Our suffering here at times can be so over whelming that it is difficult for us to look upon our circumstances with an eternal perspective. Often we mentally separate life here and now with heaven as it can seem distant and unreal to us and some how ethereal in our thinking. However eternal life begins now in knowing Christ, not when we die.
We are citizens of heaven and our lasting home is there. A home where we will dwell with Christ eternally, knowing no more pain, grief or separation from God or each other because of sin. In heaven we will know completeness; seeing God in all His glory, holiness and justice in the face of Jesus Christ. As we grieve the death of our children we have a certain hope that they are now with Christ in glory, and like David can proclaim that we will go and be with them (2 Samuel 12:23).
We have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3) because of Christ’s resurrection and his defeating death for each one of us. All that we are and do here in this life is not detached and irrelevant from eternity but is being used by God to change us from one degree of glory to the next (2 Cor 3:18). In God’s presence we will know Christ’s love and will be united with our loved ones as well as all God’s children. In this we rejoice, though now for a little while, as is necessary, we are grieved by various trials (1 Peter 1:6).
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Revelation 7:15-17 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Unless otherwise indicated all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.