Reasons for anticipating life in heaven are too many to list. Even if we collectively pool our reasons, those reasons would quadruple when we live with God in His environment.

May I share a valued anticipation? When I was a young preacher, I anticipated this happening in the church on earth. After a lifetime working for and with Christians, I now understand it cannot happen on earth. The combination of humanity, ignorance, and evil prevents this anticipation from becoming an earthly reality.

I anticipate the time when not one person saved by God through Christ will be troubled by another person saved in Christ. I anticipate the time when we will not stare at each other's weakness; criticize each other's faults; doubt each other's motives; feel threatened by each other; judge each other on the basis of past mistakes; fear love and respect; use negative emotions to justify poor interaction; and determine the faithfulness of others on the basis of their reaction to "my" preferences.

The power of God is incredible. Paul said it exceeds human imagination (Ephesians 3:20,21). Yet, our powerful, capable God watches as His children neglect His purposes. What God did and does in Jesus Christ can change a life, a marriage, a family, a congregation, a community, a nation, and a world. That fundamentally was God's purpose when He sent His Son to unleash His incredible power and reveal how much He loves all people.

The living God is here. His power is available. The Savior is in place. Forgiveness is perfect. Mercy is more than adequate. Grace exists without limit.

This is not written to be crude, but to illustrate a truth. A good friend once said, "The church is too absorbed in staring at its own navel." The self-absorption of reactionary hearts and minds cannot achieve God's eternal purposes in an evil world.

Why will wonderful harmony exist in God's environment? For these reasons. All eyes will be on (1) the incredible God of mercy who saved us and (2) the incredible Lamb of God who died for us. Every saved person will be humbly awed by the unimaginable grace necessary to save him or her. We will be so filled with the praise of God that there will be no room for criticism of anyone or anything. Lord come quickly!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 9 April 2000

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