Isaiah 66:18,22 "For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory." ... "For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "So your offspring and your name will endure."
Sometimes, we know what we want so bad, that we forget to explain what it is. Sometimes the dream is so clear, it seems real, but we donít often put it in words. So it is also, with the hope that is in us. We speak of heaven as a place where we all want to go, but we donít often speak of why we want to go there or what it will be like. Infact, even worse than not speaking about the hope that is in us, we fail to speak of the means of achieving that hope. For if we donít much talk about what heaven is like, then it is true that we donít speak much about the way to heaven. Its not that we donít know the way, but there are so many opportunities that we donít share with others the good news of Jesus Christ.
There are many excuses, for not sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Its not that there is anything unclear about it, for it is all clearly and carefully laid out in the scriptures. How because of man, sin came into the world, and with sin came death. But God in his love, did not let death be the end, but sent his Son to overcome sin, death and the devil, and by his sacrifice; bring to us forgiveness, peace and everlasting life. As I said, there are many excuses, one of the common ones is, well, they already know. Does it bother you to hear good news that you already know? If you know, donít you join in, rejoicing with the other, over this good news? So when you share with someone who knows, because they rejoice with you, you are built up. Some say that it is because they donít know the right words, God promises to give the right words, so thatís not the problem. And not only that, but you donít have to start out on the hardest people first, start out with friends who already believe, and they will rejoice with you, thus your confidence will be built, your faith will be strengthened. Things worth doing are worth practicing, this is part of what God has in mind, when he commanded us to speak of the hope that is in us, as we walk down lifeís roads, as we eat our meals, as we rise, and before we go to bed, as a family to share with one another, God alive in our hearts.
And that brings us back to the hope that is in us, and how do we speak of heaven. If heaven is the perfect place, which it is, then perhaps its not bad to speak of heaven as some good thing weíd like to do. I remember my mother saying when we were young, that breakfast in bed would be heaven. It never made much sense to me, but on special occasions we might get up early so she could have breakfast in bed. Looking back, I think perhaps, that she was wishing she didnít have to work so hard, for something that seems to accomplish so little. For when food is properly prepared, the only thing that is left are satisfied smiles and the dishes, and sometimes the smiles donít last as long as the dishes. Perhaps another part is a desire to rest from our labors.
There are many other pictures we have of what heaven might be like. It might be a lake filled with fish, that every time the line goes is, a fish is on. For some it might be a challenging golf course mastered. For others, a country road for riding motorcycles, or perhaps a trail for riding horses. There are an endless variety of good things that we can imagine that heaven is like.
Unfortunately, it is often true, that those who donít believe, canít imagine anything good in the pictures of our heaven. They ask us do we like to sing, and if we donít, then they tell us that heaven will be singing Godís praises forever and ever. If they have heard us speak of how long church lasts, then theyíll ask us why we would ever want to go to a place where all we would do is worship God forever and ever. All this occurs because we donít get enough practice sharing with others the hope that is in us.
For we know that a new heaven and a new earth are good things. We know that always being with a loving God is a good thing. We know that having a good shepherd is a good thing, for to not heave a shepherd is to be lost, alone, and facing death, with no one to rescue us. We know that having a savior, is much better than remain enslaved to sin death and the devil. And so we long to see the glory of God, and the gathering of all nations, and the life everlasting, in Jesus Christ.