Heaven can seem to be so far away when we think of floating around on pillowy clouds, strumming our harps and lost in thoughts of eternity. Not really too appealing.
This is because it is not an accurate picture.
HEAVEN STARTS HERE AND NOW
What we know about heaven begins now.
When we express our faith in Christ and devote ourselves to following Him and imitating Him, we are ushered into the presence of God as His children. More than that, we experience his presence every day as He welcomes us into His kingdom.
Furthermore, when we face difficulty and hardship, suffering and pain, God gives us the strength to endure with joy because of the hope he has planted in our hearts.
Colossians 3:1-17, our reading for today, addresses our past, present and future in Christ and how God begins transforming us to be more like Him. It means discontinuing living by the values of this world and growing in the virtues of God that match His qualities and characteristics.
Our present reality and our future hope give us meaning and purpose that transcends the grave and reaches out to eternity. The changes that occur in our lives over time assure us of His continuing work to bring us home.
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Eternal Life is not only a future hope. The New Testament assures us that, for those who believe in Jesus, eternal life is a present reality. This is what Jesus’ resurrection assures us (remember 1 Corinthians 15!) and it is what keeps us changing, transforming and growing into His likeness day by day.
The power of 1 John 5 is the beauty of how John brings together Jesus’ humanity and his divinity, His relationship with His Father, and how our belief in Christ brings us into God’s family. As family members, of course, our desire is to obey His command to love because we want to be like our Father and His Son. We are not burdened by this desire for it is our desire to be like our Daddy that challenges us.
There are those who pay lip service to God; but, their lifestyles speak with more volume than mere words. Caught up in the world their claim of love is betrayed by their hatred and distain of their brothers and sisters. Their destiny is death and salvation is an illusion.
Why would anyone want to settle for anything else that would threaten the fulfillment of the deepest longings of our hearts for eternal life and total satisfaction in the God Who created us and welcomes us home?