THE GOOD MAN GOES TO HEAVEN
[1 Kings:19:19-21] [2 Kings:2:1-15]
“Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).
Elijah had been a faithful servant of God. He had warned the people that it was wicked to worship idols. He told the people to worship God; and on Mount Carmel he had shown them the difference between worshiping the true God and worshiping dumb idols.
God had been good to Elijah and had protected him from his enemies. He had fed him when water and food were scarce. God had planned to take Elijah to Heaven to be with Him and the angels.
Another Man of God
Elijah had a very dear friend who was also a prophet of God. He loved God and wanted to work for Him. This prophet’s name was Elisha – almost the same as Elijah. Elisha was a farmer, and one day while ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen, Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on Elisha. He immediately left the oxen and ran after Elijah. Elisha went back home, killed a yoke of oxen, boiled the meat and gave it to the people. Then he returned to Elijah and followed him wherever he went.
The Chariot of Fire
Elisha stayed very close to Elijah. He wanted to be near him when he would be taken to Heaven. He wanted to be even twice as strong to work for God as Elijah had been. And Elijah had told him that if he would see him when he went to Heaven, he would receive what he had asked for; so Elisha followed Elijah very closely.
Three times Elijah asked Elisha to remain where he was while Elijah went on. But no! Elisha was not going to miss seeing his master taken up into Heaven. One day as they were walking along together and talking, there came from Heaven a chariot of fire with horses of fire. Elijah was taken up into Heaven by a whirlwind.
The Wonderful Mantle
Elisha did not see his master any more; but he received the mantle that fell from him as he went up. Elisha took the mantle and went to the river Jordan. Did the spirit and power of Elijah rest upon him now? We know it did, for when he smote the waters of Jordan they divided and he crossed over. This was the first miracle Elisha did, but we shall learn that he did many other wonderful things in his work for God.
We believe that Elisha was saved and sanctified. When he received the mantle of Elijah, he received the power to work for God as we receive it when we are baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. Jesus wants us to seek for and receive these three experiences, so that we may be ready to meet Him when He comes to take His children Home.
There is a good lesson in this for us. We must follow very closely in the “footsteps” of Jesus, as Elisha followed in the footsteps of Elijah. Of course, we know that “the sands have been washed in the footprints” of Jesus on the shores of Galilee; but by giving us the Bible, His Holy Word, He taught us how to live. We can learn from the Bible what is necessary for us to do in order to make Heaven our home. By going to Sunday School and learning from the Bible at home, we may know how to be saved from sin, and then we, too, can follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
1. Where was the Lord going to take Elijah? [2 Kings:2:1].
2. Did Elisha follow Elijah closely? [2 Kings:2:2], [2 Kings:2:4], [2 Kings:2:6].
3. What request did Elisha make of Elijah? [2 Kings:2:9].
4. Did Elisha see Elijah when he went to Heaven? [2 Kings:2:12].
5. What did Elisha do at the river Jordan? [2 Kings:2:14].