“Reflections on Eternity”
“…looking for and hastening the coming of the day of the Lord…” 2 Peter 3:12
The teacher asked her class, “How many of you would like to go to heaven?” All the children raised their hands except Tommy. Puzzled, the teacher then asked Tommy why he wouldn’t like to go to heaven. Tommy answered, “I’m sorry, but I can’t. My mother told me to come right home after Sunday School.
I chuckle at the little feller’s comment and wonder if we don’t often inadvertently make the mistake: we are so busy doing the things in front of us that we give little if any thought to our heavenly destination? Over the course of the last several weeks as I have spent time convalescing (and by the way, my deepest expressions of gratitude for your prayer, encouragement, and support during a pretty rough season—it has been a tremendous help), I have focused a bit on the glory that awaits us. There are several things that have been a focal point for me that I want to share with you.
First, heaven is going to be spectacular!! Randy Alcorn (Heaven), John Piper (Future Grace), and Billy Graham (Nearing Home) all describe the reality of new heavens, new earth, new bodies, and the attendant realities with those as being above and beyond anything we can imagine. Here is a fun little exercise to contemplate during a quiet time: think about something that you really love—fishing for steelhead, climbing a mountain, riding a horse, or whatever. It’s way better than that. I mean, it is totally beyond our imagination. Colors will be brighter, smells sharper, sounds crisper, tastes sweeter, and experiences grander.
Second, righteousness will dwell there. That is what Peter tells us in his second letter anyway. Righteousness is theological concept that often alludes our firm grasp. I can tell you, for example, that righteousness is conformity to the claims of a higher authority that we adopt as our own standard. Ok, theological. So what does it mean practically? In that wonderful place God himself, in all his beauty and glory, will be dwelling in our midst, or better, we in his midst. It stirs the mind but our comprehension cannot keep up. It is incredible to contemplate what it will be like to bask in the glory and beauty of the Lord—a beauty that is once again beyond our comprehension!!
Finally, well, we are not there yet, though some of our loved ones already are. That means we live in the state of “not yet.” (Bet you didn’t know we lived in a different state, did you??? Lol). The state of “not yet” means that we are here occupying time and space, and it need to be done so with purpose. Again, I encourage you to see what Peter wrote—“what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.” As someone recently reminded me, sin is serious business with God, he never takes it lightly. We have a very clear objective and purpose for how we are to live our days on terra firma—in holiness and godliness. The good news is this: we already have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-10). He gives his expectation, then provides everything to pull it off. That is just like our great God—He is so loving, merciful, and gracious to provide all the tools necessary to be the people he wishes us to be and become.
I have found great peace and comfort in these last few weeks contemplating the realities that await. It makes me quite excited for that future, even if I get impatient at times in its arrival. I encourage you to spend some time thinking, reading, and resting in God’s amazing promises in this future regard.
Blessings on the journey,
Blessings on the journey,