When Will We Go To Heaven?|
(Note: The following article was written in 2002.)
For anyone who has ever had children, you know that a four year old child asks what seems like a thousand questions every day. Sometimes it seems like the questions will never end, but a parent realizes that this is how the child learns.
Recently, my son has been asking the question, “When will we go to heaven?” When asked in return if he wants to go to heaven, he confidently answers, “Yes.” Now at four years old, he doesn’t have much of a grasp on the concepts of an eternal soul and judgment. However, he knows two things about heaven: it is above the earth, and it is the home of God.
With those things in mind, my son knows that he wants to go to heaven. He wants to see God. No wonder our Lord said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3-4).
As Christians, how much should we long for heaven? The Bible describes heaven as the home of the soul. In Hebrews, the writer describes Abraham, who “obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going…for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:8,10). Further, the Scripture says that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13), and “they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Heb. 11:16). The kind of yearning and seeking seen in Abraham and others should also be seen in Christians as we yearn and seek for our heavenly home.
After all, our inheritance, like Abraham’s, is in heaven. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1Pet. 1:3-4). Therefore, we should diligently seek our inheritance as Abraham did, and this we do by serving the Lord (Col. 3:24).
Unfortunately, Christians do not always have this kind of desire to see God. In some cases, we have fallen in love with the world and are not ready to depart. We sing songs, saying, “This world is not my home…,” but do we believe it? Can we honestly express the words of John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20), or of Paul, “O Lord, come!” (1Cor. 16:22)? Or, are we more likely to say, “Lord, please wait just a little while longer?”
Our true desire is revealed in the way we live. For Abraham, he desired a heavenly country, and his life showed it. Of course, the Lord said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:20-21). Life is spent laying up either an earthly treasure or a heavenly treasure. What kind of inheritance are you building?
So how shall I answer my son? When will we go to heaven? The true answer, relative to eternity, is that God’s people will go to heaven very, very soon. Our opportunity is short, and our anticipation should be high. Let’s all be ready. “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
Stacey E. Durham
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