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As it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
In a couple of days, I will be driving to New Jersey for my uncle’s funeral. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that “It is better to go to a house of mourning that to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). One of the reasons it is good to be in a house of mourning, according to this verse, is that it reminds us that our earthly life will one day come to an end, and that we would be wise to live with that reality in mind.
In a book I read recently, an American Christian interacted with a seminary student from Africa. The man from Africa expressed his amazement at how little Americans speak of heaven in church. In his country, he said, they talk about heaven all the time. But, he realized, Americans don’t talk about it as much here because we have everything we think we want in this life. We are so comfortable that we don’t need to look ahead to heaven.
Perhaps there is some truth to this. After all, many modern Christian bestsellers seem to be focused on how to help us live our best life here on earth, as if living your earthly life to the fullest is our goal as Christians. But for those of us familiar with suffering, we need more than just the promise of a happy marriage and a fulfilling job. We need to know that there is a future hope that is greater than anything this world could offer, an eternal love that never leaves, a significance that never fails, a peace that can not be shaken, and a joy that transcends any earthly pleasure.
Below are some of my favorite quotes concerning heaven. I encourage you to listen and meditate on these powerful words, that you might live your life in light of eternity:
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (CS Lewis)
“To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.”(Charles Spurgeon)
“God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.” (Jonathan Edwards)
“Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.” (DL Moody)
“Hearts on earth may say in the course of a joyful experience, “I don’t want this ever to end.” But invariably it does. The hearts of those in heaven say, “I want this to go on forever.” And it will. There is no better news than this.” ( JI Packer)
Thank you, Lord, for your salvation, and for the promise of eternal life, that will far surpass anything this world could ever offer. Help us to put our hope in you and not in the things of this world. Amen.
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