You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor.
God has left us in this world at least for now. So here is the question: Since we are here and we are not in Heaven yet, why should we be thinking about Heaven while we are still here? What difference does a future Heaven make in my life today?
First of all, focusing on Heaven reminds us of the brevity of our earthly life. Both of my parents died at a relatively young age, and while I certainly miss my parents, one of the benefits of their early departure was reminding me of how brief our time here on earth is. It is over in a moment. A few years ago, I talked to somebody who said, “It feels as if God has hit the fast-forward button; things are going so quickly.” Have you ever felt that way before? James said this about the brevity of life: “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (4:14). Focusing on Heaven reminds us of the brevity of our earthly life.
Second, focusing on Heaven prepares us for the certainty of judgment. The popular song “Everybody Is Going To Heaven” could not be more wrong. Everybody is not going to Heaven. Look at Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:13-14. What He said is counterintuitive to what you hear today. It is politically incorrect, if you will. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” There is not one way, one road, that leads everybody to the same destination. Jesus said there are two roads that lead to two very different destinations.
Notice that there is a road that leads to eternal death. Jesus said most people are on that road. Do you know how you can make certain you go to Hell when you die? Just do nothing. Keep going the way you are going, and you are guaranteed to end up in Hell. We are born on the road leading away from God. You say, “How do I ever get off that road?” Thankfully, there is also a road that leads to eternal life. You have to make a spiritual U-turn to get off the road to Hell and get on the narrow road that leads to Heaven. The word “repent” means “a change of mind that leads to a change of direction.” And the Bible says the only way you will go to Heaven is to get off the road you are on right now, have a change of mind about who Jesus is that leads to a change of direction, and put your faith in Him to lead you to Heaven. Jesus made that clear in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” There are two gates, one that opens to eternal death and one that opens to eternal life. As brief as this life is the choices we make now impact our eternity forever. Focusing on Heaven reminds us of the judgment we must all face.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What Difference Does A Future Heaven Make In My Life Today?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)