When I first said a prayer asking Jesus into my life, what I most understood about the experience was that I had just made reservations in Heaven. I thought that was the biggest point… one day, far into the distance, I would get to experience the benefits of making the decision to accept Jesus.
For most of my life I believed that the Christian life consisted entirely of going to church on Sundays and looking forward to Heaven when I died.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to church and looking forward to our heavenly destiny that is NOT the only thing God has called us to.
God has called us to live here and now for His kingdom. He has given us the privilege of reconciling others to Him and living in the abundance of His love and grace while we are still here on earth.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 it says clearly that anyone who is in Christ becomes a new creation and is given the ministry of reconciliation. This means that following Jesus isn’t just about attending church on Sundays and waiting for Heaven. We have been given the task of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us through our words and actions, every single day.
When we accept the invitation into the Kingdom of God, the date on the invitation doesn’t say “When You Arrive to Heaven”, it says “Now!”. We’ve been given the opportunity to live the future Kingdom life, now. We don’t have to wait until we die. I see a world far too dark and far too lost to do any waiting around…
All you have to do is turn on the TV or scroll through your newsfeed to realize how much work there is to be done. As I type this thousands of Iraqi Christians are facing religious persecution, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death between the ages 25 and 34 and nearly ½ of the world is living in poverty, depending on less than $2.50 per day
The only thing that can reverse this darkness is the relentless love of Christ. As followers of Jesus, we’ve been commissioned to bring this love to all corners of the earth.
I understand that this earth is imperfect and will continue to be so until God makes it new again, but that shouldn’t stop us from inviting Heaven to invade earth now.
In fact, that is exactly the type of prayer that Jesus instructs believers to pray…
“9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
For the church to be effective we are going to have to start living with the reality of the nearness of heaven. We are going to have to start living as the new creation that we actually are. We are going to have to start setting our eyes on the things above and not just what is here on this earth (Colossians 3:1-4).
Things will change in incredible ways when the reality of Heaven becomes more real than the reality of earth.
Every day we wake up we are given the invitation to live into the future.
You can live as a son or a daughter of the King now…
You can live in His presence now…
You can live with the peace of God ruling your heart now…
You can live without the guilt and shame associated with your sin now…
I believe that we are intended to live as citizens of Heaven now, so that one day when we do arrive to Heaven, we won’t feel like visitors… we will feel like we finally made it home.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.