Heaven, the place Jesus explained as more valuable than anything we can think of (Mat 13:45-46). Heaven; where the Savior is. Heaven; the place where saints of God have their true citizenship (Phil 3:20). Heaven; a place called home. Believers are out of place in this world (1 Pet 2:11); we can’t feel at home here and should long for our heavenly home. If Christians had not become so attached to this world, heaven would still hold true value in their hearts and minds. It would not just be some place to go when you die, or the better alternative to hell. It would be home, the place of eternal rest and peace with the Savior forevermore. Heaven; the pearl of great price. Heaven, home; the place worth whatever I must do, give up, or suffer in order to be!
Over the past few days I have been thinking about a reader’s response to the last post,“Work Out Your Own Salvation”; It’s More Than Just a Notion. I totally agree with him that our goal as children of God should always be to please God. I also believe that he is correct when he says too many of today’s “new age christians” have doing just enough to get to heaven as their primary goal (I’m paraphrasing). We do want to go to heaven/have eternal life, but it should be for the right reason. We should take a lesson from saints of old who wanted to See Jesus.
It is true these saints wanted to go to heaven but it was because Jesus is there. Their treasure was in heaven; therefore, that is where their heart was (Matthew 6:21). Their treasure was Jesus Christ. It wasn’t the opportunity for site seeing in that heavenly city that was so important. They wanted to lay eyes upon their beautiful Savior. They wanted to bow before the One who loved deep enough to die for the unworthy. Their mindset was like that of Paul who desired to be absent from the body in order to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). He didn’t say to be absent from the body and walk on streets of gold, or to be absent from the body in order to eat from the magnificent tree of twelve fruit. He didn’t even say it was to be able to sit in peace and tranquility in a place without wickedness or strife. No, Paul too looked forward to seeing the Savior! For him, and those saints like him, the trappings of heaven were an added bonus that paled in comparison to an eternity with Christ, their savior.
Jesus described heaven as a place to look forward to; a place worth giving everything we have in order to obtain. He provided a description of what we would miss if we refused to believe. I don’t think it is wrong to keep heaven in view if your goal is pleasing God in order to see your Savior face to face. Just to behold Him used to be what the heart of true believers longed for. Just to behold His face was the treasure they looked forward to. They loved the Lord just that much.
If we love Jesus we will not have the mindset of “do just enough.” If we love Him we will not look to find out how much we can “still do” and make it in. If we love the Lord we will desire to please Him in every area of our lives. Our question would be what else can I do/give up for the Lord…if we really loved Him. If we love the Lord we will desire to see Him face to face one day. If we love Him we will trust Him. If we truly love Him we will believe Him; we will have the faith it takes to please Him. If we love Him then He will be our treasure. So my question for us is do you love Him? Do you Really Love Jesus Christ?
Until next time,
Face to face with Christ, my Savior
Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
Only faintly now, I see Him,
With the darkling veil between,
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.
What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.
Face to face! O blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.
A Hymn by Mrs. Carrie E. Breck (b.1855 – d.1934)