I don't know anything that is more encouraging than thinking about and anticipating heaven. Here are my top ten reasons why I'm looking forward to heaven.
I first created this top ten list in mid-2011. Time and continued study and growth has changed my list somewhat. Here is my updated list.
10. No More Endings
You're probably familiar with the phrase "Nothing lasts forever." It's one of the great tragic consequences of The Fall. Recall the words of the preacher in Ecclesiastes 3:
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Eccl. 3:1-8 NIV)
In this life, everything has a season. Everything is temporary. Seasons come and seasons go. In heaven, things are eternal and not temporal. There is no need to pack up to leave or to unpack and there is no need to say goodbye. Sounds great to me!
9. No More Disappointment
I don’t know about you, but I'm so tired of being let down by other people—from not keeping their word to failing to follow through on their commitments.
Furthermore, I’m tired of letting other people down due to my own shortcomings. I know I make mistakes; I disappoint people. I know my sin. I know my need for Jesus and His cleansing blood.
8. No More Sin
Speaking of sin and shortcomings, the elimination of sin and its terrible consequences from my life is a tremendous reason to anticipate life in heaven.
Think about it: All of the world’s problems, for all time, are directly or indirectly attributable to sin.
Humanity’s knowledge of evil, acquired in the Garden all those millenia ago, is the cause of all pain, suffering and death. Can we even imagine life without sin?
That is truly a beautiful thought.
7. Peaceful Rest
As the years pass, I am becoming increasingly acquainted with the aches and pains of aging.
I sleep, but I never feel entirely rested. My body doesn’t bend and move as quickly and easily as it once did. Injuries take longer to overcome. I don’t feel quite as energized in the mornings as I used to.
And from what I understand in talking with my parents and others older than me, this trend doesn’t improve with age. ?
Additionally, our days are often filled with busy activities, responsibilities and stress.
In heaven, the weights of this world are nonexistent. Sounds like a place I want to be.
1 The righteous perish,
and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.
(Isa. 57:1-2 NIV)
6. Meeting Fellow Saints and Hearing Amazing Stories
The Bible is full of amazing accounts of ordinary men and women who, by faith, accomplished extraordinary things.
How often have you read something in Scripture and thought, “Wow! I wish I could have seen that,” or, “I wish I could talk with ____ about that. That must have been an amazing experience!”
In heaven, this wish can be a reality, as we’ll be able to interact with all the saints of all generations.
Now, consider this: The Bible contains only a mere fraction of the amazing things GOD has done. What a tremendously exciting idea this is!
5. Reunite with Loved Ones
We all have, or will have, loved ones who have passed on before us. The hope the Christian has of one day seeing these individuals again is perhaps the greatest comfort in coping with death.
I have heard people wish aloud for extra time with certain deceased friends and family, especially parents. While this reminds us of the importance of making the most of each day and being thankful (and prayerful) about our loved ones, it also swells within us the hope of a future reunion that will not end.
4. Experience GOD’s Surprises
In 2 Cor. 12, Paul tells us about his experience being called up to heaven. He writes:
1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. … But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. ...
(2 Cor. 12:1-7 NIV)
Here, Paul describes what he saw in heaven as “inexpressible” and “surpassingly great revelations.” We also have other visions and glimpses into heaven, such as the great throne scene of Revelation 4-5.
Each time, the beauty and wonder is beyond our comprehension. Even as inspired writers, I would imagine these saints like John, Paul and Ezekiel would have been frustrated at the utter inability to put into the words what they saw in order to convey it to others.
Earth contains some pretty amazing and beautiful treasures and experiences. Imagine how far heaven must surpass anything and everything here. The same GOD that made earth’s great beauty has prepared something much greater as a reward.
3. Be Proclaimed a Victor
As Paul was facing his impending death, he wrote to Timothy, saying:
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
(2 Tim. 4:6-8 NIV)
I personally don’t care about a crown, itself. But being proclaimed—by Jesus—as a victor, as one who successfully finished the race, that inspires me.
More than anything, I long to hear GOD’s approval of my walk—to know that He is pleased with me. This, more than anything else, drives me. One day, by His grace, faith will be sight.
2. See Jesus’ Face
There is very little separation in rank between these top three reasons I look forward to heaven.
Without question, a primary inspiration for me is the desire to meet my Lord face to face, to see Him and touch Him and fall at His feet in worship, to express my deepest thanks.
My heart swells with anticipation as I consider the possibility of that moment. Truly that will be worth all the difficulties of this life.
1. Experience the Perfect Relationship with GOD
In the beginning, after GOD created everything, He pronounced it all good. GOD created humans to share life and be in perfect fellowship with Him.
Of course, we lost this most blessed privilege when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. Their sin introduced evil into GOD’s earthly creation and severed humanity’s relationship as, one by one, temptation claimed individuals to sin’s spiritual death.
We don’t even know what it’s like to have a perfectly harmonious relationship with GOD. Even as Christians, with the forgiving agent of the blood of Jesus, we still wrestle with temptation and sin.
One day, this will cease and, as GOD’s child, I'll be pronounced innocent and enter into GOD’s house forever.
That’s my list. Got a reason that I didn’t mention? Share it in the comments below.