“In 1991 a Gallup poll showed that 78 percent of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die. However, many of them hardly ever pray, read the Bible, or attend church. They admit that they live to please themselves instead of God. I wonder why these people would want to go to heaven.
“In an article entitled, “Are We Ready for Heaven?” Maurice R. Irwin points out that only 34 percent of the American people who call themselves Christians attend church at least once a week. He says, “We sing, ‘When all my labors and trials are o’er, and I am safe on that beautiful shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.’ However, unless our attitudes toward the Lord and our appreciation of Him change greatly, heaven may be more of a shock than a glory.” [Daily Bread, July 31, 1992.]
This question may both bother you and cause you to pause. But, in fact, how much do you identify with these poll results? Does your life show a real yearning and hunger for Heaven and its attitudes? Do we share with God this desire that our lives now be lived so that Heaven is our home; so that Heaven will not be a shock but a wonderful end to our life’s work?
There are those people that retire in a certain city, or buy a cabin in the mountains, or live closer to their kids and they will tell you, “We have been working toward this for 20 years.” What they are saying is that all their decisions, their planning, their budget and their thinking have gone toward this goal. Are you planning for Heaven? A preacher once asked, “If you were to remove Sunday Bible study and Wednesday evening Bible class from your Bible study and prayer time, how much Bible would you know… how much prayer time would you spend with God weekly? Let us make sure that when we meet God in heaven (only by his amazing mercies) that He will not be a stranger, but a sweet and intimate friend. Let us make sure that Heaven will be a wonderful glory and not a shock!
~~ Andy Burns