1. The great weight of our hope in Christ lies beyond the grave. And Jesus' own resurrection is proof that this hope is real - not just happy talk or an empty promise.
"Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can..." [Jonathan Edwards]
2. We often struggle to set our minds on things above, because the gravity of culture pulls on our hearts to love our things below. The Scriptures say, "set your mind heavenward," but the culture of materialism pulls your heart toward earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)
3. Our view of heaven can grow strangely dim if we allow the glitter of this world’s trinkets to blind our hearts to the treasures of the next.
“Christmas is coming. We live our lives between the first Christmas and the second. We walk on disputed turf between Eden and the New Earth, not that far from either. The dispute will soon be settled. Christ will reign forever over the universe. And we will reign with Him.” [Randy Alcorn]
4. The very best things of this life will seem like the finger food of the next. Around every corner will be some new wonder to take your breath away.
5. The heaven to which we go now when we die in the Lord, is not the same place we will spend eternity with the Lord in our resurrected bodies.
6. The present heaven is the place God has created as His temporary dwelling awaiting the day of Christ’s return and the culmination of history as we know it. Bottom line - As Christians, we can think of the present heaven as a temporary lay-over on the way to the eternal new heaven and new earth.
7. Oh, the difference it makes in living to know that dying is not the final verdict.