“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” Revelation 21:1-4
Christians believe that there will be a life after death in heaven, and that it will last for all eternity. Yet few people, even devout followers of Jesus, live in such a way that this is a reality. If heaven is real, and eternity is real, then all of our time on earth in comparison to the heaven that awaits us is just the blink of an eye. What we do in life, the things we amass, the relationships we build, and the life and structures and dreams we have in this world, none of that really matters.
There’s an old saying about death, “You can’t take it with you.” Yet most of us are living as if we can, indeed, pack at least a portion of our lives in that casket after we die and bring it along to God only knows where. Think of the Egyptian pharaohs, with their massive tombs, buried with riches of gold and stone statues and pets and boats and every other thing they could think of. We pity them for being so off base in their view of eternity but we can look at our own lives and see we are headed in much the same direction.
Instead, consider the attitude of living with the end in mind. It’s the mindset that this world is not our home. That we are destined for something far better, of far more worth than anything we can build for ourselves here. And the only thing that really matters, that we can take with us, are our friends, and family, and coworkers and others we meet along the way that too have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. With the end in mind, all of our work and fortunes and status melt away, and are replaced with the one, clear, abiding mission that matters above all others: Sharing Jesus at every opportunity.
God, I am so glad I get to spend eternity with You in heaven. Help me to remember my time here is so very short, and my goal in life is to bring as many people with me to heaven as I can, by sharing Your Gospel, praying, and rejoicing as You call people to Yourself. May I lay aside my own ambitions for this brief, blink of an eye on earth, and submit myself to Your mission and Your Gospel for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.