Last February, we had Emmanuel Jal in for a World Vision event. He had one line that stuck with me. To paraphrase,
Many religious people are holding out for heaven later. I believe we can capture heaven now.
And he’s absolutely right.
A hope that rests on escaping this world to spend eternity in the clouds is a false hope (or rather an incomplete one). In fact, very little about heaven is talked about throughout the Bible. Rather, our hope, which is God’s hope, is about restoring what’s here; this world is going to be redeemed.
The Christian hope rests on a future where heaven and earth collide and are redeemed–where all of the wrongs eventually turned right. That’s what we’re holding on for.
But that’s not all.
The story of Jesus, and the events on the cross to the resurrection, make it possible to glimpse heaven now. The defeat of death started the unfolding hope of God’s dream to turn wrongs right. That means, in the here and now, we live out the goodness of heaven now.
Admittedly, we’re in a “now but not yet” because although we can work towards goodness we still have to contend with evil.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t change how we live. All are invited to preview moments of heaven NOW.
That makes me think: how am I making the world in my world a better place?