Inspired Truth Blog
Dallas Bible values INSPIRED TRUTH not shifting opinion. God provided His perfect Word for all to know, so we major on the Bible, not our shifting opinions. Become a part of the conversation below as we seek to more perfectly understand the inspired truth within scripture.
“Will my pet dog/cat/hamster/guinea pig/parrot/lizard/frog be with me in heaven?”
A question nearly every Sunday school teacher and Christian parent has fielded, and one I’m guessing you have either asked or been asked, or perhaps both. (If you have a pet frog, the question isn’t “will my pet frog be in heaven?” the question you should be asking is “why do I have a pet frog?”) We don’t have a definitive answer in Scripture, but my favorite answer I’ve heard is “if you need your pet to be happy, it will be with you in heaven.”
In today’s world we have so much it is easy to forget what is essential to our happiness. What is so amazing about our God is that he promises to give us not just what we need, but all good things if we seek him. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! Even the young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:8-10)
These minutes we all are spending at home? They don’t belong to us. Our homes don’t belong to us. Our bodies don’t belong to us. This earth doesn’t belong to us. They are gifts God has graciously given. As I have lost some of the freedom during this quarantine that I am used to having, I am aware anew of the countless blessings the Lord continually bestows upon me. The country we live in is a gift from him. The freedom to move about is a gift from him. This time of less is a reminder of just how much we do have. It is also a reminder that this broken place is not our home, Christians.
The promise of Psalm 34 that God will provide us with every good thing will be most realized when we are with him in heaven. That is God’s greatest gift, the promise of eternal life free from sin and death, from disease and affliction. While this time is a great time to reflect on how much you have to be thankful for, even more so it is a wonderful time to ponder just how much we have to look forward to.
The future reality we get to enjoy in the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is referred to as the Beatific Vision. What exactly will it be like? We don’t know of course, any more than we know if our pet will be there with us. Don’t let that stop you from wondering, dreaming, and imagining it!
Preparing to behold the glory of God is a worthy endeavor, and one we have more time for than ever before. Theologian John Owen argued that this future reality matters for our lives now because if it does not shape our minds and mold our desires, something else will.
It’s perhaps never been easier to desire our future perfect reality than it is right now.
My call to you is to spend some time today doing just that, desiring heaven. Let our faithful God’s promise to you of your future in heaven fill you with hope today. Let your thoughts of what it might be like lead you to worship our loving God. Worshipping God now in the midst of this trying time is all the more glorifying to him.
I can offer you a place to start. We could think of God as a master painter. In the Beatific Vision, we get to witness His artwork with new eyes. We get to paint alongside Him. We will rejoice and reflect back on what it is to be His paint, brushed into the incredible masterpiece of redemption He has painted, of which we make up one of an infinite number of colors, and in our union with Christ we will also experience a part of what it is to be the very model God has been painting. We will share in the Trinitarian relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is the most profound element of the Beatific Vision to me. We are engrafted into a communication that has been going on for all eternity, seeing with new eyes and understanding with new minds a relationship that has always existed.
Thomas Aquinas writes, “Man is not perfectly happy, so long as there remains something for him to seek.” In the Beatific Vision, we will get to enjoy the single greatest thing we could ever seek and know it to the greatest extent possible—community with our God and his people.
Community has never been harder to do than it is right now. Zoom and Facetime can only take us so far. Consider the community that awaits us. We will not struggle to relay thoughts or emotions to one another, we will together share in and explore the endless depths of our Creator and enjoy a connection with Him and with one another that will be perfect.
When our gaze is toward heaven, as Stephen’s was when he perished in Acts chapter 7, it makes the worst of times into opportunities for God to be glorified, for us to be strengthened, and for the gospel to flourish. Our courage and our hope during this time in our world by the power of the Holy Spirit can infect far more in a far more permanent way than this virus, which will pass away along with the earth. Not us, though, brothers and sisters in Christ. We will lack no good thing.
Published on 04/06/2020 @ 7:17 AM CDT