I hear a lot of fellow Christians on the subject of Heaven talking about the rewards that we will receive. About how we’ll get all of these fancy crowns and mansions. There will be glorious streets of gold. It’ll all be so amazing and like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
But honestly, I don’t get why that’s so often the focus.
Yes, those things are wonderful and sure I guess I’m pumped for it because we all know I’m not going to see those things in my lifetime here.
But in Heaven we’re going to be in the presence, the actual presence, of our Lord and Savior.
I don’t think I’m going to care if I have a crown or a mansion. I won’t care that I’m walking on streets of gold.
Because I’ll be able to worship Him perfectly forever and ever. I’ll be able to sit at His actual feet and praise everything that He has done. I’ll be able to walk by His side for eternity. Isn’t that a thousand times more beautiful and incredible than riches?
Our human minds always go straight to the riches of Heaven, but that’s not even important. We will be with God!
Admittedly, I’m not really one to want to hurry my residence in Heaven along because there’s so much more that I want to do here. But when I started thinking about it like the presence of God rather than a place with lots of riches, it became something that I can actually look forward to. The fancy and gold part of Heaven has never really been what attracts me to it. It’s just Jesus that does.
No more pain, tears, heartache, injustice, anxiety, fear, hatred, depression… so that we can just continuously joyously worship our Father with our Father without those things as distractions. Wow.
There’s also this hope that I can look forward to a place where everyone is unified. There will be a unified and peaceful body of people, with different genders, races, languages, classes, educations, interests, country of origins, backgrounds and sins, together worshiping our commonality… God. It’s so beautiful to me. We live on an earth with so many arguments and wars and conflicts and disagreements, and Heaven won’t have that. We will finally look past our differences and live together peacefully. I literally can’t wait for that.
But I also think we often get caught up in “Lord, come quickly” because we’re tired of living in this evil, messed up world and want that peace. I know I’ve definitely thought that a few times in the past few weeks alone. But I think we have to start remembering the people, so many people, who have never heard Jesus’s name. They don’t know about His love, grace, mercy, kindness, courage, and forgiveness. They haven’t heard of His incredible act on the cross. They don’t know, and we should have compassion for them because Heaven is going to be so great.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve asked the Lord to go ahead and come just because I know I’m going to fail a test the next day. But in the grand scheme of things, that is selfish. He can go ahead and come because I know I’ll be in Heaven with Him when He does. But what about the people who haven’t heard? We should love the world enough to pray that each person knows Him before they leave this earth. And I know God will come back whenever He wants regardless of what we want or pray or hope. But we should want to see every single person in Heaven with us.
So even wishing for just ourselves to be in Heaven with Him before His timing is selfish. We are still here, living and breathing, because He is using us here to spread the gospel. Embrace that. Yes, look forward to Heaven and think of it as often as you get discouraged by this world. It’s encouraging to know where our home is. But don’t waste your time here wishing you were there. You are being used with every breath for a higher purpose and calling and it’s important. Don’t waste it.
Ultimately, it should break our hearts every time someone dies without knowing Him. Even if they were the worst person on the planet. Even if we think they somehow deserved death.
It should break our hearts.
I guess there’s two actions to do from here that I want to challenge all of us to do:
- Tell others about Jesus through words and also actions. Not for an extra reward in Heaven but because your heart is broken. And not just the comfortable or the easy or the ones you think deserve Jesus, but the ones that you know you’re the exact opposite from. The ones you know will be hard. The ones you know will take work. And do it with love. Love that person like Jesus so that they see Jesus before you even speak His name.
- And try your absolute hardest to make this world as close to Heaven as possible. Yes, it will never happen. This world will never be perfect. Sin messed that up. But we can advocate for justice and mercy and peace and love and hope and joy and unity. We can make this world better and we should. We shouldn’t complacently sit around while terrible things happen because we know it will never compare to Heaven. We shouldn’t walk by the broken man on the side of the road. This is our home for the time being so we should always strive to make it better, more like Jesus. Be healers and peacemakers and bridge builders and lovers and uniters and joy bringers. Because Jesus himself prayed… “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) And that should be our prayer too.
I imagine Heaven will be exactly like those moments of beautiful and intimate impromptu circles of friends in the middle of the parking lot singing songs of praise to the Lord in sweet fellowship. And it will be just as perfect as those moments. And those moments give me hope that snippets of Heaven can happen on earth too.