“Think of friends or family members who loved Jesus and are with him now. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have powerful bodies, stronger than those of an Olympic decathlete. You are laughing, playing, talking, and reminiscing. You reach up to a tree to pick an apple or orange. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so good. Now you see someone coming toward you. It’s Jesus, with a big smile on his face. You fall to your knees in worship. He pulls you up and embraces you.” ― Randy Alcorn, Heaven.
Walt Disney Imagineering is the creative engine and the innovative people who research and develop ideas for the Walt Disney Company. They’re in charge of dreaming, designing, and building Disney theme parks, attractions, cruise ships, resorts, etc. They create things you can see and touch and smell, experiences that you can walk right into. As brilliant and as innovative as the Disney Imagineering people are, they could not come close to duplicating heaven in a theme park or anywhere for that matter. Their imagination does not reach that far.
Our imagination does not go far enough either. The Bible admittedly doesn’t answer all our questions about heaven, and one reason is because our minds are simply too limited to fully understand its glory and greatness. As the Bible says, “he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears.” (1 John 3:2).
But the Bible does tell us some important truths about heaven. For one, it tells us that heaven is glorious, far more glorious than anything we can even begin to imagine on Earth. When the Apostle John was given a glimpse of heaven, he “fell down to worship” (Revelation 22:8).
The question is why don’t we as Christians look forward to heaven more. Part of the answer may be that Christians often feel they’re leaving the party before it’s over, going home early. They can’t help but think of all the people and things they’ll miss when they leave. But for God’s children, the real party awaits. Paul says, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:18). If we don’t understand this future glory of heaven that awaits us, we won’t see our present sufferings shrink in comparison to its greatness.
Scripture tells us we will all be living with the same person (Jesus), in the same place (heaven), with God’s people (the church). Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 that we are to “So encourage each other with these words” in reference to our being together with the Lord forever. So clearly we will be spending eternity with our loved ones in Jesus.
The financial cost of following Jesus may require us to make sacrifices, give a little more than we think we can, change our spending habits, or evaluate our job situation. And it could cause stress and worry. But the return on the investment in Christ is worth far more than we could ever imagine. Living for Christ now means living an eternal life in heaven later. As Paul described heaven in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
- How does knowing life is short compared to all of eternity change the way you live?
- If God wants us in heaven with him, why do you think we are here on Earth now? What is your purpose for the time you are here?
- How are you working to fulfill your purpose?