I was on twitter this week and saw a tweet by John Piper that caught my attention. It referred to a blog he wrote called Matrimony No More. It’s a great article, but I will share just a quote from it.
“Surely God’s purpose for his children in the resurrection is not only that eternal life will replace death, and righteousness replace sin, and health replace sickness, and joy replace sorrow, and pleasure replace pain, but also that unimaginable, unending, ever-increasing ecstasies replace the best of our most intense pleasures in this world. In other words, the age to come is not only an improvement over the worst of this world, but over the best.”
“In other words, the age to come is not only an improvement over the worst of this world, but over the best.”
I repeated that last sentence because I want you to really see it. Heaven will be more amazing and wonderful than our best experience here on earth.
This morning during my time with the Lord, I read John 14. When I read verses 1-3, it brought back to my mind John Piper’s blog. Here are the words Jesus spoke:
(1) “Don’t let your hearts be trouble. Trust in God, and trust also in me. (2) There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (3) When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
Have you ever been amazed at the wondrous beauty you’ve seen on this earth — oceans, mountains, forests, fields, waterfalls, etc? I have. Many times. This earth is a testament to God’s creative power. But if we are impressed with what God created in just a few days, imagine what awaits us in heaven, for all eternity. Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you.”
Heaven is for everyone, but not everyone will be there. I didn’t make that up. Jesus said it in verse 6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” In verse 15 Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” The only way we can know what God’s commandments are is by spending time reading the Bible. And the only way we can love Jesus, is by spending time meditating on His Word and in prayer. It’s by spending time with Jesus that we fall in love with Him.
“Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” John 9:47
If we ignore spending time with God, we show that everything else in our lives means more to us than He does. How can we say we love Him, if we neglect Him?
Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, “Above all, keep much in the presence of God. Never see the face of man till you have seen His face who is our life, our all.” He instructed his students to seek the face of God every morning before seeing any other face. He taught them to live for eternity.
We used to live thirteen hours from my parents’ home. Whenever we told them we would come for a visit, Mom would prepare our bedrooms and think of fun things for the children to do. She would make delicious meals and desserts. My parents worked on their garden and mowed the lawn. They took great care to prepare for our arrival and wanted us to know how happy they were that we decided to come home to be with them. What if we had decided there was something else we would rather do? What if we called them at the last moment and cancelled our plans. We would certainly have disappointed them, but we would also have missed out on all the blessings they prepared for us.
Heaven is real and I want to be there one day. Jesus went to prepare a place for me and for you. It is our choice whether we will see the unimaginable, unending, ever-increasing ecstasies that are awaiting our arrival. We cannot earn our way to heaven. Jesus has already paid the price so we can spend eternity with Him. Now we must choose whether we will accept this gift or reject it.