The world is in the process of returning to normalcy after the pandemic hit experienced. This period became a moment of reconsidering what really matter to us. In the midst of these thought-session, I am privilege to share this thought with everyone – a thought deserving of consideration.
We will be considering a topic that is as relevant as the air we breathe. More than ever, there is a resounding call from God in this season to consider our eternal relevance and our walk with Him.
Let’s consider the topic using this verse as the basis of discussion; I John 3: 2-3
‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.’1 John 3:2-3
The beauty of this conversation is revealed in the truth that none of us have been to Heaven; both you and me. This makes it easier and yet an intimate teaching for me as I am not exempted from this [teaching]; we jointly expect Him and thus, saddled with the responsibility of counting Him worthy to be thought about.
‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ‘Ecclesiastes 3:11
Ecclesiastes 3:11, Bible tells us that God has placed eternity in the heart of men. The heart of giving our attention to the things unseen which is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18) has not just begun. This has been the Father’s deepest desire at the creation of man: a thirst for fellowship [with men].
I will be truthful in saying that it is impossible to exhaust all that there is about being conscious of our eternal relevance. However, we will do our best to consider some details that will surely be helpful in our walk in this season.
We must come to the acceptance of this truth; that having accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, our citizenship has changed, and we are no longer who we used to be. Ye are of God, little children, Apostle John cried out. Being of God means we are from His tribe/nationality (using human terms). We have been adopted as sons, thus, our citizenship is of Heaven. You must believe this. This serves as one of the basic truths of our walk.
Just like some parents who are Nigerians are eager to give their children a privilege of being an American citizen by birth; God has made us Heaven Citizen by adoption.
‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘Philippians 3:20
We must think it, believe it, speak it and act it. The world may not know or accept it, but it doesn’t change the truth…nothing can be done against the truth (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Quickly, we proceed to looking at this matter more intently in about 4 segments:
- How it was in the Beginning
Building from the highlighted verse in Ecclesiastes 3:11, the desire to consider and feel comfortable in a Heaven-like environment had been from the beginning. Adam & Eve in Eden’s garden depict a life in Heaven; with God himself being a great companion and always visiting.
In Genesis 2:15-22, we see a level of fellowship between God and man. Man was created for fellowship with God; possessing the ability to commune with God and also, replicate the nature of God.
‘So, the Lord God took the man [He had made] and settled him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely (unconditionally) eat [the fruit] from every tree of the garden; but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly die [because of your disobedience].” Now the Lord God said, “It is not good (beneficial) for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [one who balances him—a counterpart who is] suitable and complementary for him.” So, the Lord God formed out of the ground every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper [that was] suitable (a companion) for him. So, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made (fashioned, formed) into a woman, and He brought her and presented her to the man. ‘Genesis 2:15-22
2. What Happened
Sin, a product of disobedience, happened and man was cut off from natural fellowship he enjoyed with the Father. The day you eat of this fruit, you shall die. Man ate it and died: we died and were plunged into a state of incommunicado in the Father’s fellowship.
Out of Eden, now alone, mam wandered and had less consideration for calling on God. We see a glimpse of man’s thirst for the Father’s presence in Genesis 4:26 (‘To Seth, also, a son was born, whom he named Enosh (mortal man, mankind). At that [same] time men began to call on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving].’)
However, sin was predominant and made us all weak in the pursuit of God and the things of the Kingdom.
3. The effect of Christ’s victorious life
In sacrificing His life for us on the cross, taking away our sins and granting us access to the Father (having been justified and sanctified). Christ had a goal in His heart greater than taking away our sin.
Remember, we once had an intimate relationship with God, sin came and took that away. Now Christ has come to take that sin away; what does that leave us: Freedom of fellowship with the Father! Hallelujah!
‘but if we [really] walk in the Light [that is, live each and every day in conformity with the precepts of God], as He Himself is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another [He with us, and we with Him], and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin [by erasing the stain of sin, keeping us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. ‘1 John 1:7
Let me quickly address this:
I know Heaven is beautiful, also, the New Jerusalem, as described in the book of Revelations.
However, think on this: How would you feel, as a father/mother, your child who has been away from home for years is coming back. You have prepared a place for him/her, but your excitement is in having your child back home. Whereas, your child is more concerned about your prepared apartment and not you. He thinks more of the luxury but not you.
Be sincere, how will you feel knowing this?
I strongly believe that as believers, when we think about Heaven and the beauty more than the thought of being with the Father, we break His heart. We are not saved to come to Heaven; we have been saved to fellowship with the Father, relish the beauty of His presence.
Nevertheless, He is in Heaven. But our goal isn’t Heaven as it were, it is to be with the Father and we will be at home wherever He is. The motivation isn’t the street of gold; He himself is the motivation.
The Apostles and early Church spent more time talking about the Father and the beauty of His presence above a thought of just going to Heaven as an escape route from hell.
4. What must we do?
‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.’Colossians 3:1-2
Set your mind on Jesus. It is a verb, it is your responsibility. Hebrews 3:1 says, “…think about Jesus” (NCV). We must be deliberate and intentional about being conscious of the Father’s presence. We must consider the thought of eternity on a daily basis. In fact, you must hold loosely anything that is not eternal.
I have highlighted some points that is needed to be done as one who considers himself/herself a citizen of Heaven.
‘and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’Mark 12:30
We must love God and we can’t even mince words about this. It is obvious that you will think about the one you love: God or things. For where the treasure of a man is, his heart will be. In loving God, Jesus has helped us with a yardstick of measurement, so we are not left in the dark or confusion. John 14:23, If you love God, you will do His commandments.
‘So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].’Philippians 2:12
We are in a generation were men do not fear God. You want to remain eternally relevant, you must ensure you sustain a posture of reverential awe for God. In doing this, we must be unapologetic as we may have to stand alone seeing that we are in a world filled with decadence.
- Build a structure around you that helps to maintain a thought of eternity
I believe Holy Communion is God, in His mercy helping us to keep our heart in remembrance of Christ.
Have people around you who remind you of your Father. Hebrews 3: 13 (‘But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication]. ‘)
Go the extra mile in doing this because it is possible for man to forget God. Believe me, it is possible to gradually slip off the things of God. Apostle Paul said he dies daily and he keeps his body under check so as not to be disqualified.
Luke 18:1 – And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not faint
I Thes. 5:17 – Pray without ceasing
Mathew 26:41 – Watch and pray so you don’t fall into temptation
- Be excited about the scriptures
Believe the Word of God and be willing to obey His instructions to you. This is how we grow in the Kingdom; this is how we get our minds being renewed.
‘and have put on the new [spiritual] self who is being continually renewed in true knowledge in the image of Him who created the new self ‘Colossians 3:10
- Strive to live a holy life and walk by the Spirit
It is not just enough to pray in the Spirit, we must be careful to also walk by the Spirit: living our lives based on faith and not sight.
Remember, it is as many that are led by the Spirit of God that are the sons of God
‘If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit]. ‘Galatians 5:25
We must be cognizant of the fact that it is impossible to spend eternity with the one you do not know or value. This is the truth we can only face and dare to accept even in the midst of this current world situation.
The degree to which we know Him is reflected in the degree to which we consider/think about Him. Our Fathers in faith, some who have slept in the Lord were conscious of His person from the depth of the intimacy they shared with Him. Men like Apostle Paul and Peter dared to speak boldly about life in eternity with Him.
Finally, I encourage us, just as I drum an encouragement to my heart also, to consider the Lord Jesus. In the midst of the decadence in the world, we must do our souls a favour by thinking about Him who loves us so dearly. For in that, we can be sure to be with Him, not just in thought but in person, even forever.
Grace, Mercy and Peace be unto us through Christ our Lord.
- The Pursuit of God – A.W Tozer
- Final Quest – Rick Joyner