I am looking forward to the next life… heaven! But, I don’t think most people really want to go to heaven. And I don’t blame them. The understanding they have of heaven is very incomplete and often flat out wrong. Heaven seems boring to them, probably with lots of cats (and they are dog people). And if all we do in heaven is become fat cherubs that play harps- I have little interest as well. That may be fun for you who play harps on earth, but not for me. Good news, heaven is dynamic, filled with action, awe-inspiring. There and then (although there is a hint that we could be here in a re-made earth), our communication will be perfect and without sin, in a paradise environment, fulfilling our eternal purposes, always in proximity to God. Imagine, what a restored paradise could be? Think about how good you feel when you create, serve, help… whatever it is you were made to do that blesses others. Maybe there will be accounting jobs in heaven for you bean-counters. You’ll love it! But, here’s where it gets sticky. This is the real reason people don’t want to go to heaven. They don’t know the central person who is king in heaven. They are deathly afraid of Him, as they should be. They themselves are not in proper relationship with Him, know nothing of Him and His ways, and have little interest, let alone affection for God. They are unfit for heaven. They anticipate feeling like a long tail cat in a rocking chair factory… and that’s what they would be. So, people not anticipating heaven, give attention now to buying stuff, doing work, and seeking pleasure, without a single consideration of the God who made them, loves them, desires them, and sent His Son to forgive their sins so that a relationship could begin. Jesus illustrated this problem in a parable.
But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ And yet they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I purchased a field and I need to go out to look at it; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I took a woman as my wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here those who are poor, those with disabilities, those who are blind, and those who are limping.’ And later the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and the hedges and press upon them to come in, so that my house will be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner.’” Luke 14:16-24 NASB
What gets the best of my attention and affection? How am I preparing for the next life to come?
God, I anticipate the next life more and more, as I live this life for You and Your glory. There is so much worthwhile now, but riches untold in the next life. Help me remember that knowing You, in the greatest thing in all my life. It really is!