Heaven on Earth

Where are your thoughts? Your affections? Hopes, desires, motives, loves, confidences? The answer should be ‘in heaven!’ Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Col 3:2)
‘For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ…’ (Phil3:20). Since even as we live here on earth, we are members of heaven, with all our efforts we should ‘seek the things that are above, where Christ is.’ Our motive is that Christ is there! As Hebrews says, ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.’
Of course, as weak and fallen creatures in a fallen world, our seeking of those things above is not as it should be. Perhaps we lack assurance that we really are citizens of heaven; then we should remember that ‘since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…’ (Heb10:21). We ought to be confident because ‘you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God’ (Col 3:3)! Let’s aim to say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2Tim1:12).
The saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 also looked with the eyes of faith, and we are told that because of this, ‘God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city’ (v16). How amazing, that God proves his love for us in preparing us that city. Surely these are good grounds for assurance! To have an assurance of heaven founded in Christ is possibly the next best thing to being there its self! Joseph Caryl once said, ‘All saints shall enjoy a heaven when they leave this earth; some saints enjoy a heaven while they are here on earth.’ Let us strive to be one of those!


By Philip Mackereth



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6 comments:

  1. David van den Broek24 December 2009 at 12:51

    What do you think Caryl meant when he said that some enjoy a heaven on earth? And in your closing sentence do you mean that we should strive to have one OR the other, or that we should strive to enjoy both?

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  2. Hey there Philip.

    You quoted Caryl. How can we have heaven on earth? Because earth is a sinful place, we cant have a pure ,holy, painless and altogether amazing place here.. Earth is scarred form the Fall, and therefore it is not fit to have heaven on it...

    Please explain what you mean..

    thank you...

    Jonah

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  3. Thanks for this essay, Philip. Very interesting.

    I am guessing (ready to be corrected!), that Caryl means that we can strive to have a "heaven on earth" by pursuing the attributes of love, joy, peace, kindness, graciousness and selflessness, thus making our world more "heavenly" for ourselves and those around us. I think that these attributes and fruits of the Spirit are very rewarding and can make us desire Heaven more, by giving us a "taste" of what it will be like there.

    Being content in our situations, relying on God, serving Him faithfully and living in harmony with one another are surely some of the keys to having that "heaven on earth". I think if we strove for these things our lives would not only be more God-glorifying, but these attributes would provide us with a tiny glimpse, as it were, of what we will experience in glory. Except of course, all will be without fault there.

    What does everyone else think? I hope my ramblings made sense there!

    Elspeth

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  4. Hi all, thanks for the comments! Sorry for delay in replying,I have been on holiday etc. David, I meant that we should strive to enjoy both.
    Elspeth, thanks for putting it so well: 'a taste' of things to come! Jonah, thanks for the question: I think the first part of your question has been answered very well already! We can have a taste of 'heaven on earth' when we can experience heavenly things (as Elspeth listed) here on earth. Of course, you are right that we can never fully experience heaven as a place, now, because of sin and corruption. Even so, that doesnt mean that everything is evil and bad in this world; after all, Christ himself came and dwelt on earth, and still does in his people! The Puritan Thomas Brooks, in his book 'Heaven on Earth' says; "To have grace, and to be sure that we have grace, is glory upon the throne, it is heaven on this side heaven."
    Feel free to disagree or come up with more thoughts!

    Philip

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  5. Doesn't it depend on our definition of heaven? Christ did say:

    'And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.' John 14v3.

    Here, on earth, we will experience trials and persecution, resulting is pain, discomfort, loss and all its resulting complications and yes, we can have all the fruits of the Spirit despite our suffering however, it is suffering nonetheless.

    Thank you for a very thought provoking essay,

    Anna
    (Wakeman)

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