The other day a song came on the radio that has stuck with me in a not-so-great way. The premise of the song dealt with the singer wondering how heaven could be any better than being with this new girl he had met. Then, not long after I heard this, I heard someone refer to the places sportsmen experience as “heaven”.
These comparisons feel innocent enough. Most of us have probably experienced the emotional high of finding a new “love” or the breathtaking vistas that nature can provide. But there is a deeper problem. If we truly believe these earthly things are as satisfying as heaven, then we may be falling victim to a cheapening of how sweet and good heaven actually is.
I want to point out two things we cling to as Christians concerning heaven. First, scripture speaks of “Heaven” as the place where God’s throne is, and thus, where God is. Second, heaven is our eternal home.
We know that God is omnipresent, so what makes the presence of God in heaven so special? Romans 1 gives some insight. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppresses the truth.”
The throne of God in heaven is the holiest of holies. There is no other place where His nature, his authority, and his glory are seen more clearly. It is there that only godliness, righteousness, and absolute, unadulterated truth exist. It is also where full judgement is passed against all injustice and unrighteousness. The throne of God, and the heaven created around it, is a horrifying place for sin, but a blessed place for those whose life is “hidden with Christ in God”. (Col. 3:3)
Heaven is also where the eternal home of the believer is. Ephesians 2:19 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
There are many other things about the specifics of heaven that can be unpacked from scripture, but these two thoughts, that God is there, and that he has made a way for us to be citizens there, are the foundational understandings that should draw our eyes and our greatest desires to it.
So if we are tempted to think that what we experience here on earth is somehow equal to heaven, it would be helpful to remind ourselves of these things.
- Sin has affected everything here. (Gen. 3:17-19)
- Someday, there will be a new heaven and new earth. (Rev. 21:1-8)
- This is not where our life is. (Col. 3:4)
“To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.” -Jonathan Edwards
As sportsmen, we are blessed to enjoy some of this world’s most beautiful places. For us, seeing God’s power and divine nature through creation is commonplace. However, we ought to guard ourselves from believing for even a moment that the most beautiful things we have seen can touch the beauty and majesty of our God.
What are some ways we are tempted to cheapen heaven through our outdoor endeavors? Leave a comment!