1 John 3:1-3 – See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
THEME OF THE DAY. WHY DO WE WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN? Heaven. The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of detail about heaven, but what we know thrills the soul. In the Revelation, the Apostle John describes some of the characteristics of this promised land for believers – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4). Yes, heaven is going to be an incredible place, but I want us to think about heaven today, not in the direction of a place we are going, but to a Person we will see.
In today’s scripture, the Apostle John proclaims God’s love to us in affirming our adoption into His forever family. As he states the security and assurance we have of being God’s children now, he also implies the spiritual struggle every child of God encounters this side of heaven. When John writes, “we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared”, he is telling us the reality of the Christian life; living in the now and the not yet simultaneously. We may paraphrase the Apostle like this, “Yes, rejoice we are God’s children now, but the work of living perfectly as God’s children is not yet. We are not finished being conformed into the image of our Elder Brother, the Lord Jesus.” And then he says what is the ultimate reason for wanting to go to heaven – to see the King of heaven, the Lord Jesus – “we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.” The final element of work in our sanctification occurs when we come face-to-face with Jesus. We will be like Him.
The number one reason for wanting to go to heaven is not to be delivered out of a tough life in this world. We want to go to heaven to see Jesus because in seeing Him, we are conformed to Him and this conformity enables us to do three things fully and without sin; worship Him, love Him, and serve Him. Yes, my friends, heaven is a beautiful place of no more tears, pain, sorrow and death, but heaven is more. It is the home of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings; the home He delights in sharing with us. The great Scottish divine of the 17th century, Samuel Rutherford, wrote of being a Christian in this life and all its trials while showing how they do not compare with the exceeding riches of heaven, particularly, the riches of Him who is heaven. He writes, “I have little of Him, yet long for more. God has made many fair flowers, but the fairest is heaven, and the flower of all flowers is Christ. One year’s time in heaven shall swallow up all sorrows beyond comparison. Christ Jesus is the end of your journey.”
Why do we want to go to heaven? A lot of good reasons, but the most important one is to see Him, the Lord Jesus, who is heaven to the believer knowing His love, grace, and power.
PRAYER: “Lord, help me to think often of seeing You as such a mindset promotes my likeness to You in this life.”
QUOTE: “Christians live not just for another world but to see Christ. We live now by faith anticipating an eternity of living by sight.”