Heaven, the Citizen’s Final Frontier……Or Is It?

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Heaven, the Citizen’s Final Frontier……Or Is It?

One of the most heartfelt worship songs of the 21st century is I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe. If you haven’t listened to it, you should. It’s a wonderful song! Here is the first verse and the chorus.

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When you face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by You glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

As I was listening to the song, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “You don’t have to postpone this experience to Heaven. You can have this on Earth right now.” Wow! Can we really? If so, then why do we sing so many songs declaring how we can’t wait to get to Heaven? Why do we delay experiences meant for Earth?

The short and sweet is that many of us have traded the promise of the Kingdom for the empty hopes of religion. God’s intent has always been to establish His heavenly influence on Earth among and through a citizenry of people who manifest and spread His culture. If you’ve been following along with us for even just a short amount of time, you have heard this message several times. Check out our archived messages on our website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel for more on the subject.

Religion is man’s attempt at reclaiming the Kingdom. It is our best shot at understanding and fulfilling God’s intent. Unfortunately, anything we try to do in our own strength and wisdom falls short of God’s marvelous standard and intent. The hope of going to Heaven to live and stay is one of these things.

Jesus makes it quite clear during His ministry that He came to bring Heaven to Earth and not the other way around. “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). From the outset of His ministry, Jesus was laser-focused on restoring the Kingdom back to man, not taking man to the Kingdom. Yes, we will go there one day on an excursion, but make no mistake it’s not our final frontier.

We spend so much time praying to leave Earth and not enough time praying for God’s Kingdom to impact it. “Pray then like this: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt.6:9-10). That doesn’t sound anything like some of the prayers you’ve probably heard. It’s a prayer for impact, not isolation. It’s a request for God’s government to come, not to take us to the government.

If that wasn’t enough, in John 17:15, we hear Jesus having a conversation with His Father, saying, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” That seals the deal! If Jesus didn’t pray for us to leave, but to stay, then what should our prayer and focus be? It should be on impacting the world with Heaven’s culture while we are here.

Don’t worry, your “hope in glory” isn’t going anywhere. You will go to Heaven someday, put on your white robe, walk the streets of gold, and worship around the throne. However, if that consumes our attention, then how can we fulfill the assignment we’ve been given here on Earth?

Imagine if our churches were all laser-focused like Jesus was on impacting the world with Heaven. Imagine if we were so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we knew exactly what to do to make it happen. What would our churches look like? How would we structure our ministries? How would we see our role in the world today? I’ll tell you!

Our churches would be blossoming with Heaven’s culture. There would be no lying, no stealing, no bickering, and no gossiping. There would be no adultery, fornication, or sexual immorality of any kind. Children would obey their parents. Husbands would love their wives. Wives would submit to their husbands. There would be no divorce and no incest. The moral standard would be high, our vision would be clear and the witness we set for the world would be so weird to outsiders, they would come just to see how all of this is even possible.

Sound crazy, far-fetched, or out of this world? It’s because it is, according to the world’s way of operating anyway. Church On Purpose is determined to be this kind of church. It’s why teach and preach so heavily on the importance of manifesting culture. My prayer, and I hope after reading this your prayer, is that God will renew our understanding and vision for what the church is supposed to be. When this begins to take place, we won’t be singing about how we imagine what Heaven will be like, but about how real Heaven has become on Earth.

Grace and Peace,

 

Professor Q

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