Heaven is what makes earth happy

Happiness cannot be contained by this world. It is not to be forced into certain contexts or expected to spring out of little cartridges. Happiness does not belong in these things — at least not in its fullest, soul-satisfying form.

Happiness, instead, is a heaven-thing that flits about down here, appearing in little wisps for brief moments to give a hint of what we must seek heaven to find. The whole design in happiness and our desire for it is to get us disengaged from the all-consuming, life-impacting policies of this world and reengaged with the claims of a heavenly paradise that boasts its claims all around us.

One thing does not lead to the other

Now you may be saying, “But since when does heaven hold out happiness; I’ve only seen where hell can do that!” Well, first of all, I’m so glad you asked, because that is a most crucial question. One of the biggest things we have to decide in this life is what to believe about the next one. Based on what we believe about heaven and hell’s opposing parties, we will choose the one we want to be apart of.

Second, I would like to contrast the supposed advantages of each. I will begin with hell. Since the Fall when mankind committed its initial act of rebellion against God, Paradise — as it is referred to in John Milton’s classic poetic masterpiece — has been Lost. Not only has our world been corrupted by the literal death-grip of our sin, but hell has laid claim to every one of us under its power.

You see, the tales you have been hearing about the freedom and favorability of hell are lies made palatable to you while you are at odds with God. Heaven is so pleasing to our bodies and imagination — even after these things have been corrupted by evil — that Satan has to do everything in his power to keep us from ever seeing it accurately.

This does not mean that he always denies that heaven exists or that it is wonderful. Sometimes all that he needs to do is keep us content with vague ideas of how to get there. If we don’t know that we are ineligible by our own merits, then there is no danger that we will go — even if we spend our whole lives in an attempt to “make it.”

In this way it is not necessary for Satan to make us perfect miniatures of himself for us to be destined for hell. All that he has to do is prevent us from realizing that our good is not good enough. For we do not stump him by diligently following the course of all our religious strategies, we destroy his hold over us by abandoning them for his sworn enemy. Christ is our Savior because He is Satan’s victorious opposition.

Therefore, if heaven is Christ’s home, how can it be ours unless we forsake Satan’s home (hell)? Heaven is the reward of the Christ-like. It is possible for every person to image-God (as I mentioned in an earlier post), but only we who have received Christ as our righteousness can image-forth that likeness.

I don’t know about you, but if I created heaven to be a place of glory and perfection, I wouldn’t be welcoming in anyone who wasn’t. Especially not if I had already put forth an open invitation to the world on the condition that anyone who would come should believe in the power of my death rather than the power of their own lives.

Why do we expect God to accept us on our own terms when He has already made it possible for us to gain acceptance on His terms? Jesus Christ is the Door to heaven and we will not find ourselves on the other side unless we walk through Him.

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2 thoughts on “Heaven is what makes earth happy

  1. Christ is our door to Heaven – I agree. I have also learned though that there are many “doors” to “Heaven”.

    Happiness is also for me, not in a distant place or time but also right here and now, in earth. We might say that the ultimate happiness is found in Heaven, but for me that is just an idea, an aspiration. We are always striving for this, and trying to live to His words and deeds. Life here in earth, can be “heaven” or “hell”.

    1. Grace, I find it hard to swallow that you say that Christ is the door to heaven, but yet there are many doors. Christ didn’t claim to be a door, but the Door. He wouldn’t have died for you if any other means could have been obtained to make you right with God. And when He rose from that death, He promised that those who believe in Him will go to be with Him in His home. He is no longer here in the flesh because His body was glorified after His resurrection — it was a body fit for heaven that waits for us there. Earth, since it has been cursed according to the consequences of our sin, is now set to be burned. We will not linger here forever — heaven or hell will be our only options. Hell is the natural one, heaven is the supernatural one.

      Happiness is not impossible here, it is just not in its purest and most excellent state. We could still drink water from pools of untreated water in a water purification facility or take our chances drinking from the ocean, but it would only make us more aware of our need for fresh water, more conscious of our thirst. That is why heaven is more than an inspiration — it is the reality of being fully refreshed and no longer thirsty that we believe because we know that this is what we were designed to enjoy.

      Life certainly whets our attention for heaven or hell — depending on which we have set ourselves on pursuing — but there is too much good in it to be hell and too much bad in it to be heaven. Both are absolutely one quality — living one earth gives us a chance to sample the attractions and consequences of both. If we experienced a predominant dose of bad we would never want to escape earth to something better (heaven) and if we never experienced a strong enough dose of good we would not believe heaven could exist at all. I hope that the marks of both heaven and hell in your life will make understanding each of them and choosing between them that much easier.

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