I remember as a teenager thinking do I really want to go to heaven. The cultural perceptions of heaven included sitting on a cloud doing nothing except playing the harp didn’t help. Or I had heard that we would worship God forever. Honestly the idea of a never ending church service wasn’t that appealing. I think it’s worth asking, why should we want to go to heaven? Here is a brief answer that I hope helps.
First, I want to go to heaven because it clearly beats the alternative. According to the Scripture everyone goes to either heaven or hell. Hell is described as dark, fiery, painful, a place of regret (weeping and gnashing of teeth) and a place where we are separated from God and those we love. Entire books have been written on hell but just this brief description should encourage you to reject this eternal destiny.
Second, I want to go to heaven because of what is not there. This might seem like an odd reason but bear with me. In heaven all of the ramifications of sin are gone. Stop and think about it. So heaven is a place where there is no death, illness, abuse, violence, broken relationships and lies. Even the best marriage here (the closest of all relationships) has sin in the mix. So any relationship in heaven is better than the best marriage here. There is no war in heaven. Wow. No cancer wards, no mental illness. Heaven is a place of wholeness and joy!
Third, I want to go to heaven because God is there in His fullness. God is fascinating to me. When I look at my beautiful wife she intrigues me. We’ve been married almost 20 years and yet she can still surprise me. She occasionally shares a story or thought that I’ve never heard from her before. If my finite, yet mysterious wife can keep me guessing after decades the transcendent, infinite, majestic God of the Bible has mysteries and sides of him that will take an eternity to understand. I am looking forward to getting to know God more fully every day.
Fourth, I want to go to heaven because of the Christians that have gone before me. I have Christian grandparents and friends who have died. I miss them. I enjoy family reunions here in this life. Some of my sweetest memories are at Christmases and Thanksgiving with my family gathered from far and wide. I long for the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb” where Christians from all ages gather to celebrate and enjoy one another. Think of talking with Moses or Paul, how fun. Think of getting to sit down with Christians from every tribe and nation. The conversation and learning will be incredible.
Fifth, I am looking forward to the adventure of heaven. Adventure? Yes, I believe that the new heavens and the new earth will be full of adventure. I think the new earth will be like the garden of eden restored. There are images in the Scripture of children playing with serpents and there is no danger. I think that representatives of every kind of animal that God ever created will be on the new earth. Think of riding a T-Rex without fear or exploring the deepest oceans riding a great white shark. The Scripture tells us that heaven is beyond our imagination. Well I’ve got a decent imagination so I can’t wait to see what God comes up with.
Sixth, I want to be perfect. The older I get the more I realize how broken I am. I can see more of my blind spots and weaknesses. I want to be whole, complete and perfect. No more three steps forward two steps back kind of growth. No I want to just move forward and be all that God wants me to be.
Seventh, and I’ll openly admit this is shallow. I’m looking forward to the food. Food is an issue for me. I’ve fought my weight for years. I’ve eaten more raw vegetables than any one man should eat. To just be done with that issue and be able to eat whatever is at the banquet table and not gain a pound. That will be fun.
Eighth, I want to know Jesus the second person of the trinity in ways that I never have. I’ve accepted the salvation that He offers. I’ve followed Him. I’ve invited His spirit (the Holy Spirit) to live inside me. But to know Him fully. To finally see the one who saved me face to face. That will be something special.
These are not all of my reasons, but it’s a start. What are your reasons? Why do you want to go to heaven?
Under His Mercy,
Journey Christian Church