Heaven Is Here with Us Now
“I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (niv)
A famous play by Eugene O’Neill, called Long Day’s Journey into Night, portrays the worldview that life gets progressively more difficult, and then we die. Four members of a dysfunctional family gather in their living room as fog descends on the landscape and their conversation—reflective of their lives—becomes darker, till finally it is night. The fact that so many people relate to this play is sad. However, it seems a lot of Christians hold the opposite worldview, which is just as depressing.
We sing songs like “I’ll Fly Away” and “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” which, I believe, were intended as celebrations of the fact that heaven is real. But a prevalent train of thought in mainstream Christianity seems to be that our lives on earth are a "Long Night’s Journey into Day." It’s the idea that life is just drudgery, a constant battle with sin and evil, a place of suffering. But somehow, when we die, it will all be worth it because “when we all get to heaven” that’s when we’ll finally live. We tend to lose our focus—or better, shift it to the afterlife, rather than recognizing the kingdom of heaven is here with us now. In this life too.
Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life is knowing Him. And the benefits of knowing Him start the moment we are saved. We can enjoy His presence, His peace and His victory over evil in the day-to-day. He died to give us no less! Sure, there are going to be difficulties, but the Christian life is the best life to live on earth as well as in heaven. In reality, it’s a Short Day’s Journey into More and More Day.
FAITH STEP: Take a few minutes to meditate on Jesus, and all that He is to you here and now—as well as forevermore!
Written by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry