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A New Vision for Heaven for the New Year



A New Vision for Heaven for the New Year

Lawrence Yoo


In the new year, I want to think about Heaven more. You might wonder why. Seven enneagram that I am, I normally choose to think about things that are happy and fun, not sadness and death; but the reality of the world we live in now, including being in the midst of a global pandemic, has caused the reality of death to hit closer to home.


When I was a kid, I used to imagine what Heaven was going to be like. After getting past my visions of flying dragons and being able to dunk a basketball, I started getting scared. The concept of eternity frightened me. When I tried to think about it, it overwhelmed me. On the other hand, the idea of an end without eternity scared me even more. I decided to try not to think of Heaven at all.


I recently gave a sermon on Romans 8, highlighting Paul’s declaration that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.” Do I really believe that? It brings to mind a scene from Les Miserables. Jean Valjean lived a life of suffering, but in light of glory it was worth it. As he dies, he is led into eternity with the words, “Come with me where chains will never bind you, all your grief, at last behind you…[you] will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord, we will walk behind the ploughshare; we will put away the sword.” This vision of Heaven drives me to be able to see suffering in this world with the right perspective.


Paul says, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). This perspective gives me hope that I can endure all things because, for the believer, dying is gain. Now I don’t want us to miss out on the first part of the verse: “to live is Christ.” For some of us, the first half of the verse is easier to believe and for others it is the second. As Christians we are to hold both truths together. We are to keep our eyes focused on Heaven, but we live for Christ now and we get to “experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). These experiences of the goodness of the Lord, should point us to our future in Heaven. Likewise, our view of Heaven, helps us to put in our experiences here in perspective.


As followers of Christ, having a good theology of Heaven is essential. It involves 3 things:


1. Dependence on the goodness of God. (Psalm 145:9)


2. The belief of a creation of a new Heaven and New Earth. (Isaiah 65:17-19, Isaiah 11:6-9)


3. Future glory is better than anything. (1 Corinthians 2:9, Revelation 21)


Let us fix our eyes on Heaven, as we live our lives for God’s glory on earth. Remember that your citizenship is in Heaven, and one day we will finally be home.

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