This week’s Connecting Point mentions our vision of heaven and what are we doing to obtain it. First, no matter what vision we have it will inevitably be wrong despite our best imaginations. We are beings who stand on the edge of the shores of the known looking towards the horizon of the unknowable. It is the unknown that can cause us fear and anxiety.
As followers of Christ, we contend with persecution as well as the ineffable. However, the Lord helps us by showing us seven brothers who were persecuted, because they were being forced to go against the law God gave them. Their love of God and their faith strengthened them. They did not fear death because they knew that they would live again forever with the Lord. They had no idea what life with God may look like, all they knew was that death would no longer come to them. Their faith in this resurrection kept them strong in hope and encouraged them during their trials.
Paul speaks to the Thessalonians about keeping their faith in times of struggle. Throughout his address he uses these words: encouragement, hope, strengthen, delivered, endurance, and confidence. All to help fortify them in their time of need. Jesus is with us today in our times when we need him. This week he reminds us that we can sometimes extend our worldly reality of this life into the next. Like the Sadducees, he points out the mistake. Heaven is not an extension of our life of marriages, childbirth, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, retirements etc. It is totally different and not dependent on time; it exists outside of it.
That is why we can say our loved ones are still connected with us but in a way we cannot comprehend. Just as we use intercessory prayer to the heavenly saints, we often pray to our loved ones because we know somehow, they hear us. As adopted children of God we will come to be alive in him. Jesus says in the scripture passage, he is not the God of the dead but of the living. Since God is eternal, then to live with him we will be eternal. The resurrection of Jesus gives us the hope and strength to endure, just like our loved ones. Jesus wants us to be courageous, which calls to mind the Casting Crown song “Courageous.” A great song to listen to after reading this! So, when you ask yourself what am I doing to get to my vision in heaven? Be courageous, be bold, and hold on to your faith. Our Lord is walking with us side by side.