This post is one in a series of posts on a Bible study I am doing titled Heaven by Randy Alcorn and Dave McCleskey. The focus of this study is to get a Biblical view of what heaven is really like.
Today’s post will be the last post for this study, because today’s lesson is the last lesson in the book. If I were to try an summarize what this entire study has taught me into one word, it would be perspective. The Christian life is really nothing more than a life lived with the proper perspective – the proper perspective of God and the proper perspective of Heaven. Allow me to quote a parable about Heaven written by Randy Alcorn in the book:
Imagine someone takes you to a party. You see a few friends there, enjoy a couple of good conversations, a little laughter, and some decent appetizers. The party’s all right, but you keep hoping it will get better. Give it another hour, and maybe it will. Suddenly your friend says “I need to take you home.”
You’re disappointed – nobody wants to leave a party early – but you leave, and your friend drops you off at your house. As you approach the door, you’re feeling all alone and sorry for yourself. As you open the door and reach for the light switch, you sense someone’s there. Your heart’s in your throat. You flip on the light.
“Surprise!” Your house is full of smiling people, familiar faces.
It’s a party – for you. You smell your favorites – barbecued ribs and pecan pie right out of the oven. The tables are full. It’s a feast. You recognize the guests, people you haven’t seen for a long time. Then, one by one, the people you most enjoyed at the other party show up at your house, grinning. This turns out to be the real party. You realize that if you’d stayed longer at the other party, as you’d wanted, you wouldn’t be at the real party – you’d be away from it.
This is a great illustration of the way many of us approach our lives here on earth. We think things are great – like a party we’d never want to leave. But we all know that at some point we are going to die. Everyone dies, no one is exempt. Every one of us has to leave this ‘party’ were currently at. But for those people who see Heaven as the real party, who know that it is truly better to be there, they don’t worry about staying at this one. They have the right perspective.
The Apostle Paul told the church in Philippi that “…forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14). That is the key to a life with the proper perspective – knowing that your goal is Heaven, and doing whatever it takes to reach that goal. That means not living in the past, remembering your glory days, but instead looking to the future, pressing on, doing things that are of importance to God’s kingdom. In the end, a life like that receives a great prize – Heaven.