Summary: Is heaven bigger to us than this tiny planet? If so, does our belief in heaven make a difference in our life?
Sermon: “Excited for Eternity?” Rev. David Anderson
I’d like to read for you a few verses from the fourteenth chapter o St. John’s Gospel. Our Lord says to His disciples, and that includes mst of us ere, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it
were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
The Lord Jesus often talked about a very little place. The Bible talks about this little place often, even when Jesus was born. What is this tiny area spoken about so often in the Bible and by Jesus
Himself? It is the earth. Jesus often talked about this tiny cosmic speck floating in space.
Of course, as the pre-existent Son of God, Jesus participated in the creation of this little place called earth. After creation and the Fall, as He looked toward Calvary and the redemption of a fallen
humanity, a landing field was prepared on a small trip of sand known as Palestine. The greatest landing of all history took place a little over 2,000 years ago when the Son of God landed in the flesh upon the face of planet earth.
God came in Christ to a planet so small that, if not for the eye of God, it would be lost in space. Why lost? God suggests the great number of stars when He spoke under an open, evening sky to Abraham. It would take hundreds of planets the size of earth to fill one small star, and science tells us that there are millions, likely billions, of stars.
From a scientific perspective our little home called earth is just a spec, just a particle of cosmic dust, in a boundless space. And yet, is this how the everyday person feels about our planet? How do you experience the world in which you live?
Most of us think that this planet is gigantic! Whney my family and I flew to Utah by jet for my nephew’s wedding, I was amazed at the distance we traveled–that even by jet it takes hours, and by car it would take nearly a 24 hour day.
We earthlings see our planet as big, but it is really very small. This would be no big deal, except that our viewpoint has a corollary. The corollary is dangerous.
Do you sense danger right now? Are you or your family members in danger because they think this tiny planet is so very big?
The treacherous corollary that places so many in great danger is this: Those who see the earth as very big, often see heaven as very small.
Jesus talks about heaven. He talks in John 14 about preparing us a place in heaven. When the Gospel was read did you sense something very powerful and even strange, like opening a window in the dead of winter and smelling the aroma of apple trees in full bloom?
Or when you heard Jesus speak of heaven did it sound flat and lifeless to your ears? Was it “o’ hum” when I spoke to you the words of Christ about heaven?
In the last few weeks I have been asking myself, and the Lord, why it is that there is so little response to His Word from the people. Why is it that when a pastor or prophet speaks, even within the church, and warns God’s people about a threat to their present or
future, many of those warned simply yawn and shake away the Words of God like a Gardner shoeing away gnats? It’s business as usual.
And why is it that so many, who see the earth as very big indeed, see so little of heaven that they live in constant fear of death, hiding their anxieties under a multitude of life’s diversions? Why the lack of zest and zeal for something so magnificent as what heaven promises to be?
I believe that the Lord has answered my questions. I’m persuaded that most sin within our century, along with the lack of zeal for the kingdom of God, occurs because we have forgotten whose we are, and where our true home is.
Have you ever noticed how distance affects our perspective about things? The highest mountain from a far distance looks no larger than an ant hill. The mountain does not change in size relative to our position to it, but when we are far away from it we see it as small.
Many people, including many Christians, have walked so far away from god and His kingdom that they see heaven as insignificant. Earth, and all of its grand pleasures for the flesh, seems very big. Ironic, isn’t it, that heaven, which is vaster than the physical universe and offers us so much more, is little more than a yawn from many the mouths of many Christians.