Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Heaven, the Real Thing
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
—1 Corinthians 13:12
We tend to think of life on earth as the real thing and heaven as the surreal thing. But it is actually the opposite. Heaven is the real thing. That is why C. S. Lewis referred to our time on earth as "the shadowlands."
Heaven is the ultimate future and hope for the Christian. All that precedes it—our life on earth—is but a glimpse of things to come. Earth is a pale version of heaven, not the other way around.
Whatever great joys or things we have on earth, as wonderful as they are, will be better in heaven. Maybe you will have all of the things you hoped for and more. Then again, maybe there will be things that will surpass your wildest dreams that will be even better.
Heaven is the real thing, while earth is effectively the copy, the temporary dwelling place. The problem is that we start with earth and reason up to heaven, when we ought to start with heaven and reason down toward earth. C. S. Lewis said, "The hills and valleys of Heaven will be to those you now experience not as a copy is to an original, . . . but as the flower to the root, or the diamond to the coal."
I am not suggesting that life is miserable and is merely something to endure before we finally get to heaven. Life can be wonderful. God has all the power you ever will need to face whatever you will face. Something difficult you are going through today could be turned into a good thing tomorrow. There will be many wonderful, joyful moments ahead for us on earth. But the ultimate joy will come when we finally see Jesus in heaven. And we must not lose sight of that.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.