Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Heaven?

When listening or reading certain treatments of the topic of heaven one could get the impression that heaven's joy is its streets of gold, pearly gates, beautiful angelic music, and reunion with friends and family. But this would be a subtle and tragic mistake. The Bible does paint an awe inspiring picture of heaven but leaves no doubt that the joy of Heaven is God Himself! The throne of God and the Lamb (Jesus) is the centerpiece and focal point of heaven (Rev 22:1-4). The point of heaven is that God will be there in the midst of His people, He is the gift, the reward, the treasure that we are to enjoy for eternity (Rev 21)! All the other benefits of heaven find their significance in that God Himself is in the midst of His people (Rev 22).

So this has tremendous implications for what it means to be a Christian and "heaven bound". The essential element to being a Christian is having been transformed from not loving and treasuring God to loving and treasuring God above all else! This is done through a sovereign work of God's grace to change our hearts from hard and rebellious to soft and submissive toward God (Ezekiel 11:19-20). Christians are ones who have been changed from hating His word and ways to loving His word and ways. Unless our hearts are in concert with the Apostle Paul's in longing for Christ's presence we have no reason to assume we will occupy the heaven in which Christ is the main attraction (2 Timothy 4:8).

Do you claim to be a Christian? Then test your claim by asking yourself this question, "why do I want to go to heaven"? If the answer isn't, "because Jesus is there!" you have reason to be very worried. Fall on your knees and cry out to God. Ask for a new heart of tender affection for Christ. Ask for a love for God and His kingdom, His ways and word. Ask Him to bring you to heaven...so that you can be with the lover of your soul, Jesus Christ!

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