…And So Is Heaven

Yesterday I wrote a post about how hell is a real place. It’s only fair to follow it up with the fact that heaven is equally real. Here is a fact I don’t think enough about, according to the Bible. Usually it’s a pretty good authority.

Paul especially seems concerned that we think about heavenly things. But then again, so did Jesus. He is, after all, the One who told us about the place being prepared for us. I guess you could argue that thinking about the reality of heaven keeps us from focusing on the reality of life. In a way, you could say that thinking on heaven is a way to medicate ourselves from our pain. But I don’t think so. I don’t think God would prescribe medication like that.

So here are a few reasons I see profit in spending regular time dwelling on heaven’s realities.

1. To keep us from loving our stuff. There’s no trailers behind hearses; there’s no pockets in funeral suits. Heaven is better anyway, so do I really need a new shirt? Or a Vespa?

2. To provide hope. God knows we need it. That’s what Paul did in Romans 8 – he held up his sufferings, which were quite alot, and said that the glory waiting for us makes these light afflictions pale in comparison.

3. To motivate us to action. Heaven is a place where the rule of God is recognized fully and completely. And we are supposed to pray, and act, in such a way as to bring God’s will about on earth as it is in heaven. If we spent time thinking about how things will be, then we can be moved to change the way things are.

4. To remind us just who we’re dealing with. C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory reminded us that “You have never talked to a mere mortal. It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.” Dwelling on heaven makes us realize the importance of the people around us. They are immortal, and they should be treated with respect and dignity.

There’s lots more; I’d love for you to add your own. For now, I’m just glad I’m going there.

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  • Andy says:

    If we hope for Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

  • Christopher Lake says:

    In relation to your second reason, while hope is not necessarily a “medication” for our pain (in the sense of numbing us), hope *is* the only thing that can keep us going, and even help us to persevere, in the midst of our pain. Such has been my experience, in the face of terrible emotional pain in the last weeks– and much more importantly than my experience, it is a precious Biblical truth.

    Lord, help me and all Christians to live and die in light of both Heaven and Hell! As Bob Dylan once said, all people will live forever, either in holiness or in flames. May we love all people as eternal beings, ministering to their earthly needs *and* sharing with them that Heaven or Hell awaits all of us, according to who or what we worship in this life!

  • Christopher Lake says:

    One other thought– Heaven is important because it puts *all* earthly things in perspective. The worst pain that I will ever experience in this is bearable, in light of Heaven. Not negligible, but bearable. Just as Paul says, I can’t even imagine what God has prepared for me and for all who love Him. That’s how good it is– beyond anything that I, or anyone else, can imagine. This puts sinful temptation, earthly suffering, *and* legitimately good times in this life all into perspective. Heaven is infinitely better than anything in this fallen world– because in Heaven we will see God, and worship Him, as He is. What could be better than that sort of beauty?? It’s better than any earthly good (which can still be truly enjoyed), and it’s infinitely better than sin and suffering. Lord, let me be of much earthly good *because* I am so Heavenly-minded, by Your grace!

  • Christopher Lake says:

    The worst pain that I will ever experience in this *life*, I mean

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