As a chaplain at the Indiana Masonic Home, Charles Stanley is often asked all types of questions about faith.
But one of the most common is about heaven.
Stanley’s thoughts, stories and biblical support on the afterlife have come together in a new book, “What No Eye Has Seen: Why We Should All Look Forward to Heaven,” published in August.
“What No Eye Has Seen” is available at Amazon.com. Stanley answered some questions about his book.
Why did you write this book?
As chaplain here, I’ve always felt that people lack assurance about heaven. People started asking me what heaven would be like. That summer, I did a series on heaven. People thought it was really good, and suggested I turn it into a book. So I did.
What kinds of questions do people have about heaven?
The most common question is, “Is everyone going to heaven?” The second-most-common is, “Will I see my mother or so on?” The third most common questions is, “Will my dog be there?” People love their pets. I have a feeling that their dogs will be there.
What are your thoughts about people’s conception about heaven?
I meet a lot of people who feel deeply worried about heaven, because of their past or they believe God is mad at them.
Just to hear that that’s not true is surprising. Some people are delighted.
As you were putting together the series, what did you find out about heaven from the Bible?
The main things are that we should all look forward to it.
Wherever heaven is described, it’s always described as a place you should always look forward to going to.
We shouldn’t look at it with fear or wonder. When heaven is describe as very much like Earth, but without imperfections.
All of the pains and suffering we have are not there.
What do you hope people take away from reading your book?
The biggest thing is assurance. When I ask people if they think they’re going to heaven, they say, “I hope so.” We can do more than hope. We can face our lives with a great sense of assurance if we understand that heaven is a place God wants us to be, not that we have to earn it or be worthy of it.
What’s the reward of being a chaplain?
People are very grateful. They’re very appreciative. I feel like I’m a spreader of joy, particularly serving here, at the Indiana Masonic Home.