“Heaven will be awesome.”
One of my best friends is also from my magnificent home state of Oklahoma. We met in college and spent happy semesters there as part of our campus Bible chair. She moved to Tennessee a few years ago, while I have recently become a resident of the state of Louisiana. We’ve been able to meet new people and make friends with amazing people from all over. A few days ago, we were texting about how fun it would be if we could get all the Christian friends we’ve made over the course of our lives together in one place. Which is what brought about the four little words written above: Heaven will be awesome.
Think about it. Think of all the wonderful people you’ll be spending eternity with. Not only the people you’ve met in the short time you’ve been on the planet, but all the Christians who have walked it before you and will, Lord willing, walk it after you. You’ll be in the midst of people like David, Ruth, Paul, Peter, Aquila and Priscilla and all of God’s people that can be found in Scripture. We’ll all be there together, enjoying a fellowship with one another that we only begin to understand in this life.
More than that, we’ll be in the presence of God. We’ll be spending eternity with HIM. The One who loved us long before we even existed. The One who lovingly created us in His own image. The One who spent thousands of years repeatedly forgiving the people who turned their backs on Him and always allowed them to return. The One who knew that we would never be able to come close to perfection and sent His Son so that we wouldn’t have to. The One who was mocked, beaten, ridiculed, spat upon, and murdered in excruciating fashion so that we will never be forced to endure separation from Him. The One that shows that same love for us as he did the Israelites and is patient with His return in hopes “that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The One that, even when we feel ashamed and unworthy of anyone’s love, wants nothing more than for His own blood to cover what we see as unredeemable and view us as beautiful, pure, and loved.
That’s the One we’ll be spending eternity with. That’s what makes absolutely everything in this life worth anything. Earthly awards? They’re nice, but they don’t last. This year, Argo won Best Picture in what is arguably the biggest televised awards show of the year. Do you know what people really remember from the Oscars? That Jennifer Lawrence tripped up those slippery stairs on the way to accepting her awards for Best Actress. To be fair, that’s a nice break from the normal headlines that are seen the next day about who was robbed and should have really won the awards.
That’s the thing about the awards we’re used to: they don’t really last and they’re all subjective. A different group of judges or a different day can always change the outcome. And there’s only one winner. Heaven is different. Our citizenship in Heaven is determined by a God whose criteria will not change from day to day. It’s a reward that will outlast anything that we could possibly imagine. And despite what some that teach otherwise say, it’s not something that’s available only to an elect few. We all have the option of becoming and remaining faithful Christians.
I once heard an older counselor from church camp say something that I’ll never forget. She said that “I’m a Christian because of what Christ did. Even if Heaven was never a possibility, I’m so thankful for what He’s done that I would still have to spend my life serving for Him.” God’s love is so great that we owe Him everything already. Heaven is a bonus, a privilege that goes far beyond any award or recognition we should be working for here. It’s an eternity with Him, as well as all those other people we love that chose to follow Him.
And that’s going to be awesome.