Meditation … LIVING WITH GOD On EARTH Or In HEAVEN

When you accept God’s gracious gift of salvation, offered through His grace and your faith, your eternal life begins at that moment. That should bring you great peace and joy. Each day on earth, we should thank Him for our health and our lives, but we should hunger for the moment He calls us home to be with Him … in Paradise.

When you accept God’s gracious gift of salvation, offered through His grace and your faith, your eternal life begins at that moment. That should bring you great peace and joy. Each day on earth, we should thank Him for our health and our lives, but we should hunger for the moment He calls us home to be with Him … in Paradise.


Psalm 84:2b (NCV): “My whole being wants to be with the living God.”

Philippians 1:21 (CSB): “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” 


 THIS SEEMS SO WRONG, YET IT’S SO COMMON — EVEN IN CHURCH.

You go to worship the living God and praise His holy name when there, right in front of you, is an esteemed brother or sister in Christ.

Gathering to worship the King!

You give a hearty greeting, like, “It’s good to see you!” and the person responds, “It’s good to be seen. Sure beats the alternative.” Then he or she chuckles.

“Really?” you say, “and, just what do you think IS the alternative?”

“Death,” the other person replies, looking at you as if a spider is climbing down your cheek. “You know, pushing up daisies. Right? Don’t you get it?”

“Sure, I get it,” you want to say, “but do you?”

†††

 THIS IS IN CHURCH, mind you, and it happens nearly every week. 

It’s ridiculous. Here’s why: If you are a believer, God promises you an eternity in Paradise with Him. So, if you are done with this world, you’re happily in place in the next.

If you’re a believer. 

The apostle Paul, who testified to having seen the “third heaven” (2 Cor. 12:2), said he would rather be in Paradise with Jesus in his glorified body than remain on earth in his “weak, dishonorable” body.

†††

THIS IS SAD TO ME. Let me explain.

In November 2010, the most amazing event happened to me. Mid-month, on a Wednesday evening, I received the Holy Spirit into my heart.

Immediately, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, went to work on me. One pastor described the transformation process this way: While we think we need a minor tune-up, the Lord is working on a transmission overhaul.

God reaches out for us. We are His special creation.

Big time changes. Heart change, attitude change, habit change. Out with the old; in with the new. 

Scripture backs that up. Check out 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (KJV 2000)

Or read Colossians 3:10 (NLT): “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”

†††

SINCE MY CONVERSION, my peace and joy come from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. I take seriously His statement in John 14 that He was going to His Father’s house to prepare a room for me so that where He is, I may be also (John 14:2-3, paraphrase).

Because of that joy, it strikes me as supremely odd and disappointing when those joining me on Sunday morning to praise the Lord and worship His mighty name take the same position regarding their life-and-death cycle as do those who skipped church that day for an outing on the golf course or just to sleep in. 

“Sure beats the alternative!”

True enough if the alternative is that place reserved for the ones who reject the Lord’s saving message; however, no where near true if the alternative is to be with the Lord in His Father’s house.

†††

THAT BRINGS US back to you, really, the most important person in this message. 

How do you envision your destiny? Do you see yourself enjoying God’s promise of eternal life right now, as you exist in this world, only to see it bump up in glory when the Lord calls you home … or do you see that every day you’re on this side of the ground is a good day because, you know, it beats the alternative? 

As God’s children, we are citizens of Heaven.

There’s nothing wrong with loving the life the Lord has given us and thanking Him daily for His gifts of grace. The problem is when we hold onto this part of eternity because … deep down … we don’t really trust Him to deliver on the post-death part.

Our two text source verses above, Psalm 84:2b and Phil. 1:21, testify to man’s desire to be with His maker. We can lay claim to that desire just as we can lay claim to the Lord’s promise.

It’s in John 10:10 (NASB), the “b” part: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

With Christ, your eternal life starts the day you receive Him into your heart. When this life is over, you’ll join Him immediately in His arms. 

QUESTION: Now do you think this life really beats the alternative?

________________________

PRAYER  

O Blessed Redeemer, how mighty is Your name, how majestic is Your power, how great is Your love. We thank You and bless You for Your goodness and mercy. Empower us, O Lord, to serve You through our lives, then, when our walk is done, please call us home and let us rest in Jesus’ bosom with the other saints. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen

Author: Ward Pimley

Journalist/Author (retired) Evangelical Christian, Politically Conservative. Eager to share God's Message of Salvation and Grace.

13 thoughts on “Meditation … LIVING WITH GOD On EARTH Or In HEAVEN”

  1. Great one Ward! You are so right, it is so much better on the other side where we’ll see the One Who loved us enough to die in our place bearing our sin debt. Glory to God!

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  2. I’m with you, Ward. While I dread the process of dying, I’m ready to go home anytime He calls me!! I don’t understand Christians who cling to this life with every ounce of energy they have. I long to be with Him and am looking forward to the day I go home. God bless you, brother!!

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  3. Dee — The verse I was referring to, which I should have mentioned, is 1 Peter 3:15. The NASB quotes it this way: “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” So, I could have expanded my comment to say we should be prepared to defend and explain our faith, always, but we should do so in a manner that is gentle, loving, and respectful. We’re sharing our faith, not entering into a debate or argument. Does that help? Thank you for the question! Ward

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    1. Hi Ward, thanks for that expanded answer. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this to be referring to non-believers. As for those who claim to be believers and habitually and intentionally live in a way that is contrary to that claim, or are false teachers, or divisive I believe we are to respond much differently. There are many scriptures that address this in various ways. On the other hand, there are those who are simply immature or back slidden believers that do not fall into this category, whose behavior still needs to be addressed, but in a much more instructive way.

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      1. Certainly James 5:19-20 falls into the category of reaching strays and backsliders, but that strikes me as part of a conscious effort to reach someone who we know is struggling with his/her faith or has even abandoned it. Most of my opportunities to share my faith come with people I may not know that well (their faith journey). As for the examples I drew in church, I’m not certain that everyone I greet has a well-thought-out theology, so when they say, “Beats the alternative,” I’m looking to gently chide them. Since these conversations before service starts generally are brief and superficial, a light reminder of the Lord’s promises (John 10:10b) seems in order, which is why I referred to 1 Peter 3:15. The item you raise about false teachers is a particular annoyance for me. I’ve written a two-part blog (to be published soon) addressing that issue. Those individuals, many of whom occupy the pulpit, who preach a prosperity gospel or a gospel devoid of God’s wrath against man’s sin must be called out! They are a danger to the church and to the non-believing community, which is drawn to false doctrine with “itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3).

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  4. Well, Dee, I appreciate your question because it got me to thinking about the different audiences. Yes, we must treat the backsliders differently from the innocent. I hadn’t focused on that before, so I’m glad you asked. Thank you for that perspective. I’m trying to space out my posts by a few days, but the two-part blog on false teaching should appear within a week. Happy Easter to you and your family! WP

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