Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I’ve got 2 questions for you:

1. Would you want to be in heaven if Jesus wasn’t there?
2. “Even if there were no Heaven and no hell, would you still follow Jesus? Would you follow Him for the life, joy, and fulfillment he gives you right now?” -Tony Campolo

For some reason, people think that when you become a missionary you are bestowed with great theological knowledge (I have no idea why). All this does is reinforce how little you know, because they seem to always be asking you questions you don’t know the answers to (the best strategy I’ve found is to have people who are theologians on your email list).

I don’t really know that much about heaven. I don’t think anyone really does; it’s mostly speculation. We know what the Bible says, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

We get a lot of questions about heaven. Why? I think it has to do with the fact that most people, when sharing why someone should become a follower of Christ, use heaven as the main selling point. Don’t get me wrong, heaven is definitely a benefit of salvation. Even though I am not sure on the details, we know it is good because the Bible, the very Word of God, says so. However, there is so much more to being a Christian. That kind of attitude disregards the fact that God can honor and glorify Himself through our life here on earth.

I have learned a bit about heaven here. When you witness to someone, it is vital to be culturally sensitive, not only to avoid offending someone, but also to draw on their frame of reference. For example, it has been brought to our attention that most kids here don’t even know what gold and pearls are, so to talk about streets of gold and pearly gates doesn’t have the same effect as in the States. I have had to rethink how I can explain the concept, and have had to expand and define my view of what heaven is.

What I am certain of is this: heaven is wherever God is. The relationship and communion we will have with Him is what makes it heaven, not what materials it is constructed from. There is no sin to separate us from God. There are colors and sounds and flavors and smells that our senses have never experienced. I am certain I want to go there, in part because the alternative is the agony of eternal separation from God. I am certain I want no one to experience that. I am certain I don’t want to waste God’s gift of salvation on myself, but to share the opportunity with others. Paul said it better than I ever could:

"For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live." -Philippians 1:20-24


Kelly @ Love Well said...

I'd say a hesitant no to the first question and a hearty yes to the second. I actually sometimes forget about heaven because I am so excited about living now with God. Every day is such an adventure. Sometimes, I think I need to be more heavenly minded.

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