We were made for more than this life. We were made for glories and joys that utterly exceed the capacity of this world (1 Corinthians 2:9). We were made for forever. The desire to live is not man-made. It was God who put eternity into our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). But the duration factor is only secondary. Eternity is a facilitator of our greater purpose, namely that we were made for God—to glorify and enjoy Him forever. This is only finally possible in a realm of complete restoration and renewal. God calls this realm the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1). We often refer to it simply as heaven.
In this way, we may say that we were made for heaven. We were made for everlasting life with God, personally and relationally making much of Him through every particle and beam, word and deed, interest and desire as creatures in His glorious creation. And this has been the manifest longing of the Christian heart ever since the very departure of our Lord (2 Peter 3:13).
So it is strange that many Christians today lack such hope and hunger for the world to come. It evidently says something about us, about our relative ease of life and spiritual complacency in this world. The early church was preoccupied with heaven, yet we have nearly lost sight of it. And to lose sight of heaven is to lose sight of the glory of the gospel. It is to lose sight of the full counsel of God’s purposes in creation and redemption. Heaven is the forgotten glory of the gospel. We must seek to overcome this amnesia for God’s everlasting glory and our everlasting joy.
Heaven is a significant hope vital to the Christian’s sojourn. True sanctifying satisfaction in this world is found only when we live with the coming world in view. There is a cry for heaven deeply seated within every human heart. Heaven is home. And we are a homesick people. This life is a journey to the next. This world is a reminder of the one to come. The echoes of paradise and the tastes of heaven’s joys are felt often enough in this world to let us know that God has made us for joy, but seldom enough to let us know that there is no such joy apart from Him. All that is pleasant and delightful here in this world is but a dimly lit, shadowy foretaste of the happiness of heaven. Every good here is at best a drop to the ocean of good that unceasingly flows from God to and through His new creation. The gospel promises us this. Christ is worthy of our every labor to know and make known this forgotten glory of His gospel. Even heaven exists to make much—not of heaven, but—of Christ.
To this end, we will be hosting a series on heaven. It may be one of the most theologically eye-opening and practically encouraging studies we will ever consider. Please be in prayer and join us.
Wednesday Night Fellowship
New series, “Heaven: Unforgetting the Gospel’s Glory”