brightly, and she said, and it was like, she didn’t say it, but I knew what she was saying, “Isn’t this just the most wonderful thing you’ve ever experienced.” And I was thinking to myself, it sure is, and I don’t want to leave this time. And then everything drew dark again, and I was on the last Cath lab table and they were fixing me up and all that.

Well, since God has shown me that it is Hebrews 12:1-3, or 4, we’re running toward the throne and, to the great prize of Jesus, you know. And so that’s what my experience was. And it was so spectacular, according to doctors, the cardiologist, that they gave me the patient of the year award simply because I survived. But, you know it stays on the little corner of my shelf in my office right now. And then they, but more than that, what I really loved was they invited me to come and speak to the Cardiological Association a big group of cardiologists, and they wanted me to speak to them, so I did. And guess who I told them about? I told them about the Lord Jesus. And I of course gave them due credit for their acumen in medicine and all this, but I told them about Jesus. And they applauded so I guess they weren’t too disenchanted with me.

Dr. Reagan: They didn’t boo you, huh?

Tim Moore: Terry, when I heard that story the first time, I thought maybe you’d woke up in Kentucky to see all those beautiful young people.

Dr. Reagan: This is more than I can take.

Tim Moore: More than you can take. But honestly, it’s a beautiful story because as you tell your testimony, and you’ve been blind now for many years, our viewers may not even realize that.

Terry James: I was 51. And I’m 81 now, so yeah.

Tim Moore: So, 30 years. But you were seeing all the sights, let alone running and young. I’ve always said we’re going to have bodies that are 29 years old; old enough to be fully mature, the wisdom we’ve gained over the years, and the glorified nature eventually. But even as we arrive to Heaven and don’t have our glorified bodies, we’re going to have the youth and the vigor and the energy.

Terry James: Absolutely. And they were beautiful and young. And I’m hoping to be like them.

Tim Moore: I believe with all my heart that the next thing you’re going to see is the face of Jesus.

Terry James: There you go.

Tim Moore: Yes.

Terry James: I do too. And they sent me back so obviously I didn’t see Jesus. But yet I’m going to go there.

Nathan Jones: Well, why, gentlemen, is it important for Christians to have an eternal perspective? I mean, why do so many live in this moment, that you see so many Christians lost in despair over how this world is? But when you have an eternal perspective, it changes your life doesn’t it? Like Terry it seems like your life was quite radically changed by that experience.

Terry James: Well, it was, it gave me a true testimony that few people have. And, you know, that’s a first-hand Heaven experience, whether people believe it or not, it’s another matter. And I really, you know, I hope they will that they’ll understand that it’s instantaneous, I’m talking about Christians now, will, as you say, give people hope. And that there is a wonderful, dynamic life instantly upon death if you’re a Christian. And so God gave me that experience and, and I’m thankful for it.

Dr. Reagan: Well, before I started studying Bible prophecy, I was a typical carnal Christian, what I call a cultural Christian. I walked with one foot in the world, one foot in a country club. I didn’t know which way I was going. And then I started studying Bible prophecy and it gave me a sense of the fact that the Rapture could occur any moment, that I had better be ready for that, that I’d better have an eternal perspective. I’ve got a listing in my book of scriptures that talk about the return of the Lord, and every one of them relates consciousness of the return of the Lord with living a holy life. And that’s what it did it motivated me to live a holy life. To commit myself to godliness, and I did that in many different ways. It just totally changed my life, and got me ready, I think, for the coming of the Lord.

Terry James: Yeah. If I could say one more thing, and that is that I don’t need this experience, not only was it a Hebrews experience, I’m talking about Hebrews 12, and this young cloud of witnesses that immediately met me. But what God has shown me is that this was a stamp of validation for the Pre-Trib Rapture, which is what I’m dedicated to as far as my primary study is the Pre-Trib Rapture. RaptureReady.com is our website. And I believe God validated that not for me, not just for me, but for everybody who believes in the Pre-Trib Rapture because Christ is coming and He’s coming soon. I believe that was validated in my experience.

Dr. Reagan: Amen.

Tim Moore: Amen. You know, you have a couple of great quotes, both of you do in your books, I mean, they’re chock full, not just of Scripture, which is our go to reference for anything regarding Heaven or the eternal perspective. But you have wonderful quotes. Terry, you share a quote from one of my heroes, Joni Eareckson who said, “The best we can hope for in this life is a knothole peek, kind of looking through the keyhole, if you will, at the shining realities ahead. Yet a glimpse is enough. It’s enough to convince our hearts that whatever sufferings and sorrows currently assail us.” And don’t we know that she has suffered mightily over these many years? Nathan, I have personally been with her and heard testimony of that, but yet she has so much joy. And she says, “Even those sufferings and sorrows aren’t worthy of comparison to that which waits over the horizon.”

And then, of course, Billy Graham, who in his book “Nearing Home” says, “We all have a sense that wherever we go, we long to go back home.” And so if Heaven is our eternal home, or our citizenship is in Heaven as Christians, certainly we should long for our home going. That’s why if I hear of a of a dear friend or a person who has gone to be with the Lord, I can’t mourn for them. I can only mourn with the family for a time of separation. But I rejoice over the homegoing of a brother or sister in Christ.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, that was certainly my situation when my wife took her last breath. My two daughters were there, and we all began to rejoice that her suffering was over and she was now with the Lord.

Tim Moore: She wouldn’t want to come back as Terry has testified personally.

Nathan Jones: Well, Terry, it was a great blessing to be able to write the foreword to your book, I was honored for it. You guys deal with a lot of misconceptions about Heaven. We don’t have a lot of time. But what is the main misconception you both believe that people have about Heaven? And how can we fix that?

Terry James: You know, I think, my experiences is that people who write me, email me, or we talk every once in a while at conferences or in different thing, I think it revolves around, talking about Christians now and hereafter, relationships. Are we going to be able to stay with my family in Heaven? Are we going to live together? Are we going to have our pets in Heaven? These kind of things, personal relationships are what I find the most. And of course, it’s pretty much an infinite concept because we don’t know exactly. You don’t know how to tell somebody exactly how it’s going to be. But we know that, whatever it is, it’s going to be perfection because God has prepared that for believers. As we’ve talked before no eye has seen or ear heard what He’s prepared. And so, whatever the relationship is it’s going to be, fantastic beyond our wildest dreams.

Dr. Reagan: The number one question people always ask me is, will we know each other in Heaven? And I answer that with logic. If I’m Dave Reagan here, and I’m somebody else in Heaven, then Dave Reagan wasn’t saved. I’m going to be Dave Reagan in Heaven.

Terry James: That’s right. And, you know, Jesus says, the Bible says we will be known as we are known.

Dr. Reagan: That’s right.

Terry James: Jesus Christ is all knowing and God is all knowing.

Dr. Reagan: You know I want to say something, the fact that when I finished writing this book, it suddenly occurred to me how in the world will they ever put together a cover for this book? A book entitled “How to Die With Smile on Your Face?” And all I can say is that the two people you have working in your artistic department, your graphic artist they’re very innovative. And everybody who’s seen the cover of this book has been blown away.

Tim Moore: A smiley face on a toe tag. Well, folks, I tell you what, I will observe this. We’ve got a lot more that we can and dare I say, should talk about. So, we’re going to call an audible, there’s no more time left for us today on this episode of Christ in Prophecy, but we’re going to come back yet again to talk about Heaven and what awaits in the hereafter, and some of the implications for our life today, prophetically, and the choice that remains for those who perhaps don’t yet have the same hope, the same joy, and the same anticipation of going home to be with the Lord. So, we pray God’s blessing on you today. Godspeed.

End of Program

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