Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.Colossians 3:1-2
God has put eternity in our hearts. He wants to bring eternity to light in a way that will surprise you, spark your imagination, and change how you live today. Many believers have many misconceptions about Heaven such as disembodied spirits, clouds, or eternal harp strumming. And some are even scared of going to Heaven. Yes, you heard that right. Some believers are actually terrified of dying because they do not have an understanding of eternity in Heaven. This fear is largely due to the lack of teaching about Heaven. It needs to be talked about more in church and in our homes. A pastor once told Randy Alcorn, “Whenever I think about Heaven, it makes me depressed. I’d rather just cease to exist when I die. I can’t stand the thought of that endless tedium. To float around in the clouds with nothing to do but strum a harp…it’s all so terribly boring. Heaven doesn’t sound much better than Hell. I’d rather be annihilated than spend eternity in a place like that.” How is it possible for a Bible-believing, seminary-educated pastor to get such a view of Heaven? In my own church, we’ve had prayer requests like this, “Would you please pray for me? I am scared to die and go to Heaven FOREVER – the word FOREVER scares me because it seems exhausting, or too long, or boring after you do everything.”
We Have Been Lied to About Heaven
This is what John Eldredge says about Christians with an unbiblical view of Heaven, “Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service…We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That’s the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual.’ We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.” Many Christians who have gone to church all their adult lives can’t recall having heard a single sermon on Heaven. It is occasionally mentioned, but rarely emphasized, and almost never is it developed as a topic. Pastors may not think that it’s important to address the subject of Heaven because they never had a course on it in seminary. But when Pastors don’t preach on Heaven, their congregations assume that the Bible has little to say about it. So, where do we get our misconceptions? I believe there is one explanation for why so many of God’s children have such a vague, negative, and uninspired view of Heaven: the work of Satan. He has infiltrated people’s thoughts about Heaven by offering lies that sound true. Distortions of the place he was kicked out of can skew a believer’s concept of the place they are headed toward. He has robbed us of joy and anticipation, and it is time to stop this criminal behavior. God desires to expose the lies that Satan has told you about Heaven, and when He does, you have to call them out and replace them with the truth.
Why is it Important to Understand Heaven?
In the book of Colossians, Paul tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. Jesus Himself talked about the Kingdom of Heaven often, and it appears 32 times in the Gospel of Matthew. Heaven is important for believers because we are called to be Heaven’s ambassadors. We are God’s ambassadors and have been “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). As we go through this world, we represent another Kingdom (John 18:36), and it is our responsibility to reflect the “official position” of Heaven. We are in this world, but not of it (John 17:16). God’s ambassadors are to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we must take the message of our King to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8), imploring men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God. How could we possibly bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth if we have no idea of what Heaven is really like?
What are we to do?
Randy Alcorn says this, “Sitting here in a dark world, we must remind ourselves what Scripture tells us about Heaven. We will one day be delivered from the blindness that separates us from the real world. We will realize then the stupefying bewitchment we have lived under. By God’s grace, may we stomp out the bewitching fires of naturalism so that we may clearly see the liberating truth about Christ the King and Heaven, His Kingdom.” That is our charge, to seek the truth about the Kingdom of Heaven so that we can bring it into the Earth. I would strongly encourage every believer to purchase/borrow the book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Besides the Bible, Heaven is the single most life-changing book you could ever read. Besides getting a framework for Heaven through reading about it with a biblical lens, ask God to reveal the truth about what Heaven is really like. He will answer your prayers because He longs for you to have the right conception of your forever home.
God, I know that there are many misconceptions that I have believed about Heaven. I repent for accepting those lies as the truth. Please reveal to me how I can take authority by replacing the lies with Your truth. I desire to feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill my thoughts with heavenly realities. Show me the way Lord! Amen.
Alcorn, Randy. Heaven. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 2004.