“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception
we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve
the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us
from the wrath to come.”
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
That’s a long opening verse, I know, but one of the top priorities for our home church is to look forward to our Lord’s return. There will be a day, maybe even today, that we will see Jesus face-to-face. This is of great encouragement to us, knowing that this world isn’t all that there is. No, it’s not. In fact, this world will be obliterated, and we who are in Christ will be with him forever.
Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some of that! Truth be told, we don’t know a lot about heaven. We have a glimpse of an idea of what the New Heaven and New Earth look like, but we really don’t know. All we know is that it will be good because God is good.
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Unlike people, there is nothing evil in God. He will never betray me. Why? Because he can’t.
Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began
Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
I’ve known a few people that I can trust. I value them highly. I wish there were more people like that. Yet, even they can lie. Even they will betray. Yet, God won’t. He can’t.
Now, that can be good news or bad news. What does he have to say about me? Oh, there is lots of material in the bible for us who believe on that topic! Here’s a couple of favorites:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also,
Psalm 103:11-14 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Well, anyway, it’s a simple exercise to recall all the different promises of God. You can easily Google them and find them in your bibles. This might be a fun activity to do with your loved ones some time. It is also a very good exercise to do for your daily meditation.
You see, the cares of this world can drag us down. We need to keep our eyes set beyond that, to that day when Jesus returns. Of course, Jesus knows this. This is why he so carefully instructed us.
Colossians 3:1-4 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Isn’t that cool?
Father, we need you to keep our eyes on the prize. Our bibles are full of plumb full of wonder. Let us encourage one another about heaven. Open doors and lead us to people we can share the gospel with, both those who believe and those who don’t. The gospel is for everyone. Encourage us to share our faith. Boldly. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers