“For here we do not have an enduring city,
but we are looking for the city that is to come.”
Hebrews 13 :14 (NIV)
“No longer will there be any curse.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,
and his servants will serve him.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
There will be no more night.
They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun,
for the Lord God will give them light.
And they will reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 22:3-5 (NIV)
If ever there was a saint, he was one. Rev. W.J.H. Brown was a Baptist minister for many years until his entrance to heaven around 1935. One morning, when in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, a nun found him convulsing in tears. She was unable to console him so called mother superior. She said, “Pastor Brown whatever is the matter?” The dear saint looked at her and said, “Last night I had a dream I was in heaven and when I woke up, I found out I’m still here!”
Every believer, sick or well, should long “to depart and be with Christ which is far better.” (Philippians 1:23). Life here, however wonderful it might be, is dreadfully poor in comparison to heaven. Really there is no comparison. Heaven, by all accounts, is the most highly desirable place for us to be.
Why then do so many believers become desperate in their efforts to avoid going to heaven? It would appear that they regard heaven as hell itself and they should avoid it at all costs.
Reading the Scriptures, where heaven is described, helps us to loosen our grip on earth. Reading descriptions in the Bible of how much people longed for heaven will also encourage us to have hearts aching for departure to Christ’s presence. Then, the stories of martyrs reading how brave they were facing death will help us get a longing to be with the Lord.
Over and over in the Bible we read that this world is not our home. We are called foreigners in this life (Hebrews 11:13). We are referred to as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Ambassadors live in foreign countries and have a message from their king to the people they meet there. Our allegiance is to a foreign king.
How then can we hunger after the things of this world instead of the things of heaven? The believer’s real and great business in this life is to prepare for the next life. We are on a journey and need to shake off distractions that might mire us down. We are looking for a heavenly city, a glorious place that is eternal. Reaffirm in your mind what your real destiny is. Lift your eyes to see clearly what is eternal, what is lasting, which cannot be taken from you, which is incorruptible.
A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage
To do my Master’s will!
Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!
– Charles Wesley