Last night, I posted a facebook status that is essentially the heart of what this post will be. Today, I felt the need to elaborate on my thoughts. The facebook status post went as follows:
“Do you follow God because you want to get to heaven? Or do you want to get to heaven so you can follow God?”
Essentially, those two questions together for me ask one simple thing. Do you believe that heaven is simply the end destination for Christians? Or is that simply a “checkpoint” in our journey following God. I’m not talking about “physically migrating” or anything to another place afterwards, I’m talking about our spiritual journey. When we get to heaven, is that when we’ve reached the end of our spiritual journey? I think not.
I think that many of us realize this through instinct. We say things like “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God so many things” In other words, we realize that even when we get to heaven, our journey to pursue God and to learn more about Him still continues! (Just going to pause here and say that’s beautiful). And yet so many times, I hear Christians talk as if heaven is the final destination, heaven is where it ends. “If you enter a relationship with God, you’ll go to heaven.” and that’s the end of what I hear. I really feel like when we say something like that, we are saying that God is essentially our train ticket to heaven. I don’t think that’s correct. We enter a relationship with God, and we start our spiritual journey. As part of our spiritual journey, God takes us to heaven, and in heaven, we continue to walk with God.
Our spiritual journey can not possibly be complete upon reaching heaven. I believe that it is necessary to reach heaven to complete our spiritual journey. At the moment, we live for about 100 years. Give or take around 20, and then account for the many unfortunate incidents that may or may not happen to decrease that further, or end it abruptly. What I’m trying to say, is that we live for a very short time, and God’s character is so expansive and so amazing that we could not possibly learn all about Him in the time that we have to live. As a result, we need to reach heaven so that we have an eternity to study God’s character and walk alongside God. Because there’s still so many things that we need to learn about God.
I feel less confident about this post after having written it out. The idea makes so much sense in my own mind, but I’m not quite sure I found the right words to express it here. If you have any comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me in some form and we can discuss this further!
Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend!