Summary: Have you ever stopped to ponder that your going to work, helping the neighbour with a ride to the doctor’s office or stopping by your church to be involved in some type of ministry, are the ‘home chores’ of life that have a grander plan?

“Heaven – Why on Earth does it Matter?”

Scripture / Text: Revelation 21:3-4

In my preteen years and well into late teens, my parents assigned work chores to my two brothers and me. From a posted house-cleaning checklist on the refrigerator, to loading the shed with firewood or cutting logs for our new house, we laboured without question, never once thinking there was the luxury of saying “I’m not doing that”! To me it was work – and more work. To my mom and dad it was how life worked. Every detail was part of something bigger, a compliment to achieving a grander purpose, one of shaping work ethic and value systems, of recognizing that all the little jobs contributed to a bigger picture of clean house and heat in the winter. When I understood the bigger picture I valued my work instead of despising it.

I tell you this story because it is a small analogy that represents a bigger truth that we will be considering today. Have you ever stopped to ponder that your going to work, helping the neighbour with a ride to the doctor’s office or stopping by KCC to be involved in some type of ministry, are the ‘home chores’ of life that have a grander plan? These and all similar labours are steps toward “renewing order” according to the Original design (Capital “O”)! So much of what we do in this life should be about partnering with God in the work of “renewing order” in preparation for heaven.

To appreciate these statements we need to understand the Original design (Capital “O”). Our earliest accounts were written somewhere around 1400 BC in what we know as the book of Genesis. God created things, from light and dark, to a ‘vault’ that separated water and sky, to vegetation, animals and solar systems and so on. He finally came to the pinnacle of all that he created – humanity. We pick up the story with three very essential records. The first is Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” The second key record is Genesis 2:15 which says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” The third central reference for our exploration is Genesis 3:8, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”

The Original design (Capital “O”) included earth’s hemisphere as central to heaven’s masterplan. The downside of course is humanity’s disobedience to the Original design (congregational response with ‘Original with a capital “?”) Our disobedience disrupted the “ebb and flow” of relationships and order. Sadly, we have adopted a disordered philosophy. Teilhard de Chardin, (French Geologist, Priest, Philosopher and Mystic, 1881-1955) attempts to correct our flawed philosophy when he suggested, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

If evolution is about formation, development and growth then we should understand we are in a process of regression. Contrary to popular opinion that we are evolving, we should consider that in the current state of affairs, we are regressing to the Original design. (‘Original with a capital “?”) You see, we were created in the image of God as Genesis 1:26 records, God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness”. You can’t improve on perfection! You can only mar – damage, spoil, impair – perfection.

So, we are regressing, returning to the Original design (Original with a capital “?”)! We are getting earth ready for heaven, participating in resetting the clock, reformating the System!

Now, there’s a problem with heaven! John Eldridge, Christian author and lecturer was quoted as saying, “Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service…We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky, one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That’s it? That the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more ‘spiritual’. We lose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.”

Our understanding of life and purpose needs alignment. We need to fix that! So, let’s first duly consider the fact that

1. Heaven is another realm

American evangelist and publisher of the 19th century, Dwight Lyman Moody, once wrote, “There are {people} who say that there is no heaven. I was once talking with a man who said he thought there was nothing to justify us in believing in any other heaven than we know here on earth. If this is heaven, it is a very strange one – this world of sickness, and sorrow, and sin. I pity from the depths of my heart the man or woman who has that idea.”

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