We stand on the brink of eternity. It could begin at any time, and no one on earth knows when. Every individual will cross that threshold someday. It might be before the sun sets today, or it could be many years from now. The Lord warned on more than one occasion that it would be sudden and unexpected. He also explained what is at stake.
Heaven awaits Christians. Never mind the alternative, it is too gruesome to consider. The separation will exclude no one. Right or left, sheep or goat, saved or lost; eternal judgment and destinations will be set in stone (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus came to save the lost. So, there is no good reason to miss out on heaven. Yet, most will (Matthew 7:13-14).
The word of God speaks in terms that exceed our comprehension. We cannot really perceive of an existence that never ends, but it is real. Jesus told about it, and He should know. He came from there (John 17:5). He described the future for those on the right side of the issue. “Come,” He said, an invitation into an extraordinary dimension. It is an open door to a kingdom of blessing that has been in preparation since the beginning of time (Matt. 25:34).
This world has always been an incomprehensible place for those who follow the trail blazed by Jesus Christ. Even before He came to earth, the people of God acknowledged that they did not really belong here (Hebrews 11:13-16). Their real identity is beyond this planet. That is where their thoughts and desires are. Ours are, too. God, Himself, is the one who has prepared such a city. That is home. That is where we really belong. This world is temporary. That address is not.
Paul faced the end of his life with hope (2 Timothy 4:6-8). It was time for him to pass from this world to the next. He had fought and finished. He did not quit. Surely, it must have been a temptation at times, but he had completed his journey. The Lord waited at the finish line for him with the crown of righteousness. He is waiting for us, too, and He has a crown for us. Be faithful. Never stop. He is waiting.
There is a remarkable inheritance stored in heaven for those who have been born again (1 Peter 1:3-9). That is what keeps us going through the tough times. There are plenty of bumps and bruises in the battle. Our faith will be tested, but we remember that the power of God protects us through that faith, so we cling tenaciously to it. The eternal reward exceedingly surpasses any current afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). The challenges of our lives are very real. So is the reward that God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12). That is our focus. That is our hope.