All men, lost or saved, have a God given sense of something beyond this life.
What comes to your mind when Heaven is mentioned? What do you think Heaven will be like? Have you ever wondered? What do you know about Heaven? Have you ever been there? If you were asked about what and where Heaven is, what would you say? How would you explain or describe it? Does the thought about Heaven get you depressed at times? Be honest with yourself.
Do you long to go to Heaven? I think that most of us would respond with a loud YES. “To depart and be with Christ is far better than staying on a sin cursed earth” (Phil. 1:23) but why is everyone afraid of death? Tragically, there are many who will like to go to heaven but will never get there. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven(Matt.7:21,NIV) and to remain indifferent to this fact is to be like the unprofitable servant who hid his master’s talent in the ground. Eventhough, Heaven looks like a mystery because we have never been there before, we have a friend called Jesus who came here and told us about it and showed it to us. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He came to give us a clue to our eternal destiny and destination. Heaven is our one true home. It is our eternal destiny in Christ. It is the destiny that our lives here and now are preparing us for. Beloved, we should long for Heaven.
We are told that heaven is a better destination than hell but we are taught very little about Heaven itself. So how can we expect ourselves and our children to be excited or to stay excited about Heaven if we talk so little about Heaven? Heaven has fallen off of our radar screens. Can such a vague, negative, blurred and uninspired view of Heaven be the work of Satan? I don’t think so. We need to stop acting as if Heaven were a myth, an impossible dream, a relentlessly dull meeting, or an unimportant distraction from real life. We need to see Heaven for what it is: The realm we are made for. If we do, we will embrace it with contagious joy, enthusiasm, and anticipation. It will allow the assurance of our dual citizenship to resonate within us. Eventhough, we are Nigerians, we also know that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20) once we come to Christ with our lives in total surrender. So how are we supposed to handle our dual responsibilities while we are here on earth?
As believers we are called to be spiritually distinct from non-Christians. We are expected to penetrate and preserve society as salt preserves meat. We should keep our promises, treat the poor with respect, love our enemies, and in that way serve as light-bearers to others because when we lose our distinctiveness from the world, we become useless to the world and Heaven itself. We become guilty of criminal conspiracy against Heaven. We are called to live in earthly community with a heavenly commitment. We are to serve God by serving our communities. And our highest and best service to the larger community is to exhibit first and then declare the values we know in Christ. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal”(Matt. 6:19-20). But how do we do this? By doing good deeds to others and by telling others about Jesus.
If we are kind to others, God will reward us in Heaven. If we tell someone about Jesus and they accept Him as their Savior, that person will go to Heaven. Two equally deadly errors compromise the integrity of our faith today. On the one hand, some Christians are so concerned about Heaven that they have become so earthly useless. On the other, some get so caught up in this world that they forget where their primary citizenship lies. On which part of this divide are you? The real challenge for us here is to live heavenly reality so faithfully that it makes a positive worldly difference.
Heaven is a place of eternal life, the dwelling place and throne of God and a kingdom to which all the elect will be admitted. The resurrected Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven where he now sits at the Right Hand of God and will return to earth in the Second Coming. Heaven is the realm in which God currently resides and when the believers themselves join God, they will exist in incorruptible, resurrected and new bodies; there will be no sickness, no death and no tears (Rev.21:4). Not only will the believers spend eternity with God, they will also spend it with each other. Heaven will be the place where life will be lived to the full, in the way that the designer planned, each believer “loving the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind” and “loving their neighbour as themselves” (Matt.22:37-40). It will be a place of great joy, without the negative aspects of this present earthly life. Are you ready for Heaven?
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God”(Col. 3:1). Since you will spend the next lifetime in Heaven or Hell, why not spend your lifetime seeking Heaven, so you can eagerly anticipate and prepare for it because 120years of earthly life is but a second of eternity. It is like a 6year-old girl going to the bar beach once a year to empty the ocean waters with a tea spoon. When she has finished emptying all, then eternity has just commenced (this may be in heaven or hell).
Heaven is the place for Saints (Col.3:1-5; Mk .10:21). Neither man’s words (“Lord, Lord!”) nor his claim to Spiritual gifts like prophecy or miracles will gain him entrance into the kingdom of heaven(Matt. 7:21-23). The unrighteous, fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionist shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9-10). Have you forgotten or lost that vision of a Godly, Christ centered life? Are you so attached to this world that you are no longer home sick? “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (IJn.2:15-17). This world is not all there is. We are just passing through and this is not our home.
I imagine our first glimpse of heaven will cause us to pant in astonishment and delight of this endlessly wonderful and delightful place. The very thought of this should make you continually ask the Lord for forgiveness of any sin you may have unknowingly committed.
If you die today, will Jesus be standing at Heaven’s gate waiting with His arms wide open, and ready to receive you? If not, please think Heaven one more time because any moment from now may be too late for you.