(Photo: Luliia Kovalova / Adobe)

By Joshua Stevens, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice 

If someone were to come to you with the following list: real, communal, perfect, everlasting, hopeful – what would come to your mind? Would you immediately jump to the thought of heaven? From time to time, it seems as though our vision of heaven is watered down from its glory. Simply stated as “being in the presence of God forever and ever” while true and wonderful sells short the vision for heaven given to us by God.  

For what good does it do a Christian today to think of what may await in heaven tomorrow? Here is an observation by CS Lewis: “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. . .”1 Now, look to the Lord’s prayer, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). 2 So, we see for the Christian to keep our minds on heaven is to focus on the goal of bringing forth Christ’s Kingdom to earth; it is the hope we carry with us that we will see heaven (John 14:2-3); it is where we belong (Philippians 3:20).  

Heaven is real. More than a place where the saint’s spirits inhabit after our death, it is a place we will see and feel. Christ set this example for us after his resurrection, “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.'” (John 20:27). 2 Thomas touched our Savior and felt where his side and hands were pierced. In this glorious physical body, Christ ascends into heaven, where soon we will be, too. A place where our feet can touch the ground, our eyes will see, and our ears can hear, a place where our physical delights will not only be available but enhanced, where hiking the peaks of heaven’s mountains or running through the fields will not make us grow weary or tired. Our hearts’ pure pleasures will be in heaven in the enjoyment of God. In this place, after our final resurrection, we will be healed from ailments; there will be no disease or injury. In a glorified body with all physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds healed, the saints will be forever and ever singing with the angels and in perfect communion with the one true God.  

Heaven is communal. In the West, we tend to privatize our experiences and desires. Such is the same when we consider heaven. However, heaven is a place where all the saints will join in a multiplying joy for all eternity. Figuratively bouncing off heaven’s walls as our hearts grow in love and happiness. Jonathon Edwards preached a sermon, entitled Heaven: A World of Love,3 in which he states that in heaven, we will each obey the golden rule perfectly, and as such, because we love perfectly, we will experience twice the happiness and joy when we see a loved one in heaven and so will they upon seeing us. Each of our joys has doubled since you are both loving the other as yourselves, so this will continue in a multiplication.  

Heaven is everlasting. More than eternal and without end, heaven will never cease to amaze and astonish the saints. No matter how deep we go, there will always be more; no boredom will ever wash over us, for there will always be more of God to explore. Heaven is eternal, and the saint’s sanctification will be complete; thus, there is no worry of sinning and falling into ruin again. Forever with God, the saints will be completely satisfied and rejoicing with all of creation, singing the praises of our glorious God.  

Will you pray with me?  

Dear Lord,  

Thank you for the hope you have given us. Thank you for the opportunity to share in eternity and invite others to do so, for the chance to play a role in your wonderful plan. Thank you for the life you have given us. Let us walk boldly forward, proclaiming the gospel you have shown us and running the race well and true.  

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.  

​​References 

​​1 Lewis, C. (1952). Mere Christianity. Harper Collins. 

2 Crossway Bibles. (2001). The Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton: Good News Publishers. 

3 Edwards, J. (1998). Heaven: A World of Love. Chapel Library. 

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