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Just as it is important for us to see ourselves as having come from God, it is even more important to see ourselves as going toward Him. God created us in His own image (Gen. 1:27), and His desire is to redeem us from our sins so that we can be with Him throughout eternity (Hb. 2:10). That reality should be the major part of our self-concept or self-image. If we are in Christ, we are heaven-bound people.
If we take the Bible seriously, the truths we find there will obviously make for a better quality life in this world. But Christianity is about something much more important than that. As Christians, we are being drawn toward heaven by the gospel of Christ. Heaven is what the gospel is primarily about, and we need to keep that fact in the center of our spiritual focus.
Christianity is about heaven simply because it is about God. Heaven is where God is, awaiting the arrival of all His redeemed people throughout the ages, and eternal life has to do, first and foremost, with God Himself. To have eternal life is to "know" God. Jesus said, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (Jn. 17:3). This is what heaven is about. It's why we want to go there. In heaven, our knowledge of God and our fellowship with Him will be complete.
We could not have the hope of heaven, of course, if God had not made it possible. Since we could not have saved ourselves from our sins, God had to make the necessary atonement. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him" (Jn. 3:16,17). It is only by the grace of God Himself that we can say that we are, as His forgiven people, bound for heaven.
This week, let's grow in our appreciation of the eternal life that is available in Christ. To be bound for heaven gives us a meaning and an importance to life that we could not have by any other means. This is a treasure not to be taken lightly.
Monday: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Key Idea: The gospel of Christ is primarily about the life to come, not life in this present world.
Questions for Family Growth: If there is in fact no resurrection, what must be said about the gospel of Christ? Does this mean that Christianity is not concerned with this life at all? As Christians, how should we think about life in the present world?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:3.
Tuesday: Hebrews 2:10
Key Idea: The thing we should desire most about heaven is the glory of being where God is.
Questions for Family Growth: To what is God bringing us, according to this text? What does "glory" mean? What does Paul say about our glory in 2 Cor. 3:18 and 4:16-18? How is "eternal life" defined in Jn. 17:3?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:4.
Wednesday: Hebrews 12:1,2
Key Idea: Heaven will be only for those who have chosen to go there.
Questions for Family Growth: What are we encouraged to do in this passage? What will happen if we do not do these things? In 1 Cor. 9:27, what did Paul say he had to do in order to maintain his hope of heaven?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:5.
Thursday: 2 Peter 1:2-4
Key Idea: Heaven will be the end of a process of growing in the character traits of godliness.
Questions for Family Growth: According to this text, what has God's divine power given to us? Through these things, what are we becoming "partakers" of, according to v.4? In vv.5-11, what must be done if we expect to go to heaven?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:6.
Friday: 2 Corinthians 5:14,15
Key Idea: The love of Christ motivates us to live for Him so that we can have the hope of heaven.
Questions for Family Growth: In this passage, in what way does the love of Christ "control" (constrain or compel) us? What does this teach us concerning what our motives should be in serving God? Do we serve God primarily for our sake or for His?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:7.