Prepare for Heaven Right Now
“You’re so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good,” I remember hearing that phrase as a child. To my knowledge, I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who represents that statement.
Our conversation about heaven has had a narrow focus. We can tend to focus on the personal salvation of coming face to face with Jesus.
Many of you like myself, carry heavy hearts from the last week. I lament the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. I grieve this past weekend watching peaceful protests for racial justice and equity becoming violent in Rochester and other areas, because of anarchists.
The vision of heaven throughout the Bible moves past a personal salvation to a multiracial, multiethnic, and diverse gathering of people worshipping Jesus. Yes, every person stands level at the foot of the cross, but the invitation of the gospel reminds us that we will all worship Jesus together in glory.
Consider the vision of John in Revelation:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
You can trace the heart of God throughout the Bible to bring all of humanity together. David in the Psalms foreshadows the Revelation passage:
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
Our tables become a glimpse of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Our small groups become pockets of celebrations in glory. Our church services can begin to represent the vision John has in Revelation and the writers throughout the Bible.
Preparing for heaven right now invites us to grieve with our black brothers and sisters because we believe that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. Preparing for heaven calls white brothers and sisters not to live out the gospel of racial reconciliation episodically, but in a long obedience in the same direction.
Pastor Eric Mason of Philadelphia says this, “Proximity breeds empathy. Distance breeds suspicion.”
I pray in so many ways that we become more heavenly minded for any earthly good. It’s the message of hope found in the gospel that the world needs right now. Let’s prepare for heaven right now.
Originally published at https://peterenglert.com on June 1, 2020.