I must admit the world has quite a few enticements to which I have grown accustomed; Toyota Tacoma’s, Apple Computers, Ping golf clubs, Reebok tennis shoes, Levis jeans, Craftsman tools. Coffee, chocolate malts, Hershey bars, chocolate chip cookies (no nuts…Well, Macadamia nuts are all right), brownies (no nuts), chocolate cake (no raspberry filling), in fact anything chocolate (still no raspberry). Pillsbury Orange Danish with chocolate macadamia coffee (oh! Wow!), Pineapple chicken, teriyaki chicken, sweet sour chicken, flame broiled chicken, in fact most chicken dishes (but no curry or mushrooms). Golf, ukuleles, books, movies. And of course, Coconuts (yay! God), shredded with added sugar. These things represent some of the best things that this world has to offer. What can I say? I like them.
Trouble is, in a messed-up sort of way, these are things I don’t ever want to give up, but I gather these present day accoutrements will not accompany me into Heaven. Someday I will have to say goodbye to these beloved companions. Sniff. That raises the question; why can’t these great things, these time-tested winners be there in the best of all places? Why should these proven winners be abandoned? Couldn’t Heaven be even more perfect with these on the menu?
The answer is simple, these things, these fineries, as consoling and endearing as they well may be, do not come close to that which awaits us in eternity. I have to remember that these obsessions are generated by people, mere mortal individuals; Heaven though, is a different story. I have to remind myself that the Creator of the universe, He who created all the planets, He who created all life has established those unfathomable blessings that await me in Heaven. For starters Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing.”
What that says to me is that God has a crown of righteousness ready and waiting for me, a crown that so identifies me as righteous that I am able to be in the grand presence of God Almighty. I am sure all those earthly distractions will be but a faint memory at my coronation. This expectation is not just for me, but also for all who have loved His appearing, His coming, in short, all those who have embraced Jesus Christ as Saviour.
And remember, Christ returned to Heaven, in part, to build us a great “mansion”, with the fingerprint of God. What a place that will be! His beautiful creation in this universe is only a foretaste of His divine glory that lies ahead. Truly, the riches that await us in Christ are beyond mere human comprehension. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). We can only imagine.
Though the thought of existing for all of eternity without my compulsions is somewhat daunting, all in all, in the end I know this world can only provide trinkets, baubles and gadgets. I have little idea what other riches in glory God has proposed for the menu, but they are certainly going to surpass the mediocrity of my favorite things here on earth. In fact, I know that I would be disappointed were my favorite things the pinnacle of heavenly perfection. I gotta raise the bar.
Anticipate the riches of Christ to come each and every day.