Looking Forward to Heaven

            Recently I read a short book about heaven.  It seemed to me that, in spite of the author’s claims to the contrary, he made a number of assertions that weren’t based on Scripture or they were based on Scriptures taken out of context.  Much of what we think we know about heaven is based on tradition or myth.  Maybe we don’t know as much about heaven as we think we do.  Maybe that’s a reason to look forward to it.  Finding out about it will be a new adventure.  I don’t mean to debate the contents of the book here, but it got me thinking a little about heaven myself.  This won’t be a deep Bible study, and I hope you don’t mind a few of my own musings.

            The older I get, the more I look forward to heaven.  I think anyone who knows how rotten this present world is can’t help but look forward to it.  When we talk about heaven, I believe Christ Himself is overlooked.  So many Gospel songs talk about streets of gold or seeing Mama, etc.  What about looking forward to seeing Christ, our wonderful Lord and Savior?  What if we’re so bowled over by His glory that we don’t even see any of our loved ones and friends for the first thousand years?

            Notice what David looked forward to.  Ps. 17:15—“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”  His satisfaction would come from seeing the Lord.  Another passage from Ps. 73:24-25 puts it this way: “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”

            Then there’s a familiar passage from the Apostle Paul.  He wanted to be with Christ, but knew His purpose on the earth wasn’t finished.  Phil. 1:21-26—“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

            Our salvation is a gift, but we’re rewarded in heaven for what we do for and through Him.  2 Cor. 5:10–“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that  every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  1 Cor. 3:11-15 says: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”  In Rev. 22:12 Jesus says, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

            Here’s a truly humbling and beautiful thought.  Christ wants us to be with Him.  John 14:1-3—“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

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