If you knew, as a Christian, that when you died and went to heaven everything would be wonderful (no sickness, no death, no mourning, and no sin), but Christ wouldn’t be there, would you be content with that?
This question was posed in a recent sermon I heard, and – wow! – did it cause me to think and examine myself. I’m sad to say there was definitely a time when I looked at salvation as my “Get Out of Hell Free” card, although I wouldn’t have admitted it back then. During that season of my life Christ was not my treasure; I just knew hell was real, and I didn’t want to go there. While, in this life, I will never fully adore the Lord Jesus with the passion and zeal he deserves, God has definitely grown me up in Christ and caused me to treasure Him more. It is no secret that heaven will be an amazing place without sin, death, or sadness, but it is the absence of those earthly struggles and cares that will allow us to finally do what we were created to do: worship Christ wholly and completely. The fact that our trials and afflictions will be gone is simply the side show to the main event! Christ will be there – our Savior and Lord, who lived a perfect life and died a criminal’s death on a cross. He took our punishment and blame upon Himself and bore the full weight of our sin, experiencing God’s wrath in a way none of us could imagine. Heaven without Christ wouldn’t be heaven at all!
So why do you desire heaven? Because of the streets of gold? The crystal sea? Because there’ll be no more sadness, or because you’ll see loved ones again? Or is it so you can see and worship Jesus Christ for all eternity? He is our treasure and the ultimate reward for those who have been called according to His purpose.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,’Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with him, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.'” ~Revelation 21:3