Last night was a night that I will never forget. It started out like any other night. I did my usual duties, watched some TV, got ready for bed, and began to say my prayers. As I prayed, I sensed an unusually beautiful presence of the Holy Spirit. My prayer entered a period of worship and while worshiping the Lord, I fell off to sleep.
In my sleep, I dreamed I was visited by an angel. He entered into my room and said he was sent to escort me on a tour of Heaven. I felt so privileged to be offered a tour and asked the angel what I had done to get such an honor He stated that he was sent at the Father’s bidding, that maybe I shouldn’t assume I was being honored, and that he could tell me no more. Soon we were on our way.
In an instant we were at the pearly gates of Heaven. Contrary to popular belief, we were not greeted by Peter. I stood in awe as I looked at the Holy City. It was huge, much larger than I could have ever imagined. The whole city shined like a new piece of jewelry. The foundations and walls were built of countless precious jewels. The gates were constructed of giant pearls. Each gate was carved out of a single pearl. There were no flaws in anything. I kept running back and forth, trying to take in all of the splendor. It was useless, as it was unending. Finally, the angel said, “Come, it’s time to go inside.”
Immediately we were inside. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place. Everything was perfect and in its proper place. Although the city was gigantic, there were none of the characteristics of a large city. There were many people, but there was no big city frustration and there was no strife. There was, however, brotherhood, peace, joy, love, health, and prosperity. There was no sun, but there was a light in the city that not only lit up everything, it filled everything with the very presence of God. I was so overwhelmed with everything that the angel had to grab my arm and pull me along. At this point, I would have followed anyone anywhere.
He led me down the golden streets and pointed out all the wondrous sights mentioned in the Bible. I saw the tree of life and the river of living water. As we traveled along, I observed countless angels and what seemed to be the whole Host of Heaven. They all seemed to be intent on serving the king of the city. Everywhere, I could hear praises being offered up to Jesus. There was no problem knowing who was in charge in Heaven. Our tour now turned and led us to the residential section of the city. I saw mansions beyond anything I had ever seen on Earth. These were not flats or apartments; these were all luxury mansions. I asked, ‘Who could all these mansions be for? I knew they had to be for some very special saints. “These are just average homes here. Didn’t Jesus tell you He was preparing a mansion for you? Well here they are.” The angel’s reply seemed to be so matter of fact. Next he pointed to a big, beautiful mansion on a new street and said, “Look at the title on this house.” I looked and was dumfounded when I saw my name over the door. The angel then said that it would be finished by the time I needed it. We traveled down the street and I noticed a few blocks with empty lots. The angel just smiled and said, “There is always room for a few more I was so happy that I just wanted to die and stay there when the angel turned a more somber face and said, “Come, I must now show you the thing I brought you here to see.”
We turned and there it was, a huge building, large enough to be a city in itself. It had a giant central corridor with several wings coming off either side. It lacked the splendor of all the other buildings in Heaven and had a feeling of something wrong about it. I was about to ask what this place could be, when the angel pointed to a sign above the huge doorway. The sign read: “HALL OF UNCLAIMED PROMISES”.
I asked what this place was all about, but all the angel would say was, “Follow me.” We entered and there seemed to be a strange silence in this place like I hadn’t felt since entering Heaven. As we entered the central corridor the angel began to explain. He told me that this was where the Heavenly Host sorted all the promises that God’s children never claim. The corridor seemed endless, but it wasn’t long until we entered the first wing.
The sign above the door read, “Provisions”. Inside I could see acres of every kind of material need. I didn’t see any Cadillac’s, but there were plenty of new cars. There were also new homes, clothes, and every kind of item imaginable. There was also a pile of food so large it could have fed the world for ten years. Next to the food was a stack of money that was greater than the sum of all the money in all the banks of the world. The angel said, “All they would have had to do is ask the Father for it. All this was already provided for.”
Next we entered the room entitled, “Relationships”. Inside I saw marriages,
children, brothers and sisters,friends, neighbors, and nations. All these were sitting unclaimed for the same reasons. Nobody had laid claim on them. The feeling of loss in the room was more than I could bare. I asked if we could move on. The angel agreed and took me to the next wing of the building. Here the sign read, “Spiritual Blessings”. Inside I saw containers labeled Holy Spirit, anointing, healing, freedom, renewed mind, spiritual fruit, spiritual gifts, victory, power and on and on they went. “Why?” I asked. “Why were all these unclaimed? “Deception.” The angel answered. “The people were lied to. They were told that these blessings were no longer available. The devil has managed to steal the blessings from many of the believers.” In anger and frustration I asked the angel if we could go on. He agreed and led me forward. We passed wings and titles like “Wisdom and Knowledge”. I was shocked when we passed a sign that read, “The Truth”. It seemed there would be no end to the wings and their foreboding signs of promises lost. Just when I thought I could stand no more, the angel said, “I’ve two more wings to show you and then you can go.”
He took me into a room simply marked, “Constructions”. Inside I could see every imaginable kind of building material. I didn’t understand what all this was about and was about to ask when the angel stared me straight in the eyes and said, This is the materials set aside for all the mansions that will never be built because people never asked Jesus to save them We both wept. Composing himself, the angel pointed across the hallway and said, “Just one more room”. I didn’t notice the sign, but once we were inside I could see acres of books. “These are the words of eternal life that never reached the ears of the multitudes,” was all the angel could say.
I cried out, “Why? Surely the people didn’t leave these words unclaimed. What kept the people from receiving them? I don’t understand.” The angel lovingly sat me down and explained that there were many reasons the words were unclaimed. He said that some were never heard, while others were ignored. Some were lost in the hustle of everyday life. He said that while it was inevitable that some of the words would be lost, many were never delivered. Some were lost because nobody had been faithful to deliver them. I was overwhelmed with grief and asked to leave. The angel said, “OK, but one more quick stop first.” I didn’t want to see any more, but followed obediently.
We entered a room at the end of the corridor. It was simply marked, Claims. Inside were dozens of workers processing claims and shipping out promises that believers were calling in and asking for. Apparently it wasn’t too late for many of these promises to be claimed. I was filled with joy and cried out, “Praise God, there is still hope.”
“Yes!” the angel smiled and said, “But only if you will go back and spread the word. Will you do that?” Then he handed me a handful of claim checks and said that they were some that I have never gotten around to claiming for my own life. I was embarrassed, but gratefully took the claim checks and put them in my pocket. Together we left the building and headed for the gates of Heaven. My tour was apparently over.
I woke up with a feeling of anticipation. The dream had been so real and all the images were so vivid. It was only a dream, but one I would never forget. I got up and could hardly wait to share my dream with somebody. I knew I had been called to get the word out. I couldn’t let any more of God’s word go unclaimed. As I put on my pants, I noticed something in the back pocket. I reached in and pulled out a handful of claim checks. Each one was printed with the same inscription, “Whosoever will. All charges have been paid for with the blood of Jesus.”
by Steven Skaggs
Arizona State Prison