Why do you want to go to heaven? I believe the answer to that question can be boiled down to two simple answers for the majority of all Christians: 1) a fear of hell and/or 2) an excitement to spend eternity with Christ.
From the options given above, I think we all know what our answer should be. But how many of us are truly running toward Heaven out of excitement to be with Christ eternally, and not for fear of Hell? Quite frankly, I’m terrified of the description of hell that we hear about in the Bible, and fear of hell was probably one of the greatest motivating factors in my initial salvation decision. When the pastor at church started describing hell, it freaked me out so badly that I questioned my salvation for at least a year. To beg Jesus to come into my heart again and again and again. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same for many of you. But now, I believe it is time we shift our motivation from running from Hell to running towards Christ.
Shifting Our Motivation: Running to Christ
How do I propose we do this? I think we need to realize the depth of Christ’s unfailing love. Only then can we love him with the kind of love he desires from us. In Psalm 22, David writes about the extent of Christ’s suffering for us a thousand years before Christ’s death would even take place!
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” – Psalm 22:14-18
The cross was the most shameful way possible to die in Roman culture. It was meant for only the worst criminals.
And yet, the Lord of Heaven and Earth sent his only Son to suffer in the most humiliating way possible. I don’t know about you, but to go from Ruler of the Heavens to the Son of a mere carpenter on Earth… It’s pretty crazy. And don’t forget that Christ is all-knowing; he knew exactly what he’d have to go through. But he came anyway.
Live It Out
So my question for you, and for myself is, how can we not be excited to see Christ for ourselves once we realize the depths of His love for us? To see the One that willingly went through all the suffering that we read about in Psalm 22 just a moment ago. He left the Father’s presence to come down to Earth that he might die by the hands of the very beings he created. A love like that is a love is too great for us to even begin to comprehend.
Check out the rest of this series at: https://recklessabandonministries.com/category/looking-toward-heaven/