I always hear older folks talking about Heaven. They can’t wait to get there. They’re “longing for home.” It’s like they want to be done with their time on Earth to get to their eternal home (and many do).
Don’t take that wrong. The Bible tells us that this world is our temporary home, and that we should look forward to our eternal home. I think as age and pain increases and people get closer to Heaven (to try and put it nicely), they are more ready.
I am excited for what Heaven will have in store. Who shouldn’t be? It will be great up there. But “to everything there is a season.” When it is my time, I will be confident in going, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to go just yet.
There are two things I want to address along this route. The first is something I hear from many Christians. They see the way the world is, see the way our nation is, and say something along the lines of “well the Lord just needs to come back and take us out of here.” If that was God’s purpose for us, He would have translated us straight to Heaven at the moment of salvation. I don’t know about the rest of you, but even though the world is a depraved place, I’m not ready to give up on it just yet. In fact, that means it needs us (or rather, our Savior) that much more.
We see things going south. Yes, I believe we are warned of that by nearly everyone in the Bible. The world isn’t getting any better, and don’t plan on it getting any better overall. But you know what will bring no improvement at all? Christians who stand back and complain about it instead of having compassion and making a difference (Jude 22).
“You’re being harsh.” And I’m enjoying it. I’ve been guilty of this before. But I have never said, “Just take us out Jesus.” Maybe part of that is because I am young and haven’t gotten the chance to experience everything in life. “But it pales in comparison to Heaven.” It’s not as if I’m not aware of that. But God has us here for a reason. I’m afraid if all of these Christians’ prayers for God to whisk us out and drop the hammer on these wicked people get answered, we won’t be able to fully fulfill it.
But I cannot think of all of this without having an extreme amount of conviction and guilt myself. When we sing songs about Heaven (and there are many, and they are good songs) I should be more excited. There should be more longing. Instead I’m left thinking, “Who do I know that won’t be there with me?” Heaven is a great place, made possible by a great Savior who loved us enough to die for us. The alternative is eternal torment and separation from God. And every person will immediately and forever go to one of those two places. We celebrate our homes in Heaven, which we did nothing to earn, when there are others we know that can’t celebrate with us.
Let us not pray for Jesus to come, but for Him to tarry His coming. He WILL come, but we should desire ample time to bring as many people with us when He does. Do we realize the magnitude of what we’re facing? We are no better than any person who we might be sinful enough to judge- we are simply redeemed by God’s mercy. Don’t think that we were deserving of the gospel while someone else is not. Don’t pray for God’s judgment on them, pray for Him to soften their hearts that we can witness to them effectively. Don’t say they’re deserving of Hell while we aren’t- we all are. Tell them how you’ve been spared, and how they can too.
Jesus is coming. What are we doing about it?