You are on page 1of 5

Our Hope in Heaven We don’t talk about heaven enough.

When we say “our Christian life,” we tend to just think about our life here on earth. Should we just focus on what is tangible here and now? Here’s what Paul had to say about that. 1 Corinthians 15:19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. Jesus also challenged people to think about heaven, and about hell. Matthew 7:13-14 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Jesus challenged everyone listening to His sermon on the mount. He told them that there were only two ways in life. One way leads to destruction, ruin, and eternal separation from God. The other way leads to life, salvation, and a restored relationship with our Creator. What did Jesus say about the two ways? Way to Destruction The gate is wide and the way is broad so that there’s nothing to keep you our or constrain you once you’re on the path. There is nothing to stumble you, and you have freedom so that you can do whatever seems best to you. This is our default way of life and many people enter into this way. Way to Life Jesus says the gate to the way of life is small and narrow so that it’s easy to miss. It’s constraining so that you only can enter in a certain way—by humbling ourselves before God, repenting of our sin, and trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. There is no other way in. It’s easy to miss this gate … pay attention or you might miss it! Once we’ve started, we find the road is narrow so that we can only choose one way—God’s way. We go forward with God, we stop, or we go back. Jesus says that only a few people find this way. “Make every effort to enter into the narrow gate.” Jesus wanted people to think about their destination. If we know that we are on the road to destruction, then we’ll be alarmed and anxious to get out of that way. If we know that we are on the way to life, then it doesn’t matter that it’s narrow and difficult. The “light and momentary troubles” that we face will be far outweighed by the glory that we stand to receive. The problem is that we seldom stop to think. When was the last time that you serious stopped to think about your life and where you are headed for eternity? Whether we are on the broad or narrow path, it’s worthwhile for us to contemplate this question.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Why is it better to go to a funeral than a party? Because everyone should think about where they are headed. Ecclesiastes 7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. The devil doesn’t need you to reject God outright—all he needs is for you to be oblivious about why you are here and where you are going. If he can keep you content and happy on your way to hell, he’ll do that. *SKIT ABOUT THIN MINTS* We need to think about heaven. Our problem is not that we want pleasure too much—it’s that we lower our expectations. We actually want pleasure too little. We should hunger more, not less. We should desire what truly satisfies. When we take the good things that God has given us here on earth and try to use them to satisfy our craving for God, then it leads to all kinds of pitiful idolatry. Lust is one example. Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but when people believe that it will ultimately satisfy them, then that leads to perversity, increasing cravings, and diminishing satisfaction. Sin is deceitful and always promises one thing and delivers a far inferior product. The same thing is true when we chase pleasure or “the fine things of life.” Pleasure and good times are not bad, but they are not what you’re looking for in the end. Isaiah 55:1-2 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

So what are we looking for? Acts 17:26-27 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. God created us each for a particular purpose—to have a relationship and close fellowship with Him. We are all seeking the God who created us. We will only find our purpose once we find Him. The reason that this life doesn’t satisfy is because we were not created for this life. 1 Corinthians 13:12 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. We can look forward to meeting Jesus face-to-face. At that time, all our questions will be answered. Even Paul, who had visions of heaven, did not know fully. Right now, we only know the part of God’s plan that we need to know. For the rest, we must have faith. It’s like a variable in an equation. One day, God will supply the variable in heaven.

We need to be people who are realize where we are headed. God has given us a down payment on what we are going to receive. Ephesians 1:13-14 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. We have the Holy Spirit so that we can start living according to the principles of the Kingdom of God here and now. We are kings and priests, a holy nation set apart for Him, but the final consummation of what God has planned is still to come. Brothers and sisters, you were not created for this present experience. This is temporary. You were created for eternity with the God who loves you. Live your lives here accordingly.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. Stop! Reflect on your destination. If you are on the broad and easy path, stop and find the narrow gate. Enter in and walk in it, even if it seems difficult. 2 Peter 3:10-13 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

God has something wonderful and amazing prepared for you. Are you ready? Do you desire it? It’s not wrong to desire this. God created you to enjoy this and He made a way for you to enter into it.