Proven on earth, ready for heaven

I don’t know about you but sometimes I wonder why we have to tolerate the wickedness of this world, “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, and why we can’t just fast forward to living forever in our heavenly home, which our Lord Jesus Christ has bought and prepared for us. Why must we wait?

There are no definitive answers to this question in the Bible, as far as I can see, but I have been encouraged recently by these thoughts. If here we have resisted brazen and tantalising temptations, there we will be impervious to those siren call because we will truly see all sin as diabolical and Christ will be our heart’s sole desire.  Here we have witnessed the destructiveness of human rebellion – cities laid to waste by bombs and rockets, homes deluged by rising waters as ice caps melt, vast rubbish tips of all that is so thoughtlessly wasted.  Just as a veteran of WW2 appreciates the desolation caused by war, yearns for peace and shuns any bellicose talk, so one who has graduated from the conflict zone of earth is ready for the heavenly rest and would never descend to hell.

Our current minds, still tempted by sin and unable to comprehend perfection, cannot imagine this state where death will be completely defeated, evil will be non-existent and Christ will be our all-in-all.

Yet, as the apostle Paul says, we need to keep moving onwards: “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).”

CS Lewis paints a wonderful picture of this call in “The Last Battle” when those who entered the heavenly realms of the Narnian universe cry out this encouragement to each other: “come further up and further in!”  What a rallying call.  All praise to the Saviour who prepares the Way, equips His followers and will one day welcome us home.

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