Why Christians Should Think More About Heaven


Owen Strachan:

You’ve no doubt heard the saying, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” I get the meaning here. We all know absentminded folks. If you’re the type of person who thinks deeply about life but goes out the door in mismatched socks, you might need to become a bit more practical. We’ve all met people who fit this mold. Maybe you and I are those people!

But I have observed that most Christians struggle the opposite way. Let me put it plainly: I don’t think we’re nearly heavenly minded enough. We focus a ton on what’s right in front of us—politics, movies, our social-media feeds—but give little thought to what lies ahead in eternity. Small wonder so many believers today are discouraged.

There is a marvelous and easy-to-comprehend solution to this common problem. If we will take the time to think about heaven, we will find our gaze lifted. If we will give less attention to tracking the latest Twitter spat, we will find our blood pressure dropping. If we will focus a little more of our attention on how God is preparing for us our heavenly home, we will find our joy increasing.

Years ago, a great pastor by the name of Jonathan Edwards made just this point. He talked about how, in the First Great Awakening, Christians found themselves overjoyed as they meditated on the reality of heaven. He observed that they experienced unspeakable delight, and bodily strength overborne at the thoughts of heaven as a world of love, where love shall be the saints’ eternal food, and they shall dwell in the light of love, and swim in an ocean of love, and where the very air and breath will be nothing but love.

You could scarcely come up with more beautiful words about heaven if you tried. Heaven, Edwards argued succinctly, is “a world of love.”

Our world does not usually fit this description. We catch a glimpse of love here and there, but we are not in the “world of love” that awaits us. That is where, someday, every repentant, blood-bought believer will dwell. Edwards was right: We were made for love, God’s own love. That is the love we will know in the new heavens and new earth.

May I challenge you today? Defy the stereotypes. Buck the trends. Bust the curve. Start thinking more and more about heaven. Let your mind drift pleasantly to God. Take a walk outdoors—with no devices. Breathe the cool autumn air. Think about God. Think about heaven. Think about the world of love that awaits you.

Do you want a little help with firing up your imagination? I’ve just written a book titled Always in God’s Hands that will take you through a full year of devotional study based on the writings of Jonathan Edwards, showing the wisdom and beauty and truth in his words. Then, in a few short, easy-to-read paragraphs, I explain and apply his teaching to the everyday Christian life. It’s simple, short, and sweet.

As you resolve to think more about heaven, I encourage you to pick up Always in God’s Hands. As you dwell on the greatness of God and the hope of eternity, your daily life will change.

You’ll become more joyful.

You’ll become more hopeful.

Best of all, you’ll become so heavenly minded that you’ll be of some earthly good.

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.