This week I’ve been sharing some thoughts about heaven—that it will be better than anything we can experience in this life, and also that it is a place of INCREDIBLE joy.
With that in mind, I also want to debunk a popular misconception: that the main thing Jesus taught about was going to heaven after you die.
Did he talk about it? Yes he did. But did it dominate his teaching? No it didn’t.
A summary of Jesus’ teaching is found in the Lord’s Prayer: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
In the past few weeks I’ve re-read the entire New Testament. What I’ve re-discovered is that the vast majority of Jesus’ teachings are about bringing heaven to earth; about being disciples and making disciples; about relationships that are forgiving, sacrificial, truthful, and loving in nature; about trusting and relying on God instead of money or status; about tending to the hurting and outcast; about healing disease; and about fighting Satan, sin and evil through exorcism, healing, and through what he did on the cross.
It’s about restoring the world to how it was originally intended to be, about making it more like heaven on earth.
The word “disciple”—which is a lot like the word “apprentice”—appears 269 times. Therefore, and as I’ve said before, the Christian life isn’t primarily about waiting on earth for heaven, but working for heaven on earth.
With God’s help and guidance, it is a beautiful privilege to be a part of.
So with all this talk of heaven, don’t let it numb you to the world and people around you. Instead, let it motivate you to bring heaven to earth.
You don’t have to change the world. That’s God’s job, not yours. But it is certainly a divine privilege to apprentice under Jesus and get in on the action.
By Matthew Ruttan
—Today’s “Up!” is partly based on my Sunday podcast – Part 2 in the Heaven and Hell series: What is heaven like? Click here to listen in.
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—Bible quotes are from the New International Version.