I expect to be in Heaven in the near future: both because of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and because I do not expect to live much longer. I am 81, a cancer and open-heart surgery survivor. I am not improving or getting any younger but, praise the Lord, I will soon have a new body (maybe I will be 33 again) and be like Jesus!
People will say that I have died but actually I will be more alive and happier than ever! I think the first thing I will do when I get to Heaven is praise our Father God and thank Jesus repeatedly for paying the price of my sins through His death on the cross and crediting me with His righteousness and worthiness of Heaven. I imagine wanting to apologize to our God and Savior for my sins contributing to His suffering and death. Wow! Talk about shame and regret…
Next, I think I will look for Mom and Dad. I was the youngest of three sons and very spoiled. My parents were both employed. Mom was an office worker for the U.S. government and my dad operated a machine that made the lead type used to print the newspaper. We were comfortably well off but not wealthy.
Jo Ann and I were married in 1950. We were both nineteen and sophomores in college. Our parents paid our tuition and helped us with our living expenses. I became pastor of Trinity Methodist church in Margate City, near Atlantic City, when I was twenty. This church provided us with an apartment over their fellowship hall plus an annual salary of eighteen hundred dollars. We started having children about every eighteen months and had six of them by the time I graduated from seminary in 1960.
During this first decade of marriage our parents were so generous, and I am not sure I ever adequately thanked them. Today in our retirement we live quite comfortably and it is due to both our Father’s care and that of our parents. I look forward to the opportunity in Heaven to thank them and to tell them how much I truly love them.
There is also a Christian businessman I want to find. He owned two Christian radio stations. We were good friends and cared deeply for each other despite many dissimilarities! He contacted me to officiate at his wife’s funeral service, but when his own passing occurred I did not attend his funeral observance because no one notified me of his death. It pains me that I was not there to pay my respects, yet I anticipate seeing him again in glory!
There are numerous laymen I want to find from the seven churches we served in our 46 years of ministry. These are laymen who honestly loved us as we loved them. They were dear friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ. What a joy it will be to see them again!
Do you think we will recognize each other? I think we will, though we shall have new bodies. Praise the Lord! No more groaning. No more pain or weakness. We are going to be like Jesus so there will be no more sin, and we shall serve Him perfectly. We will truly live in love.
I pray that you will join me in accepting Jesus’ invitation to repent, believe, and follow Him (Mark 1:14-17). Then we can look for each other in Heaven and join together in worshipping the Father, the Son, and the Spirit!
See you there! Praise the Lord!
-Pastor Dick Bridge
Pastor Bridge has been married to Jo Ann, his childhood sweetheart, for over 61 years. They pastored churches for 46 years. They no longer go on bicycle tours and race kayaks but they do enjoy rides on their motor cycle trike. Praise God!