I’ve noticed that lots of Christians these days seem to downplay the hope of heaven, focusing on the earthly benefits and responsibilities of the faith, as if the afterlife is an unworthy motive or somehow beneath us. Not me!
I agree that Jesus Christ is not only in the business of saving souls but also of renewing a fallen creation. I agree that Christians are called to spread His kingdom here on the earth. I agree that too many of us have been AWOL concerning the great issues of the day (“so heavenly minded, no earthly good”). I agree that eternal life with Him starts right now by faith, not when we get to heaven. I agree that Christianity is about much more than simply avoiding hell and getting into heaven. I agree that the best thing about heaven is being with Christ, and there is no heaven without Him.
But in a dying universe without hope apart from the gospel, on a planet filled with lost and broken people, with criminals and tyrants who too often “get away with it,” where children die and murderers live, where death, disability, and disease grind us down, where relationships sometimes are torn apart beyond mending, where longings too deep for words sometimes interrupt the confident assurances of the materialists that “this is all there is and we have to make our own meaning” . . . .
I believe in the great city with 12 open gates, in my Father’s house where Jesus is preparing a place for me, in the pure water flowing from the throne of God, in treasures that cannot be lost and a crown that will never fade, in a land where righteousness dwells and where the sun and moon are no longer needed, and in a place without tears or pain.
I believe in heaven!