Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Heaven, A World of Love” – a sermon on how satisfying heaven will be for us because nothing will ever hinder us again from enjoying Jesus Christ. Here is a sweet morsel from that sermon:
“In heaven there shall be no remaining enmity, or distaste, or coldness, or deadness of heart towards God and Christ. Not the least remainder of any principle of envy shall exist to be exercised toward angels or other beings who are superior in glory; nor shall there be aught like contempt or slighting of those who are inferiors . . .The saints shall know that God loves them, and they shall never doubt the greatness of his love, and they shall have no doubt of the love of all their fellow inhabitants in heaven. And they shall not be jealous of the constancy of each other’s love. They shall have no suspicion that the love which others have felt toward them is abated, or in any degree withdrawn from themselves for the sake of some rival, or by reason of anything in themselves which they suspect is disagreeable to others, or through any inconstancy in their own hearts or the hearts of others. Nor will they be in the least afraid that the love of any will ever be abated toward them. There shall be no such thing as inconstancy and unfaithfulness in heaven, to molest and disturb the friendship of that blessed society. The saints shall have no fear that the love of God will ever abate towards them, or that Christ will not continue always to love them with unabated tenderness and affection. And they shall have no jealousy one of another, but shall know that by divine grace the mutual love that exists between them shall never decay nor change.”
Given the fact that Satan was evicted from heaven (Isa. 14:12-15), is a first-class liar (John 8:44), and blasphemes his former residence where he mounted a revolt (Rev. 13:6), it should come as no surprise to lovers of Jesus Christ that this world will suckle on all kinds of wrong things about heaven: how to get there, the nature of the place, and what it is for – if it exists at all. Satan hates heaven (because it is where God dwells in absolute holiness and grace), and he is envious of heaven at the same time (because that is the place where he wanted to reign as supreme).
An observation of our world would bring you to the conclusion that people of all cultures and ages believe in a heaven, how to get there and the nature of the place. For many Islamic extremists, the means to getting to heaven is good works which can include the elimination of non-Muslims, and the nature of heaven is one-night stands forever!
But the rest of the world is not isolated from Satan’s schemes; his lies come in thousands of shades. Notice our own culture and you will have to agree that people believe that you can get to heaven by being moderately good, and the nature of heaven is a place where you get everything that you didn’t down here, and all the things that you did – just more of it. I think that you would also agree that the longing for heaven, or a heaven of some sort where there is unending pleasure is God’s doing – he is the one who “put eternity in our hearts” (Ecc. 3:11). Man’s groping for eternity is a signpost upon our humanity that we were made for something more than this. Which raises this question:
Why do people want to go to a heaven? Not the real one, but a heaven made in their image? Because, 1) man was made to long for more (that’s a good reason); 2) man wants to live forever with man at the center (that’s a bad reason). Because man is blinded by his own sin and Satan is perpetually lying to him about heaven, man will seek to get to heaven by his own means, and will make a heaven in his own image.
But Heaven is all about God and His Son Jesus Christ – A Father who gives a bride to his Son to enjoy each other’s presence for ever and ever, with not a single ho-hum day (Ephesians 1 & 2:7).
Read this advertisement from Godiva Chocolates and then ask yourself: Does this language of heaven promote the real and true heaven or does it reflect our culture that trivializes heaven?
NOW EVERYONE CAN GET HEAVEN
Perhaps you’ve sinned once or twice. But when you indulge in the luscious richness of our delectable milk chocolate truffles, you too will experience your own little moment in heaven.
What did this delectable advertisement teach us? That sin is not a hindrance for heaven, that we rarely if ever sin, that everyone can have heaven now by indulging in whatever will bring you temporary pleasure, and that heaven is a place of your making. I would be nit-picking and making a mountain out of a mole hill if this was not the general consensus of our culture. But I assure you – it is! The Gloria Jeans Coffee Shoppe in Westfield Mall has a sign posted: “If there’s no coffee in heaven, then I’m not going.”
For the sake of our eternal souls, let us stir our affections up for heaven and feast on as much of it as we can now by asking God to bring his hallowed name and his kingdom to earth. Yes, I’ve tasted Godiva Chocolates and Jesus Christ – there’s no comparison! If chocolate is in heaven that will be good. But if Jesus is not – then I don’t want to go.