Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
A vision of heaven: “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready like a bride dressed to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: ‘Now God’s home with mankind! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. He will wipe all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain.” Revelation 21:2ff
Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” John 14:2
Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
The Bible has a lot to say about the treatment of widows and orphans. The Bible has a lot to say about compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. The Bible has a lot to say about our complicated relationship with money. The Bible warns us repeatedly not to judge others. The Bible contains laws that have helped govern civilized society, and poetry that has inspired artists. The Bible has very little to say about heaven.
Personally, I don’t care about heaven. I am not trying to get in. Don’t get me wrong, heaven beats the alternative; I am hoping to get in, but that is not my goal in life. I do not wake up in the morning with a list of good deeds that, when accomplished, might make me more loveable to God. Heaven? I simply do not have the time or energy to worry about something that is totally out of my control. The guest list in heaven? I am going to leave that to God, and if I somehow found out that heaven did not exist, well, that would not change the way that I live my life.
Heaven is on a need-to-know basis, and I simply do not need-to-know. Perhaps if God had given us a clear vision of heaven in the Bible, then our time on earth would not be so precious; we might be anxious to leave. At times Christians have been described as being “so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.”
Heaven is on a need-to-know basis, and I simply do not need-to-know. However, there remains all of those “Jesus things” that we do know and should be about. We should love God by loving our neighbors and loving ourselves. (Side note: Muslims, Jews, immigrants, all races and genders, are our neighbors.) We should feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide shelter for the homeless, and care for the widows and orphans. We should resist the temptation to be judgmental, self-righteous religious people. Is that not enough to keep us busy?
Personally, I don’t care about heaven, and I spend no time thinking about it. My faith has nothing to do with heaven; it has everything to do with the love of God.
Let’s live this life, now, to the Glory of God; let us live and love!
One day closer,