I have been wondering why many Christians and churches speak so little of our eternal home. I’m not saying they don’t reference heaven in sermons and conversations but most of the time that’s as far as it goes. I mean when is the last time a sermon topic was Heaven, the new creation, living with God forever…
If you called me today and I told you I have been thinking a lot about heaven what comes to your mind? Most people will be like…he must be dying or he’s depressed and has lost reasons to live…
But isn’t it crazy that heaven is where we’ll spend our eternity and yet we barely comment about this and get unconformtable if someone becomes obsessed with this.
Too heaven focused without earthly relevance we call it to refer to heaven fanatics! But I beg to differ. If you are not heaven focused as a Christian I actually think you’ve little earthly relevance as our lives are all about preparing and inviting others to live peacefully with our God in the new creation. Now I’m not saying we walk with our heads in the clouds but I think we’ve moved to the other extreme where all that matters is the ground we step on with little relevance of where we are ultimately headed.
I’ve always wondered if many of us would have the kind of dilemma Paul has in Philippians 1:
22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better…Philippians 1
Given a chance between going to be with Christ now and pursuing life on earth even for a good reason like Paul would you think it twice? Would it be a hard decision for you? I’ll tell you what many people say cleverly in answer to this : I want to live and witness by my life and achieving my God given purpose… Sounds really Gospel centered and maybe genuine but is it really witnessing you want or is it that you don’t want to die and be with God?
But I don’t want to pretend like I’m always happy to drop dead or that there’s isn’t selfish reasons why I want this life more than heaven. Asked what I want more: this life, marriage, family, a successful ministry or heaven I hesitate, strange isn’t it? And I think some of the obvious reasons we hesitate is fear of death, fear of the unknown, struggle with assurance of life after death…
But the one I want to address is on our teaching about the after life. We fight those who preach a better life here and now but we do so little teaching why life with God is the best thing that can ever happen to us. That when a Christian drops down dead that’s the greatest outcome of their life as they get to be with their Saviour. That’s really our life goal and purpose, to be with God in eternity.
Now, I’m not saying churches should revise the year’s preaching calendar or that what’s happening here and now doesn’t concern us neither I’m I suggesting that we should all be posting hashtags #can’twaittodie. Although it’s not such a crazy idea! But I think at least it shouldn’t be strange among believers to talk about heaven and we should do it more oftenly. I think we should train Bible students on this more as it’s really what will shape how we preach and do discipleship. We should teach our youths and children about death and life beyond…
But most importantly we need to evaluate the motivation of our life and ministry. Is it truly focused on the one coming from above or the here and now like everyone else? What’s informing the kind of dreams and life goals we get behind as Christians and the local church? You see everyone is on the case of survival and making this life better here and now and at best a couple of years to come. But as believers our timeline is longer. We are speaking about a million years ahead. We are safeguarding an eternity not just tomorrow. And that’s the hope we are called to and the message we proclaim.
… 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.Hebrews 11
To be continued…
7 thoughts on “Do I really want heaven?”
Really challenging…looking forward to part 2…
May my/our eye be fixed on the things above which are eternal.
Amen … Coming soon
Thank you for reminding us of the life eternal. And this questions are worth pondering on and acting upon. So that we can fix our thoughts on things above like heaven, the joy and peace we will finally have with our Lord. Am edified.
Thanks Evelyne. Glad you found it helpful
I find it funny when Christian’s say that they will not die prematurely. Dying young is viewed as a curse.
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Heaven isn’t as attractive to them unfortunately
Such wonderful reflections, the fear of death has led many I included into less thought about heaven. Witty and challenging article