What will heaven be like? Brad reminds us that we don’t know for sure but that “Heaven will be heaven because God is there.”
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Coffee or Tea?
From the time we’re very young, we’re presented with choices. What clothes we’ll wear today, what backpack we like when picking out new school supplies in the fall. It really comes down to “preferences.” We all have them. They can range from the very subtle to the opposite end of the spectrum. I was reminded of this the other day at a restaurant when that familiar question from the waiter was posed. Coffee or tea?
Basically, which do I prefer is what’s being asked. What is my preference? It’s a fair question. The tastes are different, although the brews do have much in common. They’re both served hot or cold, black or with cream & sugar, caffeinated or decaf. I know a lot of folks who drink only tea, and I know as well, those who are far more partial to coffee. I happen to like both, and… given the time of day I suppose or the mood I’m in, you’ll find me switching up from one to the other.
We Are Surrounded By Choices
Other preferences are even more subtle and come down to minute comparisons.
Coke or Pepsi for instance. The difference in taste between the world’s top two cola brands is not that significant, yet clearly, there are masses of loyal patrons, who, like passionate sports fans would rally behind one or the other staking a claim to brand superiority.
Generations of our ancestors; in fact, most all who walked this earth just a couple of hundred years ago, were concerned primarily with the essentials of staying alive… of securing the most basic of necessities…. food and water, clothing and shelter. We, however, are surrounded with choices, and options every moment of every day, in virtually everything we purchase or acquire, from a simple meal choice to something more significant like the purchase of a new vehicle.
Considering all things, the choices put before us, are merely catering to our preferences, not to necessity. If we need a vehicle to get us safely and on time, to work or to school, and to appointments, does it matter whether it’s a Ford, a Dodge, or a Toyota? If we are buying milk or juice or bread, a real robust hunger or thirst would be satisfied with any or all brands.
The Experience Of Heaven
But as I sit here sipping my black Folgers coffee (clearly there are millions who would prefer it with cream and sugar) I’m thinking about how our preferences and some of the simple things we enjoy, factor into the experience of heaven. My hot cup of coffee, it is like an old friend. Familiar, comforting, stirring my senses. Folgers equates coffee to the morning hours, and boldly claims… “the best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup.” I must admit, some mornings it almost feels that way, but in truth, I know that “his mercies are new every morning”, and waking up to such blessing is far more precious than the conveniences and comforts we so often surround ourselves with.
But what of these small pleasures, will there be any association with them in heaven? It’s fair to say that the references in the bible to heaven, are scant, and in some ways generalized. There is not a list of all the things that heaven will include. We’re told Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, where there are mansions and streets of gold. There will be rewards. There will be no sin there, no suffering or pain, no darkness. We’ll be in the presence of God our Father and Jesus will sit at his right side. Angels and saints gone on before us will be there.
Heaven Will Be Heaven Because God Is There
Apart from that, we’ll enter in with our eyes of faith wide open, in anticipation of the greatest moment of all, where the gift of salvation gives way to our eternal, tangible relationship with our Lord and our God. And I believe THAT is the essence of it. “Heaven will be heaven because God is there.” Our time, our thoughts, our meditations, and our worship will be overwhelmingly focused on him who redeemed us and called us to himself. Heaven will not be heaven because of any small pleasure…. like sipping a coffee, checking the sports scores, or grabbing a quick surf while the waves are just right. The trivial things, the preferences that factor into our day here, will be insignificant in the realm of glory.
Jesus sheds light on this with a revelation that surprises. Even something so monumentally beautiful, relevant, and personally defining as marriage in this world, will no longer have a place.
When Jesus was asked about the woman who had been widowed seven times, (whose wife she would be in heaven), it seems a very valid question. But Jesus answer holds a lot of weight, and I believe gives immense insight into the vastly different blessings we will encounter in our heavenly bodies, in our heavenly home.
Jesus said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven”.
If something as significant as marriage; the emotions associated with it, the memories, the children borne out of it… does not carry over into heaven, I believe the answer as to whether mere experiential preferences carry on, is a foregone conclusion.
Much of this seems rather trivial, but we as human’s place so much importance on the things we like, the preferences we have. We can sometimes lose sight of why heaven is heaven after all.
Ye Do Err
We’ve undoubtedly all heard similar references made with respect to loved ones who have passed on, mentioning they’ll be “up there”.…cheering in their Maple Leafs jersey, or riding around on their Harley. It gives a sense of comfort to associate the beloved things of this world, with the experience of heaven. Gods holy word, however, specifically Jesus words in Matthews gospel hit home.
“Ye do err”.
How often is the case, basing our hopes and heavenly aspirations on things that draw from the aesthetics of this world, rather than simply trusting in the glorious truth, that God our father, has prepared a place for us, that where he is, there we may be also?
“Oh that will be, glory for me, glory for me, glory for me.,
When by his grace I shall look on his face, that will be glory, be glory for me.”
Matthews gospel reminds us as well, that whatever our Heavenly Father has in store for us, it will be significantly more than amazing.
“What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
My coffee is now cold, but the comfort I feel when considering the heaven that waits for me warms me inside and out. I think it’s safe to say, I’m okay with foregoing my Folgers in heaven, and leaving all things heavenly to the namesake of the one who is preparing it for me, my Heavenly Father.
The hymn writer reminds us, that when we “turn our eyes upon Jesus,…the things of earth ( like our preferences ) will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder. Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter, and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
You Might Enjoy These Posts About Heaven:
Crawford Paul – The Treasure of Heaven
Don Salmans – Living a Life That Counts
Gary McBride – Practice Peace
Greg Reader – An Unfamiliar Culture
Images Courtesy Of:
Coffee – Engin_Akyurt
Coffee cup – Free-Photos
Universe – Marcio Motta
Moon – Nathan Dumlao
Sky – eberhard grossgasteiger