Sunday, July 15, 2018

Another Reason to Look Forward to Heaven

The main reason to look forward to heaven is the presence of Christ. When Jesus prayed for "His sheep," He emphasized that the highest blessing the Father could bestow on them is to bring them into His glorious presence forever: Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

Anyone who truly loves Christ needs no other motivation to long for heaven. Like the Psalmist said, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” (Psalm 73:25a)

Yet there are other reasons to look forward to heaven.

 One of these is this - our loved ones who followed Christ will be made perfect in heaven. When you love someone for any length of time, you come  to see their faults and bad habits and character flaws. Because you love them, you try to overlook these. A new bride might say of her husband, “he’s just perfect!” But of course he’s not, nor is she. Thirty years later, that bride might say, “I love him even more now than the day we were wed.” But it is doubtful that she would ever repeat, “he’s just perfect.” Not even close.

But heaven completes the sanctification that each of us begins when we first follow Christ.

It's what Romans 8:29 promises: "...he predestined [us] to be conformed to the image of his Son…" Hebrews 2:10 speaks of “bringing many sons to glory." It’s what John means when he said, "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure" (1 John 3:2, 3).

Think what it will be like when you’re again with the people you loved in this life. In heaven they will still be themselves, with all the unique and precious things you loved about them. But they will also be wondrously glorified in the image of Christ.

For that matter, you’ll be made perfect. Your fellowship will never again be marred by petty disagreements, flashes of anger, selfishness, or self-protection. No more ugly quirks of personality, no more brokenness from a terrible childhood or from pre-Christian habits. Just an eternity of fellowship with our Jesus, the One we love the most, and with our dear ones, remade in His image.

I can only imagine.