When I was in High School I took a Psychology and Sociology class. Our teacher was a hoot, and everyone really liked him. If I thought real hard I'd remember his name, but I just haven't been able to...and sadly I do not have a year book. Anywayyyy....
He often invited various speakers to come and talk to our class about their beliefs and ideas. One of them was a Rabbi and the one thing that stuck out to me was that he told us that he did not believe in heaven. He said his wife did, but that he believed that when we die we just go into the ground and our life is over.
I was troubled by that, and even though I had not personally come to know Christ yet, basically just because of being ignorant of what was necessary to do so...my family and I went to church, I knew God existed and I often prayed.
That day when I got home I spoke to my mother about it right away. I remember telling her about our speaker and what he said. Then I told her that it helped to grow my faith.
When the Rabbi said that he did not believe there was a heaven...it dawned on me that God would not go through all the trouble of making me, having patience (a lot of it too!) with me, loving me and so forth...then when I die forgetting about me.
I knew right then and there that there was a heaven. The *Rabbi had no idea that he did the reverse of what he may have intended. He didn't know that he actually drew me closer to God that day back in 1975...
God continues to become more and more real to me each day...which of course grows my faith in all the areas of my life. In how I look at scripture and how much I believe the words that God placed there as well...even the words that seem so hard to obey are perceived differently. I also know that He wants that process of growth to never stop...for me and for you.
Ephesians 3: 14-20
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,e 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.f 16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen
*I don't think the beliefs of this Rabbi about heaven are typical of the Jewish faith...however, here are some interesting thoughts - http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/Afterlife-In-Judaism-Jewish-Beliefs.htm