As a young man who lived in the secular environment of a neighborhood decades ago, I loved to sing popular songs. One of my favorite songs was “Imagine” by John Lennon. He sang that song beautifully, and he also wrote the lyrics. The combination of the music and the lyrics made the song sound so lovely and appealing. During my spare time, I listened to that song again and again, because I liked it so much. The lyrics read as follows:
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today. . . .
You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one*
Just like other young people who didn’t speak and understand English well, I was unable to understand the full meaning of the lyrics. But when I understood English better, I began to comprehend the song better. “Imagine” invited and challenged people to fantasize and believe that there’s no HEAVEN. In https://www.biography.com/news/john-lennon-imagine-song-facts, we find the following statement, “The impact of the song is unquestionable. But disguised within its message of peace and love and its flowing piano melody is a collection of edgy, ‘dangerous’ ideas that challenge society as we know it. The song that has become an anthem all over the world was actually full of controversial lyrics and radical ideas.”
Who was John Lennon? He was raised and baptized in the Anglican Church. However, he quickly became satirical and critical of religion and faith in general. Speculation is high that he was an atheist (https://hollowverse.com/john-lennon/). He even remarked that he was more popular than Jesus. No wonder he authored the song “Imagine,” where there is NO HEAVEN. To the atheist, HEAVEN is just a myth, a fairy tale.
But contrary to John Lennon’s belief, Jesus assured us that HEAVEN (My Father’s house) is a real place, as real as Washington, D.C.; Sydney; or Cape Town. He calls HEAVEN a place. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2, 3, NIV). The Bible also tells us that HEAVEN is the dwelling place of God; His throne is there, the angels are there, and the Lord Jesus Christ also dwells in HEAVEN. This city was designed and built by God, and by faith, Abraham looked for that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (see Heb. 11:10, NIV).
The most astonishing fact for me is that HEAVEN is a better country: “Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:16, NIV). Do we have the assurance that we will live in that better country? Oh yes, the Bible assures us, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20, NIV).
Let us get ready to welcome Jesus so we can live with Him for eternity in His HEAVENLY kingdom.