26 April 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Heaven

What will heaven be like? It’s only natural to wonder what our eternal home will be like.

God gave a glimpse of heaven to Moses, Isaiah, Paul, and John. These men did their best to describe what they saw, but truly it was indescribable. But ultimately, their visions inspired them to passionately pursue God on earth. They all longed to be with God. So they endured their hardships and sufferings on earth because of what was promised to them in heaven.

To be in heaven is to be in the perfect presence of God and the complete absence of sin. God’s glorious presence in eternity should inspire us to passionately pursue Him today.

God is preparing a place just for me – the new heaven and the new earth. But that new heaven and new earth won’t be ready until after Jesus’ millennial reign on earth. When a believer dies now, he immediately is in God’s presence in the current heaven. The current heaven is the intermediate state before the new heaven and the new earth.

So what should we do now until we are in God’s presence in heaven? We must be good stewards of creation, value what God values, help the helpless. We should do the work of Jesus until He returns or until we die and go home to Him. One day we will be with God in His perfect, eternal garden. But right now, we should plant God’s Word, prune ourselves and others to be more like God, and praise God for who He is and what He has done.

Here are some characteristics to look forward to about the new heaven and the new earth, the eternal city:

  • The eternal city is holy and secure.
  • The eternal city shines with the brilliance of God’s glory. There is only light, no darkness.
  • In the eternal city, there will be no sin and no fear.
  • The eternal city is full of precious metals and stones.
  • The eternal city is full of God’s people. Our differences will delight us instead of divide us.

Things to Think About
  • The earth is not our home; we’re just passing through. God Himself is our home, and we are on our way there.
  • As much as I am longing and awaiting to be with God, He is longing and awaiting to be with me.
  • We should have our hearts and minds set on God and heaven so we can do His work now on earth. Don’t be so heavenly minded that I’m no earthly good.
  • God’s presence in heaven creates glorious growth and breathtaking beauty.
  • God’s presence in heaven generates passionate and productive people.
  • God’s presence in heaven inspires selfless service and ceaseless worship.
  • What are you pursuing right now? Are you pursing God? He is the only One who can provide satisfaction now and for eternity. He never will fail us.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’” Revelation 21:3 NIV