Summary: Jesus will reunite the human family when He returns. Those families who have been ripped apart by death, disease, divorce or distance will be reunited.

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Heaven - Our Eternal Vacation

School is out. Summer is here. With the warm weather one can witness the slow migration of motor homes, boats, and RV’s on the road. This is a sign that we are about to enter the vacation zone. And with this season comes planning, and celebration time.

I just returned from the vacation zone with my wife’s family. This clan has Mom & Dad, four adult siblings, their spouses, 11 cousins ranging in ages from 25 years old to an infant. Other family attachments included a boyfriend, and four dogs - Mia, Nikki, Chloe, and Cody.

With this size of a group we had to plan. Choices were made. Schedules were coordinated, a location was selected, and Seattle became the gathering place. Travel plans were arranged. The Californians came north. Dad flew and brother Carlton drove their family motor home. The Massachusetts tribe traveled west. Our family made the drive from Pullman.

Lodging plans were made. Mom & brother Brad who live in the Seattle area prepared for this family assault by digging out the air mattresses, tents, and clean sheets for the guest beds. Rooms were assigned, and daily bathroom appointments scheduled - due to the four teenage girls.

Planning for this group’s transportation was exciting. On Interstate 405 negotiating our way through traffic to Bellevue, WA with two cars and two mini vans like a treasure hunt trying to stay together. Later that week in Leavenworth, WA, Aunt Donna was left behind at a local grocery store. Back at the camp ground, this assumption was discovered, and Aunt Donna was retrieved.

Why did we gather together? To reunite the family. This clan was last all together ten years ago. Too long to be apart. Sure, we took our vacation time to have a respite from the every day grind. We also gathered to celebrate milestones in the family. Mom celebrated her 70th birthday, and the youngest member of the family, Hannah celebrated her first birthday. Cake & balloons, a trip to the water slides, and gifts were all a part of the celebration of these milestones. But as Mom stated, "the greatest gift was that we are all together again."

The Bible describes the greatest vacation zone - eternity in heaven. This summer as we experience our summer plans in the vacation zone, let’s plan for our eternal vacation.

Planning for our Eternal Vacation includes choices. The decision to accept there is a God, and that He sent Jesus to die to save us from our rebellion of sin. If you want to be a part of this greatest of vacation plans, accept Christ today (John 3:16).

Jesus is planning our lodging & transportation out of this sin sick world. Jesus is coming soon. Scripture is clear. Jesus promised when He returned to heaven that He would come back for us. Listen to Christ’s promise in John 14:3 "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." Although we don’t know the exact day & time of the Second Coming, we witness the signs outlined in Scripture (Matthew 24, Luke 21, 2nd Timothy 3:1-5, 13) that His return is near. Like the weather warming & the slow migration of the motor homes, boats, and RV’s onto the highways are signs that summer holidays are near, so it is with the evident signs of Christ’s soon return.

Jesus will reunite the human family when He returns. Those families who have been ripped apart by death, disease, divorce or distance will be reunited.

1st Thessalonians 4:15-18 states that "15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words."

Heaven will be a time to celebrate. We will praise God - for victory over sin, for death’s destruction (Revelation 20:14). No more pain or crying. Every thing will be made new (Revelation 21:4). The human family will no longer have the plagues of AIDS, bigotry, cancer, or divorce.

I am, by God’s grace, making my plans to be there. I extend this same invitation to my family, and all families. Unlike our recent family reunion where the good byes were said, and it came time to go our separate ways, God’s vacation will last forever. Let’s all make vacation plans to be together in heaven. We can have the biggest party ever know as we celebrate together what God has done to save humankind.

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