Heaven Bound: 2 Important Things to Remember to Develop an Eternal Mind-Set
The other day a song came on the radio that has stuck with me in a not-so-great way. The premise of the song dealt with the singer wondering how heaven could be any better than being with this new woman he had met. Then, not long after I heard this, I heard someone refer to the places we experience in the outdoors as “heaven.”
These comparisons feel innocent enough. Most of us have probably experienced the emotional high of finding a new “love” or the breathtaking vistas that nature can provide. But there is a deeper problem. If we truly believe these earthly things are as satisfying as heaven, then we may be falling victim to a cheapening of how sweet and good heaven actually is.
I want to point out two things to which we cling as Christians concerning heaven.
1. Heaven is where God’s throne is.
First, Scripture speaks of “heaven” as the place where God’s throne is, and thus, where God is. We know that God is omnipresent, so what makes the presence of God in heaven so special? Romans 1 gives some insight:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Rom. 1:18)
The throne of God in heaven is the holiest of holies. There is no other place where his nature, his authority, and his glory are seen more clearly. It is in heaven only that godliness, righteousness, and absolute, unadulterated truth exist. It is also where full judgment is passed against all injustice and unrighteousness. The throne of God, and the heaven created around it, is a horrifying place for sinners who attempt to stand before God based on their own works, but a blessed place for those whose life is “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
2. Heaven is the believer’s eternal home.
Heaven is also where the eternal home of the believer is. Ephesians 2:19 states,
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.
There are many other aspects of heaven that can be unpacked from Scripture, but these two thoughts—that God is there, and that he has made a way for us to be citizens there—are the foundational understandings that should draw our eyes and our greatest desires to it.
So if we are tempted to think that what we experience here on earth is somehow equal to heaven, it would be helpful to remind ourselves that
sin has affected everything here (Gen. 3:17-19);
someday, there will be a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1-8);
this is not where our life is (Col. 3:4).
Many of us are blessed to enjoy some of this world’s most beautiful places, and for some of us, seeing God’s power and divine nature through creation is commonplace. Yet, we ought to guard ourselves from believing for even a moment that the most beautiful things we have seen can touch the beauty and majesty of our God.
Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Michael Horton
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