Have you ever really sat down and thought about heaven seriously for a little while? I did this recently, and I realized how little I actually know about the place I’m expecting to spend eternity in. Once I started to do a little digging, I realized that much of what I thought wasn’t even factual. Since I’ve begun to learn about heaven, I can honestly say that my perspective on earth has begun to change just as much.
Oftentimes I see churches and individual Christians really focused on the here and now, to the exclusion of taking time to think about eternity. Obviously we can’t ignore the world around us and drift through life with our head in the clouds. But at the same time, how we think about heaven and what we know about eternity has a great deal of influence over how we think about life on earth.
Since I’ve started to research and learn about heaven, I’ve been finding myself looking at things from a big-picture perspective more, something I’ve always struggled with. When we conceptualize our current existence in terms of what it really is, a momentary blip on the infinite timeline of our souls’ existence, it’s a lot easier to take slights less personally, put others before ourselves, and make temporal decisions in the light of immortality.
Plus, spending time meditating on how amazingly, indescribably awesome heaven will be gives hope for the future and strength for the here and now!
I’ve been really encouraged and had my eyes opened by doing more reading and pondering about heaven, and in this series, I want to share what I’ve learned with you. With our busy schedules filled with class, work, internships, extracurriculars, family and friends, it’s really easy to squeeze all the time out of every day without thinking about what we’ll be doing until the end of time. Hopefully this little series will provide some food for thought, in simple terms and quick to read chunks.
Over the next few posts, I’ll discuss where popular ideas about heaven spring from, and then I’ll provide an overview of what the Bible actually says about eternity. Then we’ll look at how what we know about the next life should impact how we make use of this life. Finally, I’ll suggest resources for further study.
Needless to say, I’m not setting myself up as a leading biblical authority on the afterlife. I’m just a college kid sharing some things I’ve learned in the hopes of helping point others in the right direction, and toward the works of others who know more than I do (after the Bible, of course). Any statements about what I believe about the afterlife I’ll be backing up with scripture, and I’ll be completely upfront about what is conjecture on my part or something I picked up from an author or theologian.
Wondering if this will be for you? This study is for everyone! It doesn’t matter who you are, you’ll spend eternity somewhere. Of course our hope is that it will be in heaven. Since we don’t have a lot of biblical information available to us, we have to trust God’s judgement that we’ll be happier than we could ever possibly imagine in heaven, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t learn what we can about where we’re going. Besides, questions will inevitably come up from kids, friends, acquaintances, unbelievers, whoever, and we should be prepared! Ready to learn more? Keep an eye out for the next three posts in this series.