Where we think we are headed in the future plays a part in shaping present-day decisions. For instance, many of us have career goals and those goals dictate how we perform at work—we are not late to work and do not punch or tickle our bosses for the damage those things might do, not only to our present circumstance but to our future prospects as well.
Our broader worldview is much like that too. We live in a way that gives away what we believe about the future. Many an 80’s rocker believed there was no future—at least not a lasting one—so they rode hard the Highway to Hell, partying themselves to oblivion. Conversely, some believe that the afterlife is an earned thing, so they spend their lives dutifully following self-imposed rules and toeing the line.
For Christians, our belief is often informed by a picture of Heaven, an everlasting place of . . . well, what exactly is it anyway? Is it floating on a cloud? Is a harp provided or do I need to bring my own? Do I get wings? Can I bring a friend?
We just sort of guess around at a place we will be forever, which, I don’t know, seems to be about the silliest thing ever. I mean, we’re gonna be there (in a Sandlot voice) FOR-EV-ERRRR . . . It may just be worth looking into!
Added to this—if our view of our eternal landing place is that it is a slightly worse, more boring version of our current situation, how does that impact how we do life here? The response to that can have staggering impact on how we view art, work, love, evangelism, and life in general.
In Heaven, Randy Alcorn puts years of copious research into a book that seeks to accurately display what Heaven will be like. He tackles questions from the lofty (Can you know you are going to Heaven?) to the more basic (What will eat? Will we be ‘ourselves’? Will our pets be there?). The book could blow apart your worldview and have you actually envisioning your eternal destination in an accurate, biblical way.
The book is long (around 492 pages), but the way it is broken down by common questions allows for one to skip around to what interests one—it is not a book that has to be read cover-to-cover all in one sitting.
As you begin the New Year, perhaps you can begin investigating the millions of new years that lay in wait for you on the other side of eternity. Heaven is a great place to start.
*There is one copy available in the resource center. If you’d be interested in reading this book or starting a small group featuring it, contact Matt.