Greetings brethren on this Lord’s Day! Today I am excited to introduce our guest writer, Andy Brown whose blog I would recommend highly. Andy who lives in Essex, England is a father of four lovely girls. He has been faithfully following Jesus for twenty-plus years, and has been a lay preacher in his local church for ten years. Andy is also an author of “A Journey With Jesus: 40 Day Devotional” and is busy on other books at present. I have been reading and conversing with Andy for about a year; I have always been blessed by his writing for the Lord. He writes on some tough subjects sharing deep thoughts, but always in very accessible language which I think all bloggers should do. Without further ado here is Andy…
I find myself more and more these days longing for the things of heaven. Not that I have a terrible life here on the earth you understand, but just that this fallen world simply cannot satisfy. Like many, life has not been all that easy over the last few months, and perhaps that’s why I am looking more to eternity than I might usually. Perhaps also, I’m hesitant to admit, that as I near a milestone birthday next month, I become all too aware of the time slipping by.
Focussing our attention on eternity is something we Christians should be doing a whole lot more. If life is short, then eternity is long! And “long” doesn’t quit cover it! The problems of this life should pale in comparison to the glories of eternity, and we would do well to remember that. When life gets tough, as it inevitably does, we ought to set our minds on the things above and use that hope as an anchor to get us through.
If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. (2) Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. (3) For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 (WEB)
Now I am not suggesting we become so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. We do not want to become out of touch with reality, or rather physical reality. We still have a body and live here on the earth, and of course need to function here. We must also remember however that this life is not all there is, and the greater life is still to come.
The problems you face right now are very real indeed, and yet many of them will have been forgotten in a year’s time (not to be uncaring of course, but many problems we worry about are short-lived at best). If in a year’s time we will struggle to remember the worries of today, then we certainly won’t recall them a thousand years from now in the glories of heaven!
But what is heaven really like? How can we set our minds on the things of eternity if we don’t have a clear idea of what life in heaven is really like? Ask your average man or woman on the street, and you will likely get a mixed response. Clouds, harps, and halos may be common themes, but are they biblical?
There are a few passages we could refer to here to help us picture life in heaven. Revelation describes the heavenly city, with streets paved in gold (Revelation 21:21) and no need of sunshine, as the glory of the Lord lights up the city (Revelation 21:23). There are other places of course, and Jesus spoke often of eternity.
Little is said specifically about what we might find ourselves doing when we get there. Eternal life is exactly that however – “life” and so I fully expect us to work, rest and play in the presence of God forevermore. What will it be like? I can only imagine…
A man moved into a new home, taking his beloved dog with him. Sat in his office for the first time, he hears a scratching at the door. The dog had never been in the room before, and had literally no idea what it would find on the other side of the door, and yet he knew his master was in there. As limited an example as this is, it illustrates the point. While we may not know exactly what we will find on the other side, we know that our Master is there.
Jesus said this:
Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. (3) If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.
John 14:1-3 (WEB)
He has gone to prepare a place for each and every one of us who puts our trust in Him. We do not know what this “place” is like exactly, but we know that Jesus has specifically gone to prepare it for us. No one knows us as well as He does, and so we can certainly expect it to be somewhere ideally suited for us.
This world is broken and fallen. It is corrupted by sin, and even if we are born anew in Christ, this life can never satisfy. I’ll close with one last story…
A missionary spent nearly 50 years sharing the Gospel in a remote country. As he returned home to retire, he spent the journey imagining the reception he would get when the ship sailed into port. The more he thought about it, the greater his imagination became. As the ship rounded the peninsula and entered the harbour, a vast crowd had gathered. The missionary welled up as he saw the crowds gathered, presumably for him. As they drew nearer, he could read the banners and signs, and soon realised that the crowd was not gathered for him, but rather for a celebrity who happened to be on the same ship.
Disgruntled, the missionary grumbled to the Lord… “All this time working for you abroad, and not one person came to welcome me home! All those signs and cheers, and nothing for me… it’s just not fair God! I thought that when I finally returned home…” But God interrupted him. “Son, you’re not home yet!”
If this life does not fulfil you, and you just don’t feel at home here, then there’s a reason… you’re not home yet! God bless you, and spend some time this week imagining the glories of heaven!