1999-04-19 - Live Forever
Matthew 10:7 "...the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
In response to the question, "If you could live forever, would you and why?", Miss Alabama, in the 1994 Miss Universe contest said, "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever." What was the question?
If you are someone who is outside of the Christian faith, and you understand a little about what Christians believe, it sure must seem that Christians are a "pie in the sky" group. Christians are always talking about heaven, and looking forward to seeing Jesus, and wondering (out loud) just how much better things will be when they die. It must seem a little strange to someone whose reality is tied to earth and mortality.
It must also seem strange when Christians say that so and so has passed on to a better place, or that their suffering is now ended, or that now that they are dead, they are happy. Non-Christians say some things like this, but Christians actually mean it. It must seem strange to unbelievers, who have yet to experience the joys, peace, and comforts that a relationship with Christ brings to our hearts, when we speak of longing to be with Christ in heaven.
It must seem strange, but it shouldn't. We Christians are a group who long to be with Christ, who look forward to eternity in heaven and living forever. We are those who will take suffering now, often with a smile, because we know that there is more to life that simply living for today.
Heaven is home! Christians set their affections on the things that are above. This influences everything we do. Heaven is a place that is pure, majestic, and holy. Heaven is where every Christian holds his/her citizenship. (Philippians 3:20) Living forever is something that we not only should do, but will do. It is the joy of the Christian that fellowship with God has been restored in Christ and that heaven is where we shall dwell with Him.
In John Bunyan's book, Pilgrims Progress, he writes of the pilgrims drawing near to the gate of the Celestial City. A great many people came out to meet the pilgrims and the king's trumpeters saluted them with 10,000 welcomes. They were escorted up to the gates by all, with the sound of the angels singing, the trumpets trumpeting, and the bells of the city ringing: "welcome, welcome." All this, and they were not even IN the heavenly city yet.
Be encouraged with these thoughts.
Soli Deo Gloria,