For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. – Heb. 13:14
Sometimes I just can’t put all my thoughts in words. If you know me in person, you’ll know that I can talk for AGES non-stop about God and His Word. Some call it rambling; others, fanaticism. But I just like to think of what my Lord said on the matter: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mat. 12:34)
And this is like this.
God is infinite, and the wonderful thing about Heaven is that we will spend an eternity knowing Him more and more. That’s what Heaven is: God’s realm, where those who belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ can know Him without obstacles, distractions, sin and fleshly weakness. How do I know this? Because in Scripture, Heaven is constantly inundated with worship and praise (one of many examples in Rev. 4:10-11). And that is the only reaction that true knowledge of God can lead to: Worship – of the kind where human words are insufficient.
By the way, if all this sounds boring to you and you claim the name of Christ (i.e. you call yourself a Christian) I would wholeheartedly invite you to carefully examine that claim (2 Cor. 13:5).
But back to Heaven. Take a moment to look at Revelation 21. Read that rarely spoken-of description of the eternity that awaits us – I can never read it without tears welling up in my eyes. Why? Because I’m a sentimental religious fanatic? No – I’m simply a Christian, one who undeservedly stands in wonder at what God has done and is still doing for him and in him.
Let me summarise: Heaven is home.
In Col. 3:1-4, Paul writes these incredible words:
“If then you were raised with Christ,seek those things which are above,where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above,not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Because this commandment is so succinct, we tend to bypass it quickly. But, though short, this passage makes clear a great but greatly-ignored reality: That those of us who name the name of Christ, those of us who are known by Him as His own (John 10:14, 27), cannot set roots on this world because we are headed for a new one; one created by God Himself (Heb. 11:16, 13:14; Rev. 21).
I often wonder how this biblical perspective can ever fit into the philosophy of so-called Christian activists and other “social justice” groups that promote their agendas under the name of Christ. I can’t think of a more twisted view of the Christian’s mission (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15) – to consume yourself in protests against oppressive regimes and violations of human rights, to spend your time promoting so-called fair-trade products and deceive yourself into thinking that that’s what God’s purpose is for you in terms of “Christian duty”, is to completely misunderstand the very basics and essentials of the Gospel of Christ. How can we become entrenched into fighting worldly battles of little eternal significance and label that as “what God wants me to do as a Christian”?
Before you go accusing me and clawing at your face, this isn’t Christian escapism I’m talking about. This is reality. If you and I call ourselves Christians, then you and I can only base that claim on Scripture. What else is there? If we call ourselves Christians, then we follow Jesus Christ, and He said:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. – Mat. 6:33
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” – John 14:1-4
In other words, we’re just passing through. And the only reason we’re still here is to proclaim the Gospel to all men. But here we are, days ticking away, wasting time and energy on pointless, if not sinful, pursuits as if we’re going to be here forever. Don’t we understand? Don’t we see? Don’t we realise that the days are evil and time is short (Eph. 5:15-16)? Tell me – tell me, Christian, where do your dreams and your hopes and your ambitions and your aspirations and your pursuits lie? Where do your eyes look in life? How easily are we distracted by the cheap thrills of the world and wind up crippled and defeated and dull and cold and bleeding out of our thousand spiritual wounds! Why is it that our churches are always hospitals instead of boot camps, when God’s own power resides in us (Eph. 1:19-20)?
They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. – John 17:16
How long until we live like it?