“Do You Believe in Heaven?” [Part 1 of 5]

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Have you ever noticed that the glorious subject of heaven and the countless blessings that it lavishes upon its inhabitants, are rarely mentioned or even preached upon in pulpits, both wooden and digital? And when it is, it’s usually portrayed rather cheaply as none other than a real neat place where all Christians will one day go when they leave this wretched planet.

This explains why the typical sermon today, about our heavenly ‘future’, is either laced-through with righteously indignant words about our need to quickly depart from this sin-soaked age, or about how the particulars advocated by “The Left Behind” series, are surely materializing before our eyes! Sadly, heaven is to such who preach this way (and to many of their devotees), simply not as exciting of a place to spend even a little bit of your time upon in meditation. You know … it’s about as exciting as those very predictable, if not boring, topics of regular Bible reading, and intercessory prayer. Therefore, many are often found saying, “although these are important issues, spiritually-speaking, let’s talk about something that’s really exciting!” So then, it’s fair to comment confidently, that the wonderful topic of heaven has fallen on hard times in the present evangelical age. In fact, I believe that J.I. Packer put his finger on, at least, part of the reason why this is so; when he said, “when persons suffering loss of memory cannot recall where their earthly home is, we pity them; but Christians who forget that heaven is their true home, and never think positively about heaven at all, are much more to be pitied.” Maybe then, the real reason why most Christians are not that excited about going to heaven, is simply because of the fact that they view it as just a better option than hell. Thus, by holding such a view, they are revealed as having a very shallow understanding and perception of glory! Rightly then, Matthew Henry reminds us that, “our duty as Christians is always to keep heaven in our eye and earth beneath our feet.” And needfully Martin Luther challenges us to, “not give one moment of heaven for all the joys and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.” And necessarily, Archibald Alexander, calls us to proclaim, “Heaven is a reality, not seen by the eyes of flesh, but made known by revelation and received by faith.” Therefore, may God teach us in the weeks ahead, to increase our love for, thoughts about, and meditation upon, Emmanuel’s land (John 14:1-3; 1 John 5:13; and Revelation 21-22)! Dear believer, it should be your aim, each day, to be thinking about and meditating upon this beautiful doctrine, longing to live in light of it, with joyful preparation for encountering our living God tomorrow morning in public Worship, through our participation in the praises and prayers of His people; and through our reception of the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! For today, the Lord’s Day, should be the peak of our week -- a day emblematic of Heaven itself! Soli Deo Gloria! Amen and Amen!!

 

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