Summary: Because we are going to heaven, this will... Material adapted from Chauncey Crandall, MD, book entitled "Touching Heaven"
They are so heavenly minded, they are of no earthly good- Bologna! Today we are so earthly minded that we are of no heavenly good
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1, 2, NIV.
Steven Curtis Chapman sang, “There is a hope, there is a peace, that will make this life complete, for every man, woman, boy and girl looking for heaven in the real world.” Because we have Jesus in our lives, we have heaven in the real world. Heaven has come to earth. Because one day we will be in heaven, this should change the way that we live today. We are getting ready for the real heaven. Practically stated, this means living today with lasting treasures in view. If we are heavenly minded, our thoughts cannot help but shape the way we live from day to day.
Thesis: Because we are going to heaven, this will...
1. Adjust our attitudes
While we are “pilgrims” who are away from our true home (aliens, strangers in a foreign land 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11)- we are already citizens of heaven and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:18-19). Peter had a very pointed purpose for using the wording he did. He wanted us to be clear about the mindset we need while still in this world: Christians are not earth dwellers, we are heaven bound
Country artist Carrie Underwood’s song “Temporary Home” captures this perspective. “This is our temporary home it’s not where we belong windows in rooms that we’re passing through, this is just a stop, on the way to where we’re going, I’m not afraid because I know this is our temporary home.” Every weary traveler just wants to get home and be with loved ones. It’s the place where we belong; where people know us- and we are surrounded by the things that bring us joy and comfort. We don’t get that when we are just passing through a place.
We long for permanence; we have a craving to settle down and not keep wandering, ever on the move. Heaven holds out the assurance of all of this and more, providing a home based from which we can operate in this life.
2. Make changes to our lifestyle
Need to invest in what lasts: the care and salvation of people. Rather than seeking out our own welfare, we will seek justice for others. Rather than slaving over our work, we will work to deliver others from the enemy’s oppression. Rather than looking out for our wants, we will “look after widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1:27). These are the values of heaven.
In his book One Minute After You Die, Erwin Lutzer says: Thinking about our final destination give us perspective... Every one of us wants to make wise investments, to get the ‘biggest bang for our buck’... The best investments are those that are safe and permanent; if we are wise, we will spend our time preparing for that which lasts forever.
Rich man’s request was granted to bring gold bricks into heaven- St. Peter says to God, “Ok, but why does he want to bring a bunch of paving stones into heaven”
Jeremy Binns: I think that maybe the greater points that God is making when He speaks of streets of gold, gates of pearl, and a host of other rare and costly building materials is that those things that so many value and exchange their lives for on earth are, by comparison, merely the things to be trampled underfoot in the economy of heaven. Maybe God is really challenging us to NOT spend our lives exclusively pursing what will one day be the dust under our feet.
The world’s treasures have limited value; they fade, decay, or rust... and then they’re gone. ““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19, 20. Missionary C.T. Studd summed it this way: Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Holding on too tightly to earthly things will weigh us down. Holding loosely to the stuff of earth sets us free. The truth of earth is that whatever we store up here will one day be burned up. Heaven keeps our eyes on the eternal prize
3. Find help for our souls
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV. Our hearts will not endure the difficulties of this life without heaven before us. But because God eases the weight of our troubles and produces life from our pain and disappointment, we don’t lose heart. We don’t give in. We don’t walk away from Him. And we don’t live as those without hope.