It has been awhile since my last post here, but I figured now was a good time to write a post. Today I begin a teaching series with our youth ministry… The Attributes of God. I am using the book The Attributes of God : A Journey into the Father’s Heart as my source (great book and would encourage you to read it). I have attempted to come up with some clever tweet each Wednesday during each of my pre-service study times. Today I am posting:
Jesus Christ was heaven on earth, to be in His presence was to witness and partake in the full joy of HEAVEN!
Unfortunately Twitter only allows 140 characters and so I thought I should come out of hibernation to explain this tweet of mine.
Jesus consistently taught that He was the only way to the Father, the gate, the way, the truth, the life, and the Good Shepherd. Jesus was heaven on earth, and all the ministry He established on earth was a glimpse of heaven in eternity.
At the decline of Jesus’ popularity (John 6), He teaches us to “eat His flesh and drink His blood”. This was a hard saying, and while many walked away from Him, Jesus asked his disciples if they were offended as well. Peter answers him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life… (John 6:68).
While I agree that heaven is a very, very real place for all eternity (as is hell), I believe our perception of heaven is misguided buy our own selfish desires. Heaven is the literal presence of God for all of eternity for all who love God. We often picture heaven with its jewelified (just added a new word) character, we often get bored by the idea that heaven is simply to be in the presence of God.
Jesus warned us that the road is narrow to heaven, but wide is the gate to eternal destruction. When I was a kid, I thought of heaven as boring because my youth pastor taught me what heaven really was… worshipping God and being in His presence for eternity. My concept looked like an eternal choir practice under the control of some crazy committed choir director, and the choir just never seemed to fully satisfy the director. While the teaching I received was appropriate and doctrinally sound, my perception was misguided and came out of a lack of true love for Jesus.
We are confronted with this question when we are judged… What did you do with my son Jesus? We preachers often paint the dramatic picture of the judgement being some crazy disappointment for those separated form God, but I truly believe that their will be a complete acknowledgement of God that day (Phil 2:10); however, I do not think that those who rejected God will weep as if they are missing something. I believe the rejectors of God will weep out of sheer terror and pain, but all the more lack the love of God. If you did not live God here, you surely would not love God once confronted with the finality of all things.
So, Jesus was heaven on earth while He was here in physical ministry, and the power of the Holy Spirit gives us a glimpse of the same. Once Jesus comes back and the final judgement is set, the joy of those who loved God will be fulfilled, while the lack of love for God by those who rejected Him will be fulfilled as well.