by Michael J. Klassen
Heaven on Earth
We need it now
I’m sick of all of this
Sick of sorrow
Sick of pain
Sick of hearing again and again
That there’s gonna be
Peace on Earth
Ten years ago, poet Paul David Hewson penned these words about heaven. You might know him better as Bono, of U2 fame. The song is entitled “Peace On Earth” which you can watch in the video above.
Strange—all too often we become so satisfied with the world we live in that we tend to forget about heaven…until people like Bono, Rob Bell, or Harold Camping remind us of its significance.
Do you ever long for heaven, I mean, really long for it? Centuries ago, negro spirituals brimmed with hope for the hereafter. Life as they knew it was so difficult that the African-American slaves looked forward to the day when they would experience relief from the pain and frustration of this present life.
To be honest, I don’t long for heaven near like I should. Sometimes I find myself quite satisfied with my life…until something bad happens. All too often, life must get so difficult that we give up placing our hope in the present.
Perhaps that is partly the purpose behind our pain—to remind us that this earth is not our home. At least not in its current form.
In Hebrews 11, we read a description of the great men and women of faith as people who admit they are “foreigners and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13). Perhaps that’s what made them great people of faith: they refused to make this present earth their home, preferring to focus on the treasures of heaven.
So what will heaven be like?
- It will be a beautiful city—think the Emerald City from Wizard of Oz, but better! (Revelation 21)
- No one will grow old because the tree of life will be there to give us food (Genesis 3:22; Revelation 22:2). Gray hair, be gone!
- Eventually it will descend to its permanent location—earth (Revelation 21:2).
- Jesus will live there with us (Revelation 21:3).
- Boredom will be no more (Psalm 16:11).
- No more death, pain, tears, sorrow, sickness, hospitals, operations, tragedy, disappointment, trouble, hunger, or thirst (Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24; Revelation 22:3; Isaiah 65:23; Revelation 7:16).
- No need for naps because you won’t get tired (Isaiah 40:31).
- Life will resemble our present lives here on earth—but without the bad stuff (Isaiah 65:21-22).
As much as we might like our lives, they pale in comparison to the real thing.
Michael serves as co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.