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Heaven Is NOT My Goal

December 16, 2009

Last night I had a conversation with someone and it revolved around heaven. He believed that all Christians had heaven as a destination as their number one goal, and when I explained that it wasn’t for me, you would have thought I just slipped a live hand grenade down his pants. He was terrified that a PASTOR of all people didn’t believe that Heaven was my main goal. Is Heaven your main goal? Let me explain.

I believe that Heaven is going to happen for me. I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and what little strength I seem to have recently. I’m just a little tired, don’t panic. I believe that I will live a life worthy of that “reward.” Reward is something you get for accomplishing a task. Does that mean I get to enter into a place so amazing that words really can’t describe it, a place where joy reigns, a place of being in the tangible presence of Christ at all times, and all I have to do is say a prayer? Just believe and the reward is yours? Now, before all you theologians blast off, yes I fully believe that a prayer in Jesus grants to access to Heaven, but I believe there is more to the life of a Christ Follower. Not more things to do to “earn” anything, but rather things that will naturally flow out of our relationship with Him.

For me, heaven is not my primary goal. My primary goal is to live out the teachings of Christ in a way that will lead others to a relationship with Him. I will try to love God and love people with everything inside me. I will try to give to the places that God leads me to give. I will try to spend time alone with God for reflection, strengthening, and worship. I will work to make the lives of the marginalized of society better. I will work to make our city, county, state, country, and world a better place than before I was born. I will try to use the power of The Spirit which lives in me, to do things that are beyond my capabilities. I will thank God when I succeed, and I will repent when I fail. I will love God, and love people…recklessly. These are my goals.

Each relationship with Jesus is different, and with different dynamics come different goals, values, and results. Yes, there will be some people in Heaven that did just enough to get by. So. So what. I will be glad they are there rejoicing with me. Christ died a torturous death on the cross for those who believe just enough, and for guys that live a dedicated, crazy life of faith. I will challenge those I lead to live a deeper life, and then they will make that decision.

In the end, all that believe will enter into Heaven, but for me, that is not my goal. I have only been given a certain amount of years, and my goal is to make them count…for Him.

Grace.

Ben

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacy Bartlett permalink
    December 16, 2009 3:32 pm

    Well said!!

  2. December 16, 2009 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts. Too many times when people focus on the fact that they’re going to heaven, they tend to lose sight of what is going on here on earth. I’m sure you’ve heard the old phrase. “Too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”

    Unfortunately people like that tend to find churches also like that. It ends up snowballing into a buffet of all you can eat eccentric spirituality, all the while, their communities are dying around them.

    While heaven is my destination, it is also not my goal. My goal is to be reunited with my creator, the one my heart calls out to. Although that will take place in heaven, it is not the physical attributes of heaven that I seek. The streets of gold, the “mansion” waiting for me, etc.

    My calling, and desire is to introduce people on earth to him as well. May our churches be filled with not only those who desire to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus while we are on earth, but may they also be filled with those who are hurting and lost, and seeking that which they cannot find anywhere else.

  3. ebobkuschel permalink
    December 16, 2009 5:13 pm

    Thought provoking and challenging. I like it!

  4. December 16, 2009 6:23 pm

    Good stuff. Jesus said that, “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”…meaning it’s accessible and available in the here and now for us to bring to earth through how we live and what we do.
    I believe that each of us was built with a longing for Heaven, whether we know it or not…that we’ll always be homesick for it…and although we can live in anticipation of the great beyond, we can’t be a mental and spiritual escapist. We can’t ignore our purpose and our mission here…to bring that which is holy and blameless and beautiful and pure to Earth.
    We need Heaven and eternity in order to justify life…people who live a ‘Hell on Earth’ from start to finish would be the first to say that life doesn’t always justify living it…but God’s mission for us to bring Heaven to earth is what compels us to move forward and keeps us excited about what’s to come. Hell very much exists right here in our realm everyday…you don’t have to die without Jesus to see it, it’s down the street…maybe even in the next apartment over…but Heaven can just as easily exist here too if we pray, ‘Let They will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,’ right now, and let it begin with me.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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