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Today’s devotional really engaged me and started me thinking about heaven. I hope it did for you as well. After all, we will be spending all eternity in heaven, whatever form it may take and wherever it may be. I too sometimes wondered why Jesus just did not take us to be with Him upon conversion. Of course, the reason is that we are the primary means that God has ordained to spread His Gospel. I can confidently say that all of us reading this post would have to attribute our coming to Christ in some way to the preaching of the Gospel by a believer. Whether it be a preacher at an event, a parent(s) within our house, or some other manner, a person was involved in telling us the Good News.
But I still like to think about our ultimate destination. John Edwards had this to say about Heaven.
God, considered with respect to His essence, is everywhere—He fills both heaven and earth. But yet He is said, in some respects, to be more especially in some places than in others. He was said of old to dwell in the land of Israel, above all other lands; and in Jerusalem, above all other cities of that land; and in the temple, above all other buildings in the city; and in the holy of holies, above all other apartments of the temple; and on the mercy seat, over the ark of the covenant, above all other places in the holy of holies. But heaven is His dwelling-place above all other places in the universe; and all those places in which He was said to dwell of old, were but types of this. Heaven is a part of creation that God has built for this end, to be the place of His glorious presence, and it is His abode forever; and here will He dwell, and gloriously manifest Himself to all eternity.
I know it is a common comfort to think about heaven when we are hurting, and understandably so. The Irish poet, Thomas Moore, said,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
But when our life circumstances are fantastic, we should still long for heaven. For the best this current world has to offer cannot begin to compare with what our LORD is preparing for us right now.
Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3 NKJV)
Then we will see our Lord Jesus face-to-face. We will see Him in the glory that was His before His incarnation and since His ascension.
I long for heaven not because I am dissatisfied with life here, but because I long to be face-to-face with my Savior; not because I am moribund, but because I have eternal life.
As the Apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say,
I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, (Phil 1:21-25 NKJV)