How often do you think about heaven? It is so easy to think about the here and now, especially in the times we live that we miss the blessed hope of eternity. We worry about our loved ones and our futures here on earth that we miss the amazing future we have with Christ.
There is a great song by Big Daddy Weave titled â€œThe Only Name (Yours Will Be). The chorus makes me think about my eternal future:
When I wake up in the Land of Glory
And with the saints I will tell my story
There will be one Name that I proclaim
The song goes on to say that it is Jesusâ€™ name that will be proclaimed. But I thought about waking up in the Land of Glory, in heaven, but not just heavenâ€”a new heaven.
â€œNow I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, â€˜Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.â€™â€ (Revelation 21:1-4)
Too often I live my life as though life on earth is all there is, but Scripture tells me this earth will be replaced with a new earth fashioned and inhabited by Christ. Of course we must be good and wise stewards with all that God provides us, but we need not hang onto the things of this life as though it is our only one.
If I am not careful I find myself living life as though I know what the future holds and as if I am in control. If I would remind myself every morning that Christ can return at any moment, perhaps my days would go differently, no? The Apostle Peter thought so:
â€œBut the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.â€ (2 Peter 3:10-13)
Such wonderful challenges and promises found in this passage from Peter that we could spent a lot of time dissecting it, but letâ€™s look at two important points. First, because we do not know when Christ will return our conduct ought to be holy and godly. Imagine your worse secret and then imagine doing it and Christ returning at that very moment. You would think that would stop most Christians in their tracks.
Second, the evil days in which we live can overwhelm us with dread and worry but we need not. Why? We need not fret because of the promised return of our King and the new heavens and new earth where evil will never again be present. Only righteousness will dwell in the Land of Glory!
Perhaps youâ€™re thinking or have thought, or but Brother Dave this planet we live on is so beautiful and abundant with bounty. Indeed it is! However, the same God who created this amazing earth will create another one so breathtaking that the Prophet Isaiah wrote that we would forget this one!
â€œFor behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.â€ (Isaiah 65:17-19)
I can be as pessimistic as the next person and if I do not purpose in my heart to share and live the good news of Jesus Christ, then my words can be an audible depressant that discourages people instead of encouraging. This should not be. My words should be words of encouragement.
More on that next time…
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Copyright Â© 2013 David Jeffers