Pre-occupied With Heaven!
Many have heard someone say of another, “He’s so heavenly-minded that he’s no earthly good!”. Then there are the preachers who speak of great rewards in heaven without reminding the flock of the difficulties we must endure to enjoy the rewards. There’s got to be a balance if we are to truly prepare ourselves to reach heaven.
Paul reminds us that “..our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20) It’s good to know that we won’t always be stuck here in this world, that there is the promise of something and someplace better to look forward to.
While singing the song “This World Is Not My Home”, sometimes heaven seems so close we can almost imagine ourselves there. Singing songs of heaven, preaching about the Lord’s return, and discussing the promises of God all tend to make us a little “homesick”, but we ought to realize that we can do more than just wait around hoping for that great day!
Please don’t misunderstand, we should be heavenly-minded, but there is a proper heavenly-mindedness. In that great chapter dubbed “The Hall of Faith”, Heb 11 gives us examples of those who also looked to the “heavenly country”. It was this virtue and state of mind that enabled Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to live in tents in the very land of promise. What is interesting to note is how they lived. They lived in faith; not a faith which required them to do nothing, but a faith wherein they busied themselves not only with day to day activities but also with acts of obedience to God which strengthened their faith and made the promises of God sweeter.
In 2 Thess. 3:6, Paul writes to the Thessalonian church to “..keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.” Later in vs 10, he reminds them of what that tradition was, “..if anyone will not work, neither let him eat.” It seems that some believed the return of Jesus to be so near that they no longer felt the need to work for their sustenance or to “pull their own weight” since He was coming back at any time. You see, they were so heavenly minded that they were, literally, no earthly good!
We must be careful not to fall into the same trap. If we truly believe (have faith) that Jesus is most certainly coming back, the best way to exhibit that belief is to live it! James tells us, “.. I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18) That is, we manifest our belief in God and all His promises (heaven too!) that we show it by doing deeds that reflect that. It means that whatever our vocation in this life, we do it to the best of our ability, and recognizing that our call as Christians is THE vocation, we live our lives in complete, joyful submission to God’s will. In short, we must work while here to be all we can be in Christ.
Waiting for heaven is hard enough to do (remember the last time you were in a doctor’s waiting room?) without the added monotony of doing nothing while we wait. Let us be occupied with heaven for sure, but not PREoccupied to the point that we don’t do all we can for Christ here on this earth knowing that such helps to prepare us for eternity.
“No tranquil joys on earth I know,
No peaceful, shelt’ring dome,
This world’s a wilderness of woe,
This world is not my home.
We’ll work til Jesus comes,
And we’ll be gathered home.”