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Friday, May 7, 2010

Can Christians become too heavenly-minded?

No! It may sound paradoxical to say this, but heaven should be at the center of the Christian worldview. A proper Christian worldview is uniquely focused heavenward.

Though some would deride that as escapism, it is, after all, the very thing Scripture commands: "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). The apostle Paul penned that command, and his approach to life was anything but escapist.

In fact, Paul is a wonderful example of the proper biblical perspective between heaven and earth. He faced overwhelming persecution on earth and never lost sight of heaven. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 he says,

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Then in verses 16-17 he adds, "We do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Elsewhere he told the church at Rome, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18).

Paul was saying exactly what Peter told the scattered and persecuted believers he wrote to: we endure the sufferings of this world for the sake of the glory of heaven (1 Pet. 1:3-7). Whatever we suffer in this life cannot be compared with the glory of the life to come.

In other words, we don't seek to escape this life by dreaming of heaven. But we do find we can endure this life because of the certainty of heaven. Heaven is eternal. Earth is temporal. Those who fix all their affections on the fleeting things of this world are the real escapists, because they are vainly attempting to avoid facing eternity--by hiding in the fleeting shadows of things that are transient.

From Grace to You 

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