The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog references something I have been reading lately. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.
The goal of completing Randy Alcorn’s Heaven by early July is looking more and more plausible. This will be my 3rd time through his magnum opus and I will say without hesitation, there is no book on heaven I would rather read more.
What I mostly appreciate about Alcorn’s writing style on this subject is his commitment to use his sanctified imagination that is anchored on Biblical truths.
Too many books on the afterlife have one or the other. Either they are someone else’s dream or vision or fantasy about what heaven is like or they just quote one verse after the other without helping draw implications and illustrations of what they will actually mean for heaven-living.
Alcorn does both.
He anchors everything he knows about heaven in God’s Word and then he uses his imagination, not allowing it to run wild, but running within the boundaries of what God’s Word tells us about our eternal home.
He goes out of his way to reference Scripture over and over and answers every question I have ever wondered about heaven or been asked by another Christian.
Now, if you are thinking to yourself, “I can’t wait to get there. It will be exponentially better than life now. But all the details … who really cares,” let me share you in closing three reasons why every Christian should make a regular diet out of studying and reading and mediating on heaven.
1) Studying heaven motivates us to endure persecution and suffering (II Cor 4:17-18).
“This too shall pass” is a mantra for some Christians who feel like one trial just follows another one. And for those who know suffering as a close companion, making heaven a consistent object of study can help that Christian persevere through the darkest of valleys because they will discover that the sufferings are a mist or vapor and the glories of heaven are eternal and no comparison for our temporary struggles here.
2) Studying heaven motivates us to bear fruit (Rev 11:18).
Don’t you want to arrive in heaven having served your Creator well? Don’t you want your time of judgment to be filled with rewards? I know I do. I am motivated by rewards and I believe all Christians should be. If God didn’t want us to be motivated to bear fruit because we will be rewarded, then he would have never drawn attention to the truth that crowns will be given to the faithful.
3) Studying heaven motivates us to evangelize (Matt 9:36-38).
How many of us would allow someone to get into their car that had no brakes and then drive on a curvy road in the mountains? Answer: none of us. It would be cruel to not warn someone of the clear and present danger to come. Thus, it is with heaven. Who wouldn’t want to tell the people who have no purpose or direction they can have both if they follow after Christ and thereby escape the clear and present danger to come?
What are some other reasons to study heaven?