In the early 1900s in India, there lived a man who became a great witness for Jesus; whose life and works are nothing short of astounding. His name was Sundar Singh. One of the many extraordinary events in this man’s life is that God granted him a vision of the spiritual world. I know this will immediately arouse scepticism in many; that’s ok – if you’re interested, you can read about his ministry, and your scepticism will fade. But before I talk about this vision, let me set the stage:
Over the past few months, I’ve become aware as I read the Bible that the concept of repentance from sin seems to be THE dominant message. For example, when the angel informed Joseph that Mary’s child was of God, he said, “and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”.
When John the baptist came preaching, his first statement was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And Jesus first recorded message was the same: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
I won’t belabor this point, but an end-to-end reading of the New Testament will show that the command to repent of sins is often mentioned and heavily emphasized. Even in Revelation, the closing statement of the Bible, Jesus repeats many times that His promises will be given to “him who overcomes”. I hope this message is being taught in many churches, but I fear that it is not. There is a great deal of emphasis on God’s love, but not much on holiness.
As I said in a previous blog, I had somehow for 40 years taken this message lightly, and therefore had continued in sin. Also mentioned in that blog were the three pieces of knowledge that catapaulted me out of that miserable state: 1, I have to take sin very seriously, 2, the New Testament standard for our life is found in Matthew 5-7, and 3, the Holy Spirit is ready, willing, and able to point our sins out to us, AND help us overcome them.
So, after this big change, I had a strong desire to follow the leading of the Spirit, and to be totally purified from sin. To have my mind transformed, and step-by- step become more like Jesus. Two verses that came to mind in this regard were “Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth,” Col 3:2, and “there is nothing secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light,” Luke 8:17. The first verse frustrated me, because I had very little grasp of “things above”, so it was tough to set my mind on them, especially when the things of the earth were so persistently evident. The second verse intrigued me, because I felt I wasn’t understand the full meaning of it. And here’s where Sundar Singh’s vision comes in –
In his vision, Sundar Singh had an extensive view of the spirit world, the place where the spirits of men go after death. I’ve read this vision many times now, and each time it gives me a huge amount of encouragement and hope. Related to “the things above”, what he saw was that the spirit world is unimaginably beautiful, and that those who are there are supremely happy. I won’t go into the description here, but will include a link to the file for those interested. Anyhow, this description gave me, at long last, something to really grab onto when I want to set my mind on the things above. It has been a daily source of strength to me to understand in a small measure what I’m heading toward, and how greatly the ones already there treasure their close relationship with the Savior. It’s true that the pleasures of sin here are true pleasures, but the joy that waits for us in the spirit world is far superior.
Another thing Sundar Singh saw in his vision (related to the second verse I noted above) was that when the spirits of men enter the spirit world, their true character and nature are plainly visible to all. Even their thoughts are open to all around them. For those who have followed the guidance of the spirit and have consistently purified themselves by repenting of sin, this revelation of character is not a problem at all. They revel in the presence of the glory of Jesus, and join with other spirits whose nature is similar to theirs.
But, for those who have lived in sin, the light of glory there is terrifying, and they immediately attempt to hide themselves from the revealing light of God. To this end, they go to dark places provided for them, where they join others of similar nature, and where they are shielded to a degree from the presence of God. The message I recieved from this whole vision is this: There may be many things in life that are truly important, but when we stand before God, they will all pale in importance compared to our purity – freedom from sin.
There are many details in this vision that may be of interest to you. I mention these things here because they have been so helpful to me, and I feel there may be acquaintances of mine who may also be benefitted. If you’d like to read the whole thing, it’s available free here: