I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven recently.
“What’s the matter with you? Are you suicidal or something?”
No, of course not! Stop interrupting!
“But you’re the one typing this.”
Cut it out, you’re breaking my train of thought. Anyway, to be thinking about heaven isn’t even close to wanting to die. It’s just looking forward to an event that is going to be awesome!
First off, why do people think that heaven is going to be a small bunch of clouds, cramped together with nothing to do but play harp and contemplate the molecular structure of your halo. It’s as if they thought Heaven was going to be boring or something. Idiots.
Heaven is going to be fantabulous! (No, that word is not shorthand for getting fat off soda.) Dinosaurs, no pain, (“Watch me jump off this cliff!”) eternity to fly into space, all your Christian buddies to hang out with day after day…it’s a dream come true.
And it’s going to be humongous! The capital city is going to be 1,400 miles wide, long and TALL! That’s some skyscraper! I guessing that we can expect everything to be bigger, and by that I mean a whole lot bigger.
“But how could they build anything that tall? That’s ridiculous.”
Oh really? By what, earth’s standards? Face it buddy, that’s not in Kansas at all!
Honestly, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is heavenly pizza. I imagine it to be eight feet wide, four inches high, the crust stuffed with gorgeous cheese, pepperoni and bacon, and not a vegetable within miles of it. And guess what? The Bible says I can’t even begin to imagine how great it’ll be.
Let’s face it, we’ll eat. And our bodies will be so amazing that we can keep eating as much as we want and never get fat! (The local hotdogs should also be excellent.)
Heaven is a spectacular thing to daydream about, but it’s also a great reason for living. What is it that allowed prophets, priests, missionaries, and and ministers to keep the faith, despite the brutal attacks waged against them? (And no, the answer is not pizza.) Was it solely their love for Christ that kept them going?
Yes. But another very legitimate reason to follow Christ, is the reward of Heaven that was waiting for them. Even Moses had faith because, “he looked unto the recompense of reward.” (Hebrews 11: 26) I’m not saying that Christians are selfish pigs who when they die are going to stand before God and say, “Okay, I did what you wanted, so now gimme, gimme, GIMME!!!”
But it’s still a motivator. When confronted by earthly temptations, it’s often easy to forget why we say no to them. But there are reasons.
Reason #1: God could get angry and easily blast you to smithereens with a lightning bolt, and send you to hell in less than a nanosecond.
Reason #2 (the much more plausible version): You know that the pleasures in heaven are so great that the greatest sensation you can experience now is practically worthless, like the tiniest hint of pure, peanut butter fudge in you brownie.
Reason #3: You love God and simply want to follow all his commandments, you perfect Christian! (Show offs.)
So that’s it. Heaven is what helps keep us going in the here and now, by giving us something to look forward to. No matter how hard of situation we might have to face, it’ll be over in less than a blink of an eye. After all, eternity is going to last a bit longer than a basketball game. Or a football game. Or even a soccer game. Okay, maybe not that last one.
So as you go about life, minding your own business, I invite you to think of heaven. Not as a dull, boring thing that should be avoided, but as a fantastical ride that will last forever. The best description I’ve ever read of it is actually for C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle. Such beautiful of picture as in the chapter “Farewell to the Shadowlands” you will not find elsewhere.