Looking Forward to Heaven
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
What do you think about when you think about heaven? Reuniting with loved ones? Not being in pain anymore? No more suffering? No tears? Streets paved with gold? The pearly gates? Living in a mansion? Not having to go to work every day and earn a paycheck? Feeling like you’re on a perpetual vacation? Not struggling with your addictions anymore? Not hurting emotionally? Your glorified body the Bible speaks of? When you think of everlasting life in heaven that is promised to those of us who repent of our sins, believe in Christ as Lord who paid the penalty for our sins, and turn away from our wicked worldly ways unto God and His ways, what do you look forward to? What you look forward to in heaven may well reveal changes you need to make now here on earth.
Why? Because eternal life doesn’t begin in heaven. It begins the very moment we place our trust in Christ and commit our lives to the Lord and His ways. And eternal life isn’t about the blessings of the Lord; it’s about THE LORD! It’s about being in fellowship with Him forever! It’s about His love for us, and our love for Him, and intimacy with Him, and revering Him who is almighty, glorious, majestic, magnificent, beautiful, breathtaking, beyond anything we can even conceive of.
Jesus Christ Himself prayed to God that those who receive eternal life would KNOW God and KNOW Him, Jesus, who is God’s Son. He said KNOWING God, and KNOWING Himself, IS eternal life. KNOWING the Lord is a PROCESS of cleaving to the Lord and to His Word and learning to live according to His ways and GETTING TO KNOW HIM ever more, ever developing and deepening our relationship with Him, as we seek His face, listen for His voice, bow down before Him, fear Him and praise Him and learn through His Word who He is, oh, if only we would truly get this – and do this! That we would have no greater priority than to KNOW the Lord now and forevermore!
If we are looking more forward to the Lord’s blessings in heaven – mansions, pearly gates, etc. – than to God Himself, then probably our priorities on earth are backwards too. His blessings and goodness are nothing compared with the pure JOY of being in His presence, of bathing in His love, of loving, worshiping, revering, and serving Him right here, right now – and forever! Eternal life begins now for those who place their trust in the Lord and are committed to following Him forever. The greatest blessing in heaven is the same greatest blessing on earth. KNOWING God forever!
Is KNOWING God your highest priority?